The Utah Grizzlies admittedly got some pretty good bounces again Tuesday night. Though a lot were taken by the puck, the most fortunate and controversial bounce happened to the actual goal.
With 6:19 left in Game 2 of the Turner Cup Finals, Orlando defenseman Bob Joyce had seemingly given the Solar Bears a two-goal cushion by beating Utah goalie Tommy Salo from point-blank range.Problem is, Joyce had bumped into the goalpost right before taking his shot and so when he tapped the puck by Salo, the back of the goal had already bounced off of the ice. To make things more confusing, the puck actually sailed underneath the net and caromed off of the boards right to Orlando's Mike Hartman who then beat Salo from close range.
The red light was turned on, referee Greg Kimmerly signaled the goal and the scoreboard read: Orlando 4, Utah 2.
But, after discussing matters with the two linesman, Kimmerly decided to disallow the goal because the net was out of place when the puck crossed the red line.
It ended up coming back to haunt the Solar Bears.
Utah's Scott Arniel deflected a Chris Taylor slapshot for a goal to tie the game with 32 seconds left, and then the Grizzlies went on to win 4-3 on a Yan Kaminsky goal in sudden-death overtime.
Expectedly and perhaps understandably, the Solar Bears heavily disputed the call.
"We think it's a goal. We certainly think it's a goal," said Orlando general manager Don Waddell after watching the replay several times.
"The referee's 10 feet away and he calls it a goal. Then he refers to his two linemen who were standing 90 feet away," continued Waddell. "He's got to make the call there; he's 10 feet away. He can't rely on somebody that's 90 feet away - that guy on the blueline can't tell when the puck crosses the line or anything. I'd like to see the referee take charge."
Utah coach Butch Goring was quick to mention a similar situation in Game 1 when Kaminsky had a goal taken away because the goal had moved out of place. He said on both occasions he agreed with with the refs decision. And, he had some pretty good support, too.
Wally Harris, the NHL supervisor of officials, was in attendance for both games. He said that the correct call had been made.
"The three officials conferred and determined correctly that the net was up in the air when the first shot was taken," he said after watching a video replay after Game 2. "The play was dead at that moment."