Team Canada nearly came back from a five-goal deficit in Tuesday’s Spengler Cup Tournament game against defending champions Geneve-Servette. Their comeback hopes – and any possibility of avoiding elimination – were foiled by a late delay of game penalty. Head coach Guy Boucher was happy to voice his displeasure after what ended up as a 6-5 loss for the Canadians.
Boucher confronted the officials after the game. His comments were directed at Eichmann, who responds as Boucher heads off. Linesman Roman Kaderli remains stoic and stone-faced as a fuming, screaming Boucher is venting just inches away.
If you couldn’t make it out, Boucher yells to Eichmann: “You’re an idiot! You’re an idiot! You’re the star here! People came here to watch hockey, not you!”
Trailing by one late in the game, Canada had already pulled goaltender Nolan Schaefer for an extra skater. The team was preparing for an offensive zone draw with eight skaters on the ice. As they’d gone over their allotted five seconds to complete the change, coach Boucher was given a warning by the officials. One skater left immediately. The Canadians still had seven out there when referee Stefan Eichmann decided he’d waited long enough.
He hit Team Canada with a delay of game penalty, effectively ending their tournament.
IIHF Rule 92.i.8 lays out the process that Eichmann called to the letter:
When a team attempts to make a player change after its allotted time, the referee will send the player(s) back to the bench and issue a warning to the coach. Any subsequent infraction of this procedure will result a bench-minor penalty for delay of game
This was referee Stefan Eichmann’s first Spengler Cup tournament as referee. He’s worked three as a linesman. He was joined on ice by referee Danny Kurmann and linesmen Roman Kaderli and Franco Espinoza.
Kurmann is the most tenured official at the Spengler Cup. He’s worked three Olympic tournaments – Salt Lake in 2002, Turin in 2006, and Vancouver in 2010, eight World Championships, five World Juniors, and six Spengler Cup Tournaments.
All four officials for the game were Swiss and currently work in the Swiss League. Canada’s opponent for the match, Geneve-Servette, also comes from the Swiss League.