Additional commentary on Magnessgate… and more

I’ve received a lot of email from fans who were at Magness last Friday night when the controversial no-goal ended the Wisconsin-Denver game.

Some of the feedback brought up worthy points:

“Magness Arena is equipped with technology that does not allow the goal light to come on, which it did, if there is no time on the clock. You can sit in the judges box and flip the goal switch as many times as you want but if the game clock does not have any time on the clock it will not come on. Since the goal light most clearly came on, and the two referees who were standing by the goal signaled goal, and the replay clearly showed the puck going into the net, I am not sure what the question was.” – Eddie Gleason

Eddie brings up a very good point. Unless referee Randy Schmidt believed that the goal judge had a very quick trigger finger, the goal light alone was a good indication. Most arenas have a trip swtich that doesn’t allow the red light to fuction if the clock reads all zeros. So the fact that the goal light was even able to go on was a clear sign the puck entered the net before the buzzer.

“I am a DU alum that traveled to Denver last weekend for the games. My friend has season tickets right behind the penalty boxes and the now infamous replay monitor. When the apparent tying goal was scored, I jumped up and literally was looking over Schmidt’s shoulder through the glass as he reviewed the play. On the replay monitor he was looking at the camera angle from directly above the goal and not the FSN feed. The replay monitor had a camera shot of a clock (which one I have no idea) super-imposed in the corner of the video as he rolled through it frame by frame. When the clock was at 0.0 the puck was clearly in the crease 6-8 inches from the goal line. It was so obviously not a goal I was screaming at him to waive it off and was surprised how long it took him to rule no-goal. Having now seen the FSN feed and assuming that the green light is the official end of the game it is clear a mistake was made but I am not sure how Schmidt is to blame.” – Craig Praul

Craig, too, has a point that the above goal camera that is used likely did (every account I’ve heard says the same) show the puck is outside of the goal when the clock reached 0.0. But that doesn’t let Schmidt off the hockey. Seriously, Schmidt was on the goal line. His hand was pointing at the net before the buzzer sounded. His initial reaction when heading to review the video should have been that this was a goal. So to look at exactly one frame of a video and allow that to change your mind is crazy. I’ve watched tons of NHL games where you can see the video replay official winding and re-winding MOVING video, so there really wasn’t justification for watching only a single, still frame.

At this point, it’s obviously time for everyone, including myself (and I must say, 99% of the time, I’m an apologist for referees – this is just a no excuse kind of situation) to move on. The WCHA on Thursday denied Wisconsin’s appeal that would have changed the outcome of the game from a win to a tie. WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod told the Wisconsin State Journal on Thursday, “It’s a black-and-white issue. I don’t have the prerogative to change the outcome of a game.”

What prerogative McLeod and WCHA Supervisor of Officials Greg Shepherd do have is to discipline referee Schmidt for his poor judgement. Nothing on that has been formally announced to this point.

Hobey Farce?

If you haven’t done so, check out Chris Lerch’s weekly Atlantic Hockey columm that discussed the convoluted process that the Hobey Baker committee used this season to solicit nominations for its annual “Vote for Hobey” fan balloting.

Obviously the Hobey folks didn’t exactly think this one through entirely as the list, as Lerch explains, excludes some of the top players in the game while including players who are middle-of-the-pack at some of the bottom feeder teams nationally.

Scott Brown and I discussed this in Tuesday Morning Quarterback, as well. Everyone agrees, I believe, that the Vote for Hobey is a nice way to interact fans. But the Hobey Baker folks need to make sure that the marketing stunt doesn’t jeopardize the credibility of the award.

TV for the Rivalry?

With two of college hockey’s biggest rivals squaring off on Saturday night, I was surprised to learn that the Boston University-Boston College game wasn’t scheduled to be broadcast on television. The league’s TV contract with NESN calls for Friday night games to be televised (and NESN likely has a better game than BC-BU this weekend when it shows the BC @ Mass.-Lowell game tonight at 7:30). BU and BC have also been televised this season on CN8, a Comcast channel available to many cable subscribers in the region.

All hope, though, isn’t lost if you want to see Saturday night’s game and don’t have a ticket to Conte Forum. BC’s affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference will actually put a hockey game on their online pay-per-view channel,

The company, which was once owned by media mogul Ted Turner and sold to Time Warner, broadcasts various sports for ACC schools. In this instance, the strange crossover to hockey, a non-ACC sport, will be beneficial to fans wishing to follow either the Eagles or the Terriers.

Saturday is one of three BC games that will be televised on The Eagles Feb. 1 game versus Providence and their Feb. 15 game against Lowell will also be carried online.

The cost is a nominal $4.95 fee, which allows the viewers to watch the game either live or on-demand for 30 days.