Officials made right call in Union-Harvard game
Ted Donato was livid.
The Harvard coach thought his team had scored a short-handed goal with 39.3 seconds left in the third period against Union last Saturday at Messa Rink. The goal would have cut Union’s lead to 3-2.
But the goal went to video review because Crimson forward Doug Rogers bumped Dutchmen goalie Corey Milan just as the puck was arriving at the net. The officials — referees Andy O’Brien and Eric Ernst and linesmen Richard Patry and Robert St. Lawrence — had a conference at center ice before going to the video. After reviewing the video, the officials determined that Rogers interfered with Milan before the puck went into the net. The goal was taken away, Rogers was penalized for goalie interference and Donato was ejected from the game for vociferously protesting the call.
Paul Stewart, director of officiating for ECAC Hockey, praised his officials on how they handled the play.
“I’m pleased with the fact that the officials did it the way they did it,” Stewart said in a telephone interview this week. “They did it sequentially, they did it according to our manner and the way we prescribe it and in it’s in the book.”
Donato certainly didn’t see it that way after the game.
“From my eyes, the puck was in the net before there was any infraction,” Donato said. “To me, that was the case.”
Stewart, a former NHL referee, disagreed.
“It would be like you and I going to the same restaurant, and I say, ‘Boy, the soup’s good,’ and you’d say, ‘No, it’s too salty,’ ” Stewart said. “Everybody has an opinion. But the position of responsibility is mine, and the position of responsibility I delegate is to the official. I tell them, the best position, the most easily defended position, is the one that goes by the book. Go by the book, they can’t argue with you.”
A penalty that has been rarely enforced is a rule that prohibits players from going on the ice at the end of a period to greet their goalie. Union was called for that penalty at the end of the first period against Harvard.
If a player leaves a bench when the game is over and an altercation is in progress, Stewart said that player will be given a game disqualification and be suspended for the next game.
“This is something we have discussed with the coaches,” Stewart said. “They have gotten more than one advisory with regard to this. Last, but not least, it’s in the book.”
And Stewart said the officials will be held accountable if they don’t assess the protocol penalty.
“If my officials choose not to call it, and I’m made aware of it and I see proof of it that they’re not calling it, . . . then go home because I will find somebody who will call it,” Stewart said. “You’re not the coach, you’re not the rulemaker and you’re not the league. We all have to operate under standard operating procedure. Therefore, the officials are being advised if they choose not call it, and it can be any one of the four officials on the ice who calls it, they’re going to be relieved of their next assignment.”
George Morrison, who joined the Union College women’s hockey program as a volunteer assistant coach last season, died Wednesday afternoon after battling a brain tumor. He was 59 years old.
Morrison, who also served as volunteer assistant coach with the RPI men’s hockey team earlier this decade, was diagnosed with the tumor before the start of this season.
“Losing George is one of the most devastating loses our team has had to face since I began this job,” Dutchwomen coach Claudia Asano said. “It is a loss that no one could have predicted, which makes it more painful. His role on this team was far more than anyone can put into words.”
A funeral will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel on the Union campus. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dutchwomen’s ice hockey team in his name.