It was a strange ending to Finland’s game against Russia in the 2021 Channel One Cup, with the overtime game-winner scored without the puck actually going in.
The teams were tied 4-4 with less than a minute remaining in overtime. Team Russia decided to go for it, pulling their goaltender to give them a man advantage.
Finland was able to force the puck out of the zone, sending Sakari Maninen in on a breakaway. The Russian defender was able to chase him down, diving to knock the puck away and take down the Finnish forward.
With a penalty on a breakaway facing an empty net, the game-winning goal was awarded — despite the puck never having crossed the line.
From IIHF Rule 25:
A goal will be awarded to the attacking Team when the opposing Team has taken their Goalkeeper off the ice and an attacking Player has “possession and control of the puck” (or “would have gained possession and control”) in the Neutral or Attacking Zone, without a defending Player between themself and the opposing goal, and they are “prevented from scoring” as a result of an infraction committed by the defending Team.
An interesting wrinkle is that, since the defender swept the puck away first, this would not have been a penalty shot per 57.6:
If, in the opinion of the Referee, a Player makes contact with the puck first and subsequently trips the opponent in so doing, no “Penalty Shot” will be awarded, but a Minor Penalty for “tripping” shall be assessed.
Rule 57.7, though, confirms that a goal is to be awarded since the goalie has been pulled.
If, when the opposing Goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, a Player in “control of the puck” (or who could have “obtained possession and control of the puck”) in the neutral or Attacking Zone is tripped or otherwise fouled with no opposition between them and the opposing goal, thus preventing a “reasonable scoring opportunity”, the Referee shall immediately stop play and Award a Goal to the Attacking Team.
Finland won the Channel One Cup for the first time since 2009.
The Channel One Cup, based in Russia, is part of the annual Euro Hockey Tour, in which the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, and Sweden meet for mini tournaments in each country. Sweden already claimed this year’s Karjala Cup, held in Finland. Up next, the tour moves on to the Czech Republic for the Carlson Games in April and Sweden’s Beijer Hockey Games in May.