Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you’re defending an empty net, there’s very little stopping your opponent from scoring an easy goal. Sometimes, you try to stop them any way you can.
Just don’t throw your stick.
Referee Ivan Fateyev awarded a goal to Barys Astana’s Nikita Mikhailis after Severstal’s Maxim Mineyev threw his stick to try to prevent an empty-net goal.
Come on, you can’t do that ? pic.twitter.com/RvyI6DnK70
— KHL (@khl_eng) December 18, 2018
The KHL rulebook clearly calls out this situation in rules 569 and 570:
570 – THROWING A STICK OR ANY OBJECT ON A BREAKAWAY SITUATION
a) When a player in control of the puck outside his own defending zone, and having no opponent to pass to other team-mate but the goalkeeper, and any member of the opposing team including team officials, throw or shoot a stick or any part of it or any object or who directs (with any part of his body) a stick or part of it or any object in the direction of the puck or puck carrier, the Referee shall award to the non-offending team a Penalty shot.
In this case the determining factor shall be the position of the puck. The puck should cross the blue line and be completely outside the defending zone so that the Referee would have the right to award to the non-offending team a Penalty shot or a Goal.
b) When the actions described in section a) of this rule are committed against a player in control of the puck outside his own defending zone when the goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, the Referee shall award to the non-offending team a Goal
The same rule applies in the NHL, where it’s addressed by Rule 53.7::
If, when the opposing goalkeeper has been removed, a member of the defending team, including the Coach or any non-playing person, throws or shoots any part of a stick or any other object or piece of equipment at the puck or puck carrier in the neutral or his own defending zone, thereby preventing the puck carrier from having a clear shot on an “open net”, a goal shall be awarded to the attacking side.
It’s a tough goal to give up, but even throwing your stick won’t prevent the inevitable. That’s an automatic goal.
Better to take your chances that the guy whiffs on the empty net…