According to Andrew Miller of the Post & Courier, Stingrays defenseman Zach Tarkir accidentally got his skates tangled in the net as he flew by, pulling it off its moorings as play continued down the ice.
As you'll see in the following clip, Stingrays goalie Philipp Grubauer tried to get the on-ice officials' attention subtly and then dramatically, pushing the net off completely to draw a whistle.
But play was never halted. The Everblades' Mike Ratchuk shot the puck into the displaced net … and the goal counted.
(Goal is scored right around the 1:00 mark)
That made it 3-0 for the Blades, although the Hockey Gods made it right by allowing a four-goal Stingrays rally to give South Carolina the win.
"I moved the net because I wanted them to see it was off," Grubauer said. "They came down and scored, and I said something to (Marouelli), but he said the goal counted because we had knocked the net off."
The referee who allowed a goal to be scored into a net that was at a 40-degree angle off its moorings was Curtis Marouelli, the nephew of NHL referee Dan Marouelli. He blew the call, according to the ECHL.
After the game, Marouelli received a phone call from Joe Ernst, the ECHL's vice president of hockey operations, who expressed his disgust over this misinterpretation of the rules, to the Post and Courier:
According to the ECHL's rule book, a two-minute minor penalty can be enforced when the net is "deliberately displaced" by a defending player.
Ernst said that not only should the goal have been disallowed, but the Stingrays shouldn't have been hit with a penalty.
"It was the wrong call. They got it wrong. There should have been a whistle and a faceoff," Ernst said. "I've never seen a goal allowed when the net was sideways.
"At the very worst, they could have called a delay of game minor penalty, but you can see on the video that the net wasn't dislodged on purpose. The responsibility of putting the net back on its pegs is not the goaltender's."
Ernst did credit Marouelli for getting a call correct with 2.8 seconds left in the game as the net was dislodged; the Everblades were given a penalty shot to David Rutherford that Grubauer saved. Marouelli then waved off a Florida shot that he said crossed the line after the final horn.
As Marouelli said in an interview last year: "It's a thankless job a lot of the time," he said. "Just like being a cop, not everyone can go out there and walk the beat and keep everyone happy."
Well, no; but being somewhat familiar with the laws helps when enforcing them ...
- South Carolina Stingrays
- Florida Everblades