With just one go-through on the review, the referees (Campion and Beaurline) awarded a goal to SCSU that was allegedly scored at 19:59.9 seconds gone in the 3rd period. Really? You guys didn't have to look at that 3 or 4 times like every other review? Really? Surprisingly efficient for a pair of WCHA refs eh? Congrats to them on that. And congrats to the SCSU clock operator for restarting the clock two tenths of a second slow. How convenient.
Of course, it wouldn't have been an issue in any way shape or form if they'd called either of the tripping penalties committed by SCSU in the last 90 seconds. But no ... they didn't see those. Instead, Nils Backstrom goes into the boards for a strong challenge and because the weak legged kid from SCSU goes down they call a penalty on UAA with 21 seconds left.
That's the whole game there. The game is on the line and the referees once again inserted themselves in the outcome. Not only did they get to call the go-ahead penalty. They got to use the goal review equipment in super slow-mo. All in all, a great night to be a WCHA referee in St. Cloud. Parental units, Mr. and Mrs. Campion and Beaurline must be oh so proud tonight that they raised good little control freaks. Nobody really wants hockey teams to determine outcomes of these games do they?
This game had Seawolves win written all over it until 19:38.2 of the 3rd. And even with the crap call, the Seawolves killed off 21.7 seconds of the penalty. They did so much right throughout the first two and a half periods tonight. They got the lead after spotting the Huskies an early goal. Then they controlled the game, they possessed the puck deep. They trapped in the neutral zone and pushed SCSU back over and over. They transitioned well. Olthuis played sharp in the net. The defense did their job. I thought they played a smart hockey game and kept their heads about them all night.
The team deserves congratulations for what is essentially a virtual-win. They certainly deserved a victory in every way I can think. Let me just say it one more time here ... the penalty on Nils Backstrom was a bogus call. I tend to believe it was the result of the hissy-fit that Motzko threw last weekend over a disputed goal call. That whining brought Bruce McLeod and Daddy Shep to the NHC tonight. So there's all sorts of pressure on the refs as a result.
Hopefully, the team doesn't feel the same way as I do with regard to the official result. Hopefully, they look back on tonight as a win and come out tomorrow with some extra fire. Don't get me wrong ... the Huskies came out in the 3rd and applied some good pressure. They got the Seawolves back on their heels some and generated lots of chances. Their 3rd goal was a flubbed shot by a guy that is lucky to be playing college hockey though. But overall, they won the 3rd period without scoring the tying goal. But that was the only period they won.
Kevin Clark continued his goal scoring ways when his parents are in the arena scoring his 15th and 16th goals of the year. Kane Lafranchise's goal to put UAA up 4-2 proved to be very important. I can't help saying but for the referees it was a pretty game winner. He ripped it top shelf on a nice little rush and 90% of the fans in the arena didn't even see it go in. It's also nice to see Craig Parkinson pick up a nice tally after not scoring for a while. All the lines did their jobs tonight. Defense played well.
I don't know what the Seawolves could do better tomorrow night. Perhaps a little sharper passing here and there. But the soft ice at that crappy rink definitely had the puck bouncing a little bit. Hopefully, someone like Regg Simon can talk to the arena people and get them to turn the dial down a couple of degrees to make the surface more playable. You'd think people in Minnesota would understand how to make a good sheet but apparently they want the fans to take off their satin snowmobile jackets.
Here's the boxscore.