The Denver Pioneers challenged to get their game-winning goal back after the own-goal from ASU was initially disallowed for being played with a high stick.

The puck, shot by Carter King, deflected past Sun Devils goaltender T.J. Semptimphelter with 1:58 remaining in the third period to give the Pioneers a 3-2 lead.

The goal was immediately waved off.

Rule 83.6 requires that “an apparent goal shall not be allowed by the referee … if an attacking player strikes the puck with a stick when the puck is above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame (4 feet). Where the puck contacts the stick is the determining factor in this rule.

It nearly was played with a high stick. Denver’s Jack Devine swung at it with a stick that was clearly above the crossbar.  Arizona State got to it first, with defenseman Tim Lovell batting it into his own net.

Denver challenged the call, arguing that the goal went in off the defender’s glove and not via high stick.

It’s interesting to note that the NCAA allows far more to be challenged than the National Hockey League. This type of play would not be eligible for a coach’s challenge in the NHL.

Challenges are covered under NCAA Rule 93 (excerpt):

93.4 Video Replay Criteria – The following criteria are subject to the use of video replay. Items 1-13 may be reviewed through either referee discretion or by a coach’s challenge. … The full criteria is below:

1. A puck crossing the goal line.

2. A puck entering the net before the goal frame is dislodged. (see Rule 83.5.)

3. A puck entering the net before or after expiration of time at the end of a period, a whistle, or referee’s determination that play has stopped.

4. A puck directed into the net by a hand or a distinct kicking motion.

5. A puck deflected into the net by an official.

6. To correctly identify individuals who participated in a fight or committed an infraction.

7. To establish the correct time on the clock, or to determine the correct location of a faceoff.

8. To determine if an attacking player prevented the goalkeeper from defending the goal in accordance with Rule 73.

9. To determine if a goal was scored as the direct result of a hand pass or high stick by an attacking player to a teammate or deflection off of the goalkeeper.

10. To determine if a goal was scored before a penalty infraction occurred.

11. To allow the on-ice officials to review infractions that may result in the ejection of a student-athlete.

12. To determine if a goal was scored, as a direct result of the puck deflecting off of the protective netting above the glass, by the first team to gain possession of the deflected puck.

13. A puck directed or deflected into the net by a high stick. (See 83.6.)

You read that right. Coaches can challenge for any of the above, along with offside and a missed too-many-men penalty where the offending team gained an advantage.

Travis Culhane, Denver’s Director of Hockey Operations, challenged the no-goal call and won, getting the potential game-winner up on the board.  Arizona State immediately issued a challenge of their own, which was unsuccessful in reversing the just-overturned call — not surprising, given that the play had just been reviewed for that very reason.

“There were a lot of bodies in front. I threw it on net, and I saw a puck go in so I got happy,” King said. “But I got a little less confident when they challenged it for a second time because you don’t really know. It was good to get a good bounce. I feel like we deserved that.”


Denver won the game 3-2. Referees were Brian Hankes and Sterling Egan; Linesman were John Grandt and Erik Contino.