So I began my season of blogging with a doozy – showing video of the Harvard-Union game in which a goaltender interference call nullified a late-game goal for Harvard and resulted in head coach Ted Donato’s ejection.
Ken Schott, long-time Union beat writer for the Schenectady Gazette, who pointed the play out to me originally, wrote more about the play today and quoted ECAC head of officiating Paul Stewart. Stewart defended his officials saying that they followed the correct procedure to make the call on the the play. Donato contended that the puck was in the net before any infraction occured.
Stewart never specifically was quoted in the article as having said he believed that the infraction occured before the goal, but said, “It would be like yo uand I going to the same restaurant, and I say, ‘Boy, the soup’s good,’ and you’d say, ‘No, it’s too salty.'”
What Stewart is basically saying is that even with video replay, there’s a significant amount of gray area in how this call was made. And with this I can’t argue.
I think where I see a problem is not with Stewart or the officials who made the call, more so with the video replay system.
Currently, the in-season video replay system is pretty much a “tape-and-string” initiative. Schools don’t have the money to invest in high-quality cameras stationed at multiple angles as exist in the NHL. Instead, in the effort to get as many calls correct as possible, leagues have allowed use of whatever exists – in this case a cable TV station’s minimal camera setup – to serve as a proxy system.
When push comes to shove, this is likely the best that can be done without significant investments in full-fledged cameras and replay equipment and the addition of a bonafide instant replay official.
Unfortunately for Ted Donato last Saturday, that simply wasn’t enough.