Both their goalies were sick. A penalty shot goal kept them in the game. They rallied to tie the game midway through the third period. After all that, the Minnesota Wild had a shot at victory.
Then came the penalty call. Minnesota’s Erik Haula was sent off for hooking by referee Dan O’Rourke.
It was Chicago’s second straight power play since the Wild tied things up at three. This time, though, the Blackhawks converted on the power play, scoring the eventual game-winning goal.
Wild head coach Mike Yeo voiced his displeasure with the call on the ice and after the game. “That time in a hockey game in a tie game, a one-handed hook on a dead play, pretty frustrating,” he said.
Yeo was referring to the fact that the Hawks were being whistled for an offside just as the hook was called.
Erik Haula, who watched the Hawks pull ahead while serving time in the box, also disagreed with the call. “Four minutes left and [referee Dan O’Rourke] decides to decide a good hockey game with a weak penalty like that. I’m definitely not happy about it,” said Haula. “To come out and put it out on the line and overall play a great hockey game and it comes down to that, it’s frustrating.”
Goaltender Niklas Backstrom was a bit more pragmatic in his response. “You just have to find a way to be better so it’s not going to be about one call or one bounce,” Backstrom said.
What it comes down to for the Wild is:
Yeah the Haula hooking call was a bit soft, but Kane draws those penalties all the time. Shut up and kill off the penalty. #MINvsCHI
— Drew Spevak (@DrewSpevak) December 17, 2014
Referees for the game were Dan O’Rourke and Dan O’Halloran. Linesmen were Pierre Racicot and Mark Shewchyk.