Friday night's game between St. Cloud State and Omaha was tied 2-2 heading into the third period of the game. At 1:38 of the third period, St. Cloud State's Jonny Brodzinski was whistled for a five-minute major and game misconduct for contact-to-the-head roughing.
Here's video of the play in question, via Jashvina Shah:
Omaha would go on to score on the ensuing power play and win the game 3-2.
After the game, the two head coaches would have very different opinions on the controversial call.
From the USCHO.com recap of the game:
"It was the right the call – you watch it and it was a five-minute major," Omaha coach Dean Blais said. "The referees have been told you call hits to the head and blindside hits and hits like that. It was the right call."
"Everybody here knows it was a terrible call," SCSU coach Bob Motzko said. "One ref told me that he looked up on the replay and saw that it was hit to the head, and if it’s the same replay that everybody saw and everybody at the game saw, I mean that’s pretty scary. We’d like to wonder what he was watching because we’re all watching the same replay."
My reaction to the call is that I think the officials got it wrong, but I can also completely see why they would get the call wrong. Brodzinski comes up from the blindside of UNO's Dominic Zombo to make the hit. Generally, a hit like that results in contact to the head. But Brodzinski appears to catch the right arm of Zombo, and that contact is that causes Zombo to spin like that; not contact to the head.
What's interesting about the call is Motzko claiming that the officials watched the replay on the scoreboard while discussing the call. There's growing momentum in certain college hockey circles for referees to have the option to use video to immediately review potential five-minute major calls. There's well-placed concern about more video reviews slowing down the pace of the game, but at the same time, most potential five-minute major calls come with a minute of two of referee discussion anyway. It wouldn't take much more time to give them a couple quick looks at a replay of the play. Then again, perhaps this situation proves that even with the help of video, the officials still might not necessarily get it right.