IIHF explains women’s world championship-altering ruling

  • Finnish head coach Pasi Mustonen and players look dejected after their 2-1 shootout loss in the IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championships final match between the United States and Finland in Espoo, Finland, on on Sunday, April 14, 2019. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

  • CORRECTS NAME OF FINNISH PLAYER TO PETRA NIEMINEN- Goalkeeper Alex Rigsby of the United States lies on the ice while Petra Nieminen of Finland starts celebrating her game-winning overtime goal which was later disallowed during the IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championships final match between the United States and Finland in Espoo, Finland, on Sunday, April 14, 2019. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

  • Finnish players celebrate a game-winning overtime goal which was later disallowed during the IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championships final match between the United States and Finland in Espoo, Finland, on Sunday, April 14, 2019. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

  • Finnish players wait for the referee's decision after Finland scored a game-winning overtime goal which was later disallowed during the IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championships final match between the United States and Finland in Espoo, Finland, on Sunday, April 14, 2019. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

  • Goalkeeper Noora R'ty (41) of Finland followed by Noora Tulus (24) congratulates US players for their 2-1 shootout victory after the IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championships final match between the United States and Finland in Espoo, Finland, on Sunday, April 14, 2019. (Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva via AP)

The Associated Press
Published: 4/15/2019 10:33:05 PM

ESPOO, Finland — The International Ice Hockey Federation offered an explanation on Monday for the decision to waive off what would have been the gold medal-winning goal by Finland in the host country’s shootout loss to the United States in the women’s world hockey championship game.

The IIHF, which had a video judge review every goal during the tournament, cited two rules in saying the goal by Petra Nieminen, at 11:33 of overtime, was disallowed due to non-incidental goaltender interference.

Nieminen’s goal sparked a wild celebration on Sunday as jubilant fans cheered what would have been Finland’s first championship in its first appearance in the title game.

After a lengthy video review, the goal was called back.

Finland captain Jenni Hiirikoski had made contact with American goaltender Alex Rigsby, who was moving out of her crease, as she passed in front of the net. Hiirikoski wasn’t assessed a goaltender interference penalty, but Rigsby was given a tripping minor.

The IIHF said the video judge weighed two rules in making the decision to waive off the goal.

One states: “An attacking skater who makes contact other than incidental with a goaltender who is out of his goal crease during game action will be assessed a minor penalty for interference. If a goal is scored at this time, it will not count.” The other states: “Incidental contact is allowed when the goaltender is in the act of playing the puck outside his goal crease, provided the attacking skater makes a reasonable effort to minimize or avoid such contact.”

Once the goal was waived off, the referees decided to uphold the tripping penalty. The Americans killed off two penalties in overtime before winning the game in a shootout as dispirited fans watched their devastated team await their runner-up honors.

Finnish Ice Hockey Federation chief executive officer Matti Nurminen said referees planned to give a penalty to Rigsby for tripping and were allowing the goal.

“But when it goes to video review, the power and authority goes (to) the video-goal judges,” he said after the game. “They saw it as goalie interference and made that decision.”

Hiirikoski did not think she had illegally interfered with the American.

“She came out from her crease,” she said. “What can you do? We don’t make the decisions.”

Rigsby saw it a different way: “I knew right away that it was not a goal. I was trying to ask the ref how I got a penalty, considering I was the one who got body-slammed. But the ref thinks I tried tripping the player when I was on the ground, and somehow I end up with the penalty. Funny how that went.”

Finland coach Pasi Mustonen said the play was simple: It was either a penalty on Hiirikoski for goalie interference and no goal or a penalty on Rigsby and a goal by Nieminen. He said he received no explanation from officials about the decision.

In Toronto, Finnish forward Kasperi Kapanen of the Toronto Maple Leafs said the call was botched.

“I think they kind of messed it up ... that’s what happens. It is what it is,” he told The Canadian Press. “It would have been nice for them to win. It would have been good for women’s hockey and just our country in general.”

Kapanen wasn’t the only one confused by the call.

Former American women’s team captain Julie Chu tweeted, “What is going onnnnn? If it’s not a goal, then Finland should have a penalty for goalie interference. If it’s a goal, then it means USA tripped Finland and the Finnish goal is good...? If it’s no goal, then how does USA have penalty? Someone help me??”

Former Canadian captain Hayley Wickenheiser tweeted: “That. Was. A. Goal. #suomi.”




Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784
603-298-8711

 

© 2019 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy