Japan’s women’s hockey team lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Russia. The game could’ve been even closer. It should’ve been.
The Japanese squad appeared to tie the game late in the first, when a shot rolled under Russian netminder Anna Prugova and into the net. There was no goal signaled on the ice. Referee Nicole Hertrich quickly dropped the puck for the faceoff, eliminating any chance of video review.
(Before anyone claims Russian conspiracy, the referee was German. The linesmen were Denise Caughey of Canada and American Alicia Hanrahan.)
Controversy in Russia v. Japan women's hockey!! (Yes, I'm watching…)
— Brian Stensaas (@stensation) February 11, 2014
Controversy in the call, sure, but this looks pretty clear-cut. That is undoubtedly a puck over the line.
The IIHF does use replay. Here’s the official procedure:
When the Video Goal Judge requests a review, the Video Goal Judge will contact the Official Scorekeeper’s bench using the telephone system during the first stoppage of play after the incident has occurred in order to inform the Referee that the play is under video review.
Of course, the fast faceoff negated that possibility. The referee didn’t even check in with the scorekeeper before resuming play.
Japan did manage to tie the game at one before ultimately falling 2-1 to the Russians. Had their first period tally counted, though, it could’ve been a whole different game.
(Credit to /r/hockey and users jamishthegreat and jcoopr86 for the images, and ABirdofParadise for the GIF. Upvotes all around.)