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Hockey East to Address Mistake in UMass/BC Replay Controversy

Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna admits officials screwed up replay procedure.

UMass appeared to have tied up their game with Boston College at two apiece in the third period on Thursday night. But after Boston College called a timeout and requested that officials Jeff Bunyon and Kevin Keenan review the play on video, the officials determined that UMass had actually been offsides on the play, and the goal was nullified. UMass would not score again and Boston College would win 2-1.

In looking at a replay of the disallowed goal, it would seem that UMass was offsides on the play and that the officials eventually came to the right decision:


The only problem is that the review should have never happened in the first place. Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna, speaking during an intermission on the Merrimack radio broadcast on Friday night, said the league made two mistakes in deciding to over-turn the goal.

The first mistake, according to Bertagna, is that Boston College should not have been allowed to request a video review of whether UMass was offsides prior to the goal.

The second mistake was more technical. The NCAA rulebook allows for video replay to be used to check for offsides and too many men on the ice on a goal-scoring play, but only in tournament play. That rule was expanded over the summer to include any game that was being televised. Thursday's game was not televised per se, but was available through streaming video.

On Friday, the NCAA released a statement clarifying that from now on, internet streaming video feeds cannot be used as video evidence when reviewing offsides/too many men penalties.

Bertagna also told the Merrimack radio broadcast that Hockey East will release a statement on Saturday acknowledging that the league made a mistake in their review protocols.


Here's the release from Hockey East...

The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee issued a rules clarification (attached) on Friday, November

15, as a direct result of an incident that occurred in the Boston College vs. Massachusetts game played in

Amherst on Thursday, November 14. The clarification addressed that section of the rule book that deals

with video replay (pg. 83, section 93.4), specifically those limited circumstances when video can be used

to determine whether an offside or too many men on the ice leads directly to a goal.

On Thursday night, Massachusetts, trailing 2-1, scored a goal to ostensibly tie the game at 2-2. After

a request from Boston College to the on-ice officials, the play was reviewed and the goal was called back

due to an apparent offside. Game officials mis-applied the rule in three different ways.

First, coaches can only request reviews of those specific situations listed under page 83, section

93.2 of the rule book. Second, offsides can only be reviewed in games that are televised, an expansion

of the existing rule that previously limited review of offside and too many men on the ice to post-season

championships only. The rule was extended to cover regular season televised games per a July memo from

the NCAA (attached.) This game was not televised. And third, the offside situation must be "egregious" in

nature, which this situation was not.

While the Massachusetts goal should not have been called back in the manner that it was, there is

no league protocol by which the situation can be overturned.

Future assignments of the on-ice officials who worked Thursday’s game will be reviewed by the

league office.

Interesting that Hockey East also added on that the play in question was not egregious enough to merit being overturned. Not that any of this does UMass any good now.