Notebook: Replay shows shoulder as point of contact in third-period North Dakota penalty

Referees Jamie Koharski and Cameron Voss review a third-period penalty on North Dakota’s Trevor Olson (11). (photo: Jim Rosvold).

TAMPA, Fla. — With 6:25 remaining in regulation and the game tied at 2-2 in Thursday’s second semifinal between North Dakota and Denver, a big hit along the boards by North Dakota’s Trevor Olson required the game officials to take an extensive look at the play via video review.

Thanks to a new rule inserted into the rule book before last season, referees in the postseason are allowed to look at plays that could result in a major penalty to verify whether the play warrants a minor, major, major plus game misconduct or major plus game disqualification.

On this play, Olson’s elbow made contact with the head of the Denver player. But the big question for on-ice official Jamie Koharski, who was in perfect position to see the play, was where the point of contact was.

Steve Piotrowski, secretary of rules for the NCAA, and Frank Cole, head of officials, allowed USCHO to view the replay, which had been modified to zoom directly to the point of contact, the same view Koharski was provided at ice level. It was clear that the elbow initially hit the Denver player’s shoulder then rolled up into the head.

“You can see the point of contact [is the shoulder],” Piotrowski said as he played the video. “And then it goes up secondary to the head.

“In order for it to be a major, it has to be direct contact.”

Piotrowski said that the officials executed the entire sequence — from calling the initial penalty through the review — to a T.

“The referee [Koharski] is in perfect position. He can’t be any closer to the play looking down on it,” said Piotrowski. “They followed the protocol as appropriate: on-ice discussion before they went into review, followed by a video review and utilization of the video protocol as it’s available.”

CBS vs. Pacific Rim, by the numbers

If you knew anything about the two teams playing coming into Thursday’s semifinal between North Dakota and Denver, you knew about each team’s top line, and of course their respective nicknames.

For North Dakota, it is the CBS Line. For Denver, the Pacific Rim Line.

So how did each stack up by the numbers? The Fighting Hawks network-named line dominated. The C, Drake Caggiula, scored twice in the second period and assisted on the game-winner. The B, Brock Boeser, tallied two assists, including on the winner. And the S, Nick Schmaltz, scored the big goal, his only point of the night. The trio combined for seven of North Dakota’s 23 shots.

Denver’s Pacific Rim Line was hardly as productive. Although the trio of Trevor Moore, Dylan Gambrell and Danton Heinen combined for nine of the Pioneers’ 23 shots, they were completely held off the board. Heinen was the only player to get his name in the box score, taking a two-minute minor for high sticking at 8:40 of the third period.

Cautious start ties record low for shots

Despite some flurries in the opening period, Denver and North Dakota each mustered just four shots each, tying the lowest combined shot total for a Frozen Four game.

The 1996 title game between Colorado College and Michigan in 1996 produced five shots for the Tigers and three for the Wolverines during the first period. Never before has a period in a semifinal game produced fewer shots combined for both teams.

North Dakota vs. Quinnipiac all time

There was only one team in this Frozen Four field that Quinnipiac, a 3-2 winner over Boston College in the opening semifinal, had ever faced before, and that is North Dakota. The two will meet Saturday night for the national title and the Fighting Hawks enter that game having won all three of the previous meetings between the two schools.

Two of those games seem inconsequential now, a pair of home wins for the then-Fighting Sioux, 6-1 and 4-2 in October 2006. The most recent game, however, came in last year’s NCAA regional opening game when North Dakota beat the Bobcats 4-1 on March 27.

Notable for that game was that Sam Anas played with a significant knee injury. Anas will enter Saturday’s game injured as well, fighting a shoulder injury suffered in the ECAC Hockey title game that significantly limited his action on Thursday night.

You also don’t have to go to far back for the last time two No. 1 seeds met for the NCAA title. In 2014, Minnesota, the No. 1 overall seed, and Union, a top-seed in its region and third overall seed, met in the championship game with Union prevailing 7-4.


  1. Wish they’d have reviewed all of du’s too many men situations or the pick that resulted in an icing then a goal. Hockey east officials are terrible. All you have to remember is the home cooking BU got from Kevin Shea the last time UND played BU regular season.

    • It looked like a crosswalk in Delhi or something. Just complete chaos. Shocking that it was allowed to go on over and over.

      Refs sure did their best to keep UND out. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a goalie rushed like that with nothing called. Tons of holding and hooking not called. Oh well, best team won, tried to tell people here that UND was the real thing and it was a joke they got shipped to Cincy. Guess maybe they’ll know I know what I’m talking about now.

      • You are an idiot, and don’t know squat about the rules. Rule on too many men on ice states, “a player leaving the ice, must be in “proximity” of bench, and not make any hockey play on the puck”. Not once did a DU player, leaving and close to the bench, attempt to play the puck. As far as Arnold making contact with Johnson, the goalie was totally out of his crease trying to “draw” a penalty. The ref behind the goal line has an extended talk with Johnson after the play, pointing to the crease area. We were sitting at the blue line on the side it happened. You make it very hard to root for UND tomorrow night. Thank goodness for UofMGoldenChokers and Sparky, you need to learn from them.

        • Root for who you want. It’s obvious very few people can have a conversation with you about your team without you exploding over them. I happen to agree with Ron IsNotMyRealName. The abuse of too many players on the ice and the non-call against checking the goalkeeper were officiating mistakes or just plan bad officiating.

          • It wasn’t interference. It was a check. The goalkeeper’s privileged area is beyond the goal crease.

            Goalkeeper’s Privileged Area – The goalkeeper’s privileged area is an area
            bounded in the rear by the end of the rink, in front by an imaginary line connecting the end zone spots, and on the sides by imaginary lines from the end zone spots to the end boards.

            Rule 73 covers checking the goalkeeper in his privileged area. I believe he was checked. It was not incidental contact.

          • I agree with your points on the too many men, but talk about condescending! You are wrong about the contact to the goalie. First and foremost, the goalie was definitely in the crease. Watch the replay on ESPN if you did not have a good view (or replay ability) at the arena.

      • “… a crosswalk in Delhi …” That was priceless. I see masses of people mixed in with cows clogging the crosswalk before and after the walk sign is off.

        BTW, I’m happy with Cincinnati. What’s not to like about 6-2, 5-2 and now 4-2. Perhaps we finish with 3-2. We ended NE and their hot streak. We ended DU and their hot streak. Bring on the fighting pollsters from Quinnipiac!

          • I suppose we could compromise and call them the pollcats; a cross between a bobcat and a pollster.

            polecat – a weasel-like Eurasian mammal (genus Mustela, family Mustelidae ) with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for ejecting a fetid fluid when threatened. Another name for skunk.

          • I was going to say a polecat is actual thing.

            I didn’t actually know what their real name was.

      • I understand that, it’s a pretty bush league move to be having the Chinese fire drill every time you change lines.

  2. It was no joke the fighting hawks got sent to Cincy. St. Cloud earned the #1 seed in Minneapolis. The joke was having the regional in Cincy in the first place. Also how does Tampa get 2 Frozen 4’s in the last 4 years?

      • Just want to thank you and Sparky for always remaining objective, making it easy to root for the Sioux tomorrow night. The rest of the UND “fans” on this blog really talk like fools, guess they have never embraced facts, and make it extremely hard to hope the Sioux win. Thankfully, you and Sparky are like most of the Sioux fans I meet at games, including last night. I have to wonder how every other UND blogger on this site get up in the morning and get dressed. GO SIOUX in the Finals.

  3. The Pac-Rim line was shut-out 6 times this season.

    4/7 – Loss to UND
    12/5 – Loss to UND
    12/4 – Loss to UND
    11/14 – Loss to Duluth
    10/17 – Loss to Michigan State
    10/10 – Win over Air Force

    • Great statistics, you must have done a lot of research. Only one minor flaw. The Pacific Rim Line was formed on 1/8/16, against UNO, to shake things up after losing streak. Please explain how this line could get shut out five times before they played together as a line. Either you are clairvoyant or able to go back to the future.

      • Bad coaching?

        I could rephrase the argument and state that none of the boys from the PAC-RIM line scored in any of those games.

        In any event, UND shut out the PAC-RIM line last night as they went minus-7 +/- as a group.

        DU is a great team.

        • What is “bad coaching”? Also, there were no “boys from the PAC-RIM line” prior to January. I could pick out any 3 Sioux players and do the same statistics.

          • Bad coaching, i.e. not recognizing that those 3 should have been on a line all season. It took him 3 months, apparently.

            Knock yourself out with any 3 Sioux players.

            DU is a great team. The game could have gone the other way last night. Be proud, be happy, be excited for next year.

  4. Both DU and UND lose 4 seniors this year. DU has 7 frosh. UND has 11 frosh.

    We lose Drake Caggiula. That will hurt but when haven’t we reloaded?

    Quinnipiac has 7 seniors and 6 freshmen.

  5. Sorry, Mr. Connelly, they did not get it right. The rule on head hits reads,

    (a) A minor plus a misconduct or major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck, including with the stick or any part of the player’s body or equipment.
    (b) A major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of head contact or who intentionally or recklessly contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck.
    (c) A match penalty for attempt to injure or deliberate injury to an opponent may also be assessed for head contact.

    Anyone who was at the game, would have a hard time arguing Olson did not intentionally throw out his elbow to “contact” Levin’s head. Had the DU player stayed down and “faked” further injury, no doubt it would have been a major. You do remember Joey LaLeggia’s hit last year in Providence, don’t you? The refs ruled by what I stated above. He contacted the Friar player chest high, but followed through to the head. By this rule, he got a major penalty but no game misconduct.

    • Looked bad at full speed. Given the D-man was falling, several inches shorter, and still hit shoulder, it looked like a tough decision to find a reason to give a major. All in all, his elbow flew up after the hit was over and just a follow through. I think the reffing crew took their time and got it right. Overall a fun game to watch. Sucks these two teams couldn’t have met in the title game!

      • I agree we should have had a chance to meet in title game. Hit reminded me of LaLeggia last year in Providence. He was also taller than Friar he contacted, and initial hit was at chest. Strictly, according to rule, this appeared to my lieing eyes as same case.

    • I don’t disagree with this, but you can say they evened it up when they didn’t call the penalty rushing the goalie. And I think the first point of contact being the shoulder, plus height difference and physics being what it is, the refs decided to keep it at 2.

      They also didn’t call any number of other things they could have on DU.

      And it’s not like DU was any good on the power play anyway.

      • We did suck on the power play all year against UND. No such thing as “evened up”, and height difference is non-factor as far as penalty goes.

        • Whatever you want to think. I think they weren’t trying to call anything on DU after the major, and I think DU was pretty aware of it.

    • It sucks to say, but the timing in the game was huge with them keeping it a minor IMO. Early 3rd or 1st, 2nd period, he’s getting 5. Also agree that him popping right up didn’t help DU’s cause….it’s hockey though, not soccer.

      Ron has a good point too. Refs might not do it consciously, but don’t kid yourself thinking they don’t remember an iffy call or no call. Especially in an even game like that one.

    • I’m from GF and a Sioux just wanted to state that. UND dodge a bullet with that penalty yes he may of grazed the shoulder first but it was mostly contact to the head. That being said I do below they missed goaltender interference not sure if that factored into why they called the elbowing or whatever they called as a minor. Great game that was the national championship!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here