OHL defenseman Ty Nelson fired a shot that didn’t go in – but it did break the puck.
The North Bay Battalion blueliner’s blast hit the crossbar, splitting the puck in two. Half the puck went in, the other half deflected into the corner, nearly hitting referee Mike Marley.
Unfortunately for Nelson, the goal didn’t count. The puck needs to completely cross the goal line. Half doesn’t count.
The officials confirmed the call on the play. No goal.
“When [Battalion Assistant Coach] Bill Houlder sees something new for the first time, you know it doesn’t happen often,” said Battalion head coach Ryan Oulahen. “The whole puck needs to go in net and it’s pretty tough when the puck breaks in half for it to all go in the net.”
While it’s quite rare, pucks have broken in half in the NHL as well.
It happened during a 2018 Stanley Cup Playoff game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. The puck split in half after hitting Kris Letang’s skate, drawing a whistle.
Once the puck is broken, it’s unplayable – which means a whistle to stop play.
While there’s no specific rule addressing a broken puck, by definition, a broken puck no longer meets the league requirements for a puck. From Rule 13:
The puck shall be made of vulcanized rubber, or other approved material, one inch (1”) thick and three inches (3”) in diameter and shall weigh between five and one-half ounces (51/2” oz.) and six ounces (6 oz.).
Certainly, a fractional puck wouldn’t qualify.
The puck would need to remain intact when it crossed the goal line for a goal to count.
Now that would be a fun video review…