Controversy masks thrilling Canada-USA tilt at Hlinka Gretzky Cup


EDMONTON — What happened Friday night in Edmonton wasn’t about the horrible hand dealt to Team USA, which bows out of the Hlinka Gretzky Cup on a tying goal that was still on Dylan Cozens’ stick blade when the clock read 0.00.

It had been agreed upon that there would be no video review at this tournament because three separate rinks were being used and they did not all have the same capabilities. We get that.

But what really smelled Friday — as Canada won 6-5 in overtime, advancing to Saturday night’s gold-medal game against Sweden while the United States walked out of Rogers Place fully fleeced, pockets inside out as they trudged towards the team bus — was how the Americans’ game-opening goal had counted.

Officials said they couldn’t use video replay to count Canada’s game-tying goal at “19:59 of the third period,” which allowed Josh Williams to score the overtime winner just 1:46 into the extra period. However, when a rather obvious American goal had been missed just 3:20 into the game, the officials huddled and somehow re-saw what everyone on TV had already seen — the puck clearly in the Canadian net for a relatively lengthy period of time before shooting out the other side.

“They said the water bottle went up. Look at the video. Tell me if the water bottle went up,” said a highly skeptical Canadian coach, Andre Tourigny.

In fact, the water bottle did bobble up and down on that first goal, perhaps as much as an inch and a half. But what seems impossible — okay, highly improbable — is that the officials could see that tiny wiggle of a water bottle, yet all four of them missed a puck that went in over the goalie’s right shoulder, wrapped around the back of the net, and shot out past his left side.

Unless, of course, video replay somehow helped that call to be corrected.

“That’s a great point. That was my argument as well,” said American head coach Cory Laylin. “They said that they saw the water bottle go, but I think we deserved better.”

What really strikes a hockey observer, as we see a game lost on what was indisputably a goal that should not have counted, is how seldom we see these things happen anymore. Today we’re calling goals off because a player’s skate blade is a quarter-inch above the blue-line, not because a puck was three- or four-tenths of a second — perhaps even more — late in crossing the goal line.

Tom Renney, the president of Hockey Canada, explained how this could still be happening, in a state-of-the-art arena in 2018:

“Prior to the competition, at the directorate meeting, it was decided there would be no video review because the three venues being used don’t all have that capacity,” Renney said. “In the best interest of consistency and fairness throughout all three venues, it was decided by all teams — and signed off on — that the officials on the ice would make that call, as they did …read more

Source:: Sportsnet

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