Through the years, we’ve heard many theories about goaltending in hockey. Like if using a sumo wrestler between the pipes would be effective, for example. (Spoiler: It isn’t.)
On Sunday, Tenafly/Cresskill (NJ) coach Andy Escala decided to test another long-mulled theory: What would happen if his team played with four skaters and two goaltenders?
The answer: They would lose 10-0 to St. Joseph's High School of Montvale, and it would be totally illegal anyway.
Escala’s team had one goalie positioned in the net, and another standing right in front of him. Which seems like a scenario in which one goalie is playing at the top of the crease, giving the shooters plenty to aim for, while also screening his teammate behind him. Which is why teams don't play with two goalies. Also because it's totally illegal.
So why try to play with two goalies? Necessity is the mother of invention, and Escala thought it was necessary to play with two netminders simultaneously – not only to give his team a prayer of competing against the No. 17-ranked team in New Jersey, but to protest that his team had to play the game altogether.
According to Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com, Escala tried to have his team opt out of the game, which is allowed in the Big North conference if both teams mutually agree. His team is rebuilding, with just two seniors, while St. Joseph’s is a powerhouse. But his opponents insisted on playing the game, despite both clubs knowing the likely outcome.
Then inspiration struck for Escala: Play two goalies. From NJ.com:
"I recalled reading it in a book about (a team that did it) in Rhode Island years ago and was like, 'Let me try this,'" Escala said. "I did some research and was like, 'I know what the answer's going to be, but I'm still going to try this and let's see what the officials say.'"
"At first, it started as, you know what, this may be our only way to actually try to win this game," Escala added. "But then it (became) more of a statement, saying, 'Why does St. Joe's want to play a public school that's down, working their way back up? It doesn't really benefit either team.'"
Alas, it’s in the rulebook that teams can only use one goaltender at a time.
— Ryan McKenna (@rwmckenna) December 21, 2015
So not only did Tenafly have to go back to one netminder, but they were given a delay of game penalty for their efforts.
In the end, the two goalie experiment was short-lived and completely illegal. Which is a shame, because we were really looking forward to a team playing with six goalies, something we haven't seen in New Jersey since the mid-1990s.
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
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