Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gophers 4, Mavericks 1

Pat Christman/The Free Press
Freddy's three thoughts of the game ...

1. Doing the splits: A split against the No. 1 team in the country isn't a bad thing. It's just that teams get a little greedy after winning the series opener, which the Mavericks did on Friday. Coming home Saturday and playing before the fifth-largest hockey crowd (5,134) in Verizon Wireless Center history and touching the 5,000-fan mark for the first time in four years, there had to be some disappointment in not getting a better start and getting the building involved. The Mavericks weren't bad, but the Gophers were better. They took advantage of a few mistakes and clamped down on defense on the way to a 3-0 lead by the midway point of the third period.

2. Video killed the hockey star: Referees went to video replay three times on Saturday. One review overturned no-goal call on the ice. One confirmed a goal. And one disallowed a goal. All three calls went Minnesota's way. The third one was the killer for MSU, though, as a potential Johnny McInnis score from Matt Leitner was waved off. That would have made it a 3-2 lead with 6:34 to play, and coming just 25 seconds after Zach Lehrke's goal, it got the crowd really into the game for the first time. The puck appeared to go in off the shaft of McInnis' stick, and the thought was that referees Brad Shepherd and C.J. Beaurline were checking for a high-stick. However, they ruled that the puck went in off McInnis' hand. Odd play, and certainly a momentum killer.

3. Power trip: Minnesota scored two power-play goals, which ended up being the difference in the game (the Gophers' last goal was an empty-netter). The Mavericks hadn't given up two power-play goals in a game since Nov. 2 when they gave up three in a 3-2 loss at Minnesota. So that's five man-advantage goals in two losses to the Gophers. In the 20 games in between, Minnesota State allowed just five power-play goals in all. The Mavericks, meanwhile, went 0 for 2 on the power play. They had one on Friday's 2-1 victory at Mariucci. Arena.

Deep thought: Minnesota State coach Mike Hastings said next weekend's bye week is coming at a good time. The Mavericks have played every weekend since Christmas, going on trips to Connecticut and Alaska, playing a physical series with Wisconsin and then this weekend's grind against the Gophers. Minnesota State went 6-3-1 in that stretch.

Read The Free Press game story here.

Around the WCHA: St. Cloud State 2, North Dakota 2 (OT) ... Wisconsin 2, Alaska Anchorage 1 ... Nebraska Omaha 2, Bemidji State 1

WCHA standings
1. St. Cloud State (25 points)
2. Minnesota (24)
2. Nebraska Omaha (24)
4. Minnesota State (21)*
4. North Dakota (21)
4. Wisconsin (21)
7. Denver (20)
8. Minnesota Duluth (19)
9. Colorado College (15)
10. Bemidji State (12)
10. Michigan Tech (12)
12. Alaska Anchorage (6)*

* = Minnesota State and Alaska Anchorage each have played 20 league games; the rest of the teams have played 18.

P.S. Apologies for the poor live blog and few Twitter updates tonight. The Verizon Wireless Center had myriad wireless problems (ironic, no?) that hampered not only my work by that of several other media members and other press box workers on Saturday night. Hopefully, that gets corrected in time for MSU's future home series.


Chris said...

I was very disappointed in the officiating last night and am surprised there is no more talk of it. I believe that officiating changed the outcome of this game, which is the last thing anyone wants. And it wasn't on just one call that could have gone either way, it was on several calls throughout the night. If I am wrong on my examples, please let me know.

-The first goal was called off because the net was dislodged prior to the puck going into the net. This was the right call, and when watching video there was absolutely no evidence to support the ref calling it a goal. There was no replay showing that puck crossing the line prior to the net coming off it's moorings.

-The whistle at Wilcox's end was being blown very quickly. There was one specific time the puck was shot into traffic from the left of the net, when it went into the crease area from left to right and hit off of Wilcox's leg pad, the ref blew the whistle to stop play. The significant thing about that whistle was that the puck came out the right side to McGinnis' stick (I believe) for an open net and sure goal for Mankato.
-So the majority of that game should have been played with the score 1-1. The first goal called off, Minnesota then scoring on the powerplay, then McGinnis scoring backdoor for a Mankato goal. Instead we played 2-0.

-Now moving to the 3rd period. Minnesota scores on the powerplay. Should be 2-1 Minnesota. We come back and score on Wilcox, now 2-2. Now the last goal Mankato scored was called a goal by the ref. Looking at video once again I believe, if anything, it just reaffirmed that the puck hit the butt of McGinnis' stick. The puck changed direction at such a sharp angle that it just seemed that it must have hit the stick. But regardless of what I think, the video could not show that the puck did not hit the stick. I thought that video replay was only to overturn calls if there was indisputable evidence to do so? In both cases last night, there was zero evidence to overturn either call. So now I have the game at 3-2 Mankato.
-Penalties- the refs were letting an aweful lot go in the Minnesota end when it came to "protecting" Wilcox. I am ok with that for the most part, but there were two no calls which were terrible. The first was the blatent cross check (unsportman like, interference...) to Eriah Hayes along the boards in the third. I am guessing that the ref just did not see this, which was unfortunate. Then Eriah, unfortunately retaliated which gave Minnesota their last pp goal. The second no call was late in the third after the whistle. Our player was body slammed to the ice in front of the crease by a Minnesota player with the back of his head crashing to the ice. This was all after the whistle had blown. That was a call all day long but was ignored.

I know I sound like a homer but this was a terrible game by officiating which very well changed the outcome of a game. I hope someone in charge of officiating will take a look at this game. I feel bad for the players of Mankato, who played a great game and left their blood an sweat on the ice. Keep your heads up boys, and keep bringing that intensity. You will get your chance against them again in the Final 5.

Shane Frederick said...


The rules were changed this year to allow a goal to be good even if the net comes off its moorings — IF it's been determined that the goal would have been good regardless of the net's positioning at the time the puck crossed the line. After seeing the replay, I think they made the right call.

There's been quite a bit of discussion on Twitter today (Sunday), especially about the McInnis goal that was waved off. My opinion is that there was not enough evidence to overturn that, but, obviously, the referees disagree.


Dave said...

Guilty as charged on the Twitter talk about the goals Saturday night. Like I mentioned on Twitter and also on GPL I wouldn't have been surprised if the Holl goal would have been waived off, it was the right call for it to be called a goal.

Now the McInnis goal...I'm sorry but the puck, to me, clearly hit his gloves. Couple that with his punching motion you have to wave off the goal. Rule 83.6-Disallowed Goals:If an attacking player throws, bats or propels the puck into the goal with
any part of the body. The hand, yes Shane the hand, is part of the body. You mentioned on Twitter that the hand should be an extension of the argument was that hand passes of the puck are illegal so scoring with your hand should be as well.

I will agree to disagree on this. But if you allow the hands to be an extension of the stick where does it end? Please don't say the "spirit" of the rule...rules are rules.

As far as the refs go...they let things go both ways on both nights. Whining about the refs should be left up to Whioux fans, Mav fans are better than them! The Mavericks played a damn good series and should be happy to split the season with the Gophers...but I hope they didn't play this weekend like it was their playoffs. Also I hope that they don't have a big let down during the rest of the season.

Shane Frederick said...


I'm not whining, believe me. I think it was a call worth discussing, though.

My only beef with the call is that I don't think there's enough evidence there to overturn what was called on the ice, which was a good goal. I honestly don't think it's 100% clear that it goes off McInnis' hand. I even did a freeze frame where the puck seems to disappear under the cuff of his glove. Does it hit his arm there (no goal)? The end of the stick (good goal)? I don't know.

Having said that, I agree that McInnis' punching motion probably swayed the refs to ultimately call off the goal.

Also, as for your "rules are rules" statement, I'm not saying they interpreted them wrong. However, I think a case could be made, perhaps to a future rules committee, to make the hand in the glove part of the stick, provided it's holding the stick. It just seems odd that if the puck hits the shaft of McInnis' stick it would be considered a very skilled play and a good goal, but because it hit his glove that it's an illegal play.

Looking at Boston College's game-winning goal in last year's national title game, the puck appears to deflect off a glove as the scorer moves his hands/arms/stick to try to redirect a shot from the blue line. That goal was allowed to stand (not sure if the video was deemed inconclusive or if officials thought it hit the stick, though).

These are just my 2 cents. Not a complaint. But I do think it made for a very interesting discussion about a pretty pivotal play in Saturday's game.

Dave said...

Thanks for the reply Shane, it's been a while since I had a good hockey debate. Putting that goal aside the Mavs still had a great weekend against probably one of the top 3 teams in the nation right now. I just hope their isn't a letdown for this team right now, I think they are worthy of getting up to St. Paul in March if they continue to play as well as they have.