The second period of Game 2 in the AHL Calder Cup Final was like a parfait of officiating incompetence, each layer revealing a bigger blunder.
It began with a shot by J.T. Brown of the Syracuse Crunch, which appeared to fly wide of Grand Rapids Griffins goalie Petr Mrazek. Well, at least to everyone but the players on the Crunch bench, who pounded their sticks to get the referee’s attention because they saw the net ripple:
Turns out Brown had actually Shea Weber’d it.
No, he didn’t sign an elephantine offer sheet with the Flyers.
No, he didn’t take a Griffins player’s head and slam it into the glass like it was a WWE turnbuckle.
We’re talking Weber’d like in the 2010 Winter Olympics: Brown shot the puck through the net, as was confirmed by video review. The Crunch had suddenly tied the game late in the second period.
Oh, but here comes the next layer of incompetence: Fun With Official Game Clocks.
According to Peter J. Wallner of MLive.com, the clock read 59.5 seconds at the time of the stoppage of play. The time of the goal was 1:37, which is where the clock should have reset.
Instead, the clock was inexplicably set to 3:50 remaining in the second period, turning the second frame of Game 2 into a 22-minute period.
If you wanted to know how absurd this was: Brett Connolly scored for the Crunch at 16:12 of the second period, for their third goal. When Brown’s goal was announced with the incorrect time, the Crunch had actually scored their fourth goal (16:10) before their third goal (16:12).
That’s some “Looper” [expletive] right there.
It was almost a bigger disaster for the refs: Francis Pare gave the Griffins a lead they wouldn’t surrender at 18:49 of the second on the power play – 26 seconds after Brown’s goal.
That was dangerously close to having a goal scored in “extra time.”
Overall, the game featured poor officiating – blown calls and missed calls. George Malik best summed it up:
“I've been watching hockey since 1991, but I have never, ever witnessed a more ridiculous display of refereeing at its worst, at any level, than what I witnessed on the AHL Live's stream of the Syracuse Crunch's broadcast.”
And he even had a few extra minutes to witness it!