Notes from the West Regional: that game-winning goal

I know that fans only want to talk about Kevin Lynch’s game-winning goal that sent Michigan ahead and ended Nebraska-Omaha’s season. Unfortunately, the way the game ended overshadows the great sixty minutes of regulation hockey and two minutes of OT that preceded it. The Mavericks scored at 1:35 and 8:18 in the first; the Wolverines scored at 1:17 and 8:36 in the second. Third period? A draw. Great goaltending all game long from UNO’s John Faulkner and Michigan’s Shawn Hunwick.

Seventeen seconds into overtime, UM’s Matt Rust took a boarding penalty and the Mavs peppered Hunwick – I don’t see how UNO had only two shots on goal in OT, but that’s just me – and he got little support from the Wolverines’ defense…until defenseman Jon Merrill threw himself in front of what certainly would have been Maverick Rich Purslow’s game-winning shot on a completely open Michigan cage. Heart-stopping, all the way around.

“I thought it was a real good game,” said Purslow. “Back and forth game. Obviously, we’re not happy with the outcome in overtime, but you know, that’s what happens when a game goes into an extra period. Anything can happen. I just thought it was a hard-fought game both ways.”

I was so impressed with the Mavericks, so happy to see so many players I covered in the CCHA playing such great hockey for Dean Blais. I was sad for the seniors, without question, at the end of that contest. What a crappy way to lose in single-elimination playoff hockey.

I was also impressed with Michigan’s resiliency in that game, and I’ve seen a lot of Michigan hockey this season that was merely serviceable. UNO came out flying and the Mavericks were so dominant in that first period that I thought for certain they’d score a few more in the second without letting the Wolverines back into that game. Very tenacious effort by Michigan.

Who deserved to win the game? I can’t say. Was the call on the game-winning goal correct? Again, I can’t say. The flurry of activity in front of Faulkner that led to Lynch’s winner made it impossible to see the puck from the press box, even on monitors.

In fact, the press was never shown the camera angle that led to the call to overturn the officials’ call on the ice in real-time. (In fact, the first official game box had Greg Pateryn with the game-winning goal.) Remember, the goal was never signaled a goal in play, and it was at a stoppage in play that the officials reviewed it. After 10 minutes and 21 seconds, the signal was made, the Michigan bench swarmed Shawn Hunwick, the Mavericks realized that their season was spent and the game was over.

The official statement released to the press by the NCAA came well into the Colorado College-Boston College game. The statement was issued by Steve Piotrowski, the head of officiating for the CCHA and the secretary rules editor for the NCAA, following a postgame meeting with ECAC referees Chip McDonald and Harry Dumas:

“The officials’ initial on-ice call was no goal. There was reasonable evidence to believe the puck had completely crossed the goal line. The play was stopped at the next non-advantage situation to allow an opportunity for the on-ice referees to review the video. Following video review, the on-ice referees determined through conclusive video evidence that the puck had completely crossed the goal line and exited the net by way of the goalies’ leg pad.”

That’s all I’ve got. Impossible to tell anything on the ice from the press box many stories up, and no definitive video view offered to the press afterwards, so I can’t shed any more light on it.

Dean Blais was his usual class act afterwards. With a heart clearly heavy with disappointment, he said, “The referee signaled that it was in and we’re going to accept that.”

  • jd13

    Dean Blais steps up again he IS truly in a class by himself. As for the refs call… no definitive proof just reasonable evidence… they blew it big time

  • reasonable evidence . . . not irrefutable

    • Jon

      What part of “conclusive video evidence” don’t you like in that statement? They saw it in the net. If you think you could do better, train hard, learn to referee, and perhaps one day you will get a chance to make that kind of call and have half the college hockey world call you an idiot too.

  • Theluckynumberm

    For those saying there isn’t irrefutable evidence or definitive proof, check out the stills of this camera angle:

    http://mgoblog.com/content/zapruder-goal#comments

  • Jordan

    “They saw it in the net.” Huh? If they saw it go in the net, they would’ve said so instead of using phrases such as “reasonable evidence.” Hopefully, CC keeps rollin’ along and it won’t matter.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the camera angle you keep referring to, Paula, exists.

    Where is it? Why hasn’t the whole world now seen this phantom video?

    CONCLUSIVE video evidence my you know what.

  • fluidguy

    The puck was at least 6″ over the line and the goalie knew it as he was kicking it back out. The officials did the right thing and used review as it’s supposed to be used. The right team one.

  • Pete

    You should all learn to read English — the “reasonable evidence” is what led the officials to stop play and conduct a review. They determined that it was a goal based on “conclusive video evidence,” which is what is required. As for me, the overhead angle showed the goalie’s leg and pad totally within the goal and no view of the puck. Then, you see the goalie’s leg and skate move forward and the puck emerge from the net. What conclusion do you reach from this?

  • Simon

    I thought this was a mid-season review?

    • durf

      it doesnt say anywhere that it’s a mid-season review. Just thoughts on the weekend games

      • Simon

        The homepage headline was “Thoughts Before the Break” so I guess I thought they would have thoughts on more than two teams.

        • Anonymous

          Copy that.  It wasn’t even a weekend recap as UNO didn’t even play.  No mention of BSU a team that actually played,  You would think a freshman goaltender recording back to back shutouts would be worth a sentence.  True, against UAH………but still………….

          • Simon

            BSU doesn’t matter to USCHO just like all the other small schools no one cares about. College hockey is starting to turn into college football, driven by money and less about the sanctity of the sport. The best part about college hockey is that it was not like all the other big name college sports. Now it will be and will more than likely be ruined.

          • guest

            If you asked the average hockey fan in Minnesota what team they really don’t care about in Minnesota, they would probably say BSU.

          • nogofer

            After umtc…

  • OccupyTheRalph

    still can’t understand why if there’s no story, no one can write about the man whose name is on the rink at UND and how bad this guy really was.  While everyone is worried about the name on the jersey, no one wants to talk about the name on the rink, and anytime anyone mentions any of the things Ralph did, it gets deleted

    • haha, please enlighten all of us on what horrible things he did? I didn’t realize having a nazi hobby was criminal…..

      • Simon

        Well, being a Nazi sympathizer and “celebrating” one of the worst dictators who lived in the modern era certainly isn’t something to be proud of. Especially if any of your family are Holocaust survivors, it is pretty insulting.

      • Siouxicide

        actually sexually harrassing your female employees and not paying them overtime I guess are hobbies too, and celebrating Hitler’s birthday is cute. 

    • nogofer

      Next time you are in Vegas stop by the HOSPITAL with Ralph’s name on it…

    • FightingSioux4Ever

      Where is that coming from?  As if the NCAA imposing it’s politcal agenda wasn’t enough, people like you say stupid things like this.  I’m still spun about the whole nickname and logo mess.  But I have to sit back and take it, much like the 99% have had to take it the last 4 years.  And if that commen doesn’t have any place in ths forum, than taking pot shots at a benfactor that has been dead for 10 years doesn’t, either. 

  • so people get paid to write this?  I put more time and effort in my daily Comp 2 essays  LOL

    • guest

      In order to validate your claim, I would like to see you write an article. 

  • Big Al

    It is OK to be a holiday or vacation, just say so.  I think you are only allowed to “call in dead” once in your life as a legit excuse at work.  Tyler and Brian, this is your one, “call in dead”!