Mikko Stig/AFP/Getty Images

The Finns were already celebrating before they were told to pick up their gear and keep playing. 

By Dan Gartland
April 15, 2019

The dangers of instant replay

The puck hit the back of the net with eight minutes left in overtime and the Finnish women’s hockey team tossed its helmets and gloves on the ice to celebrate its first-ever world championship, dogpiling along the boards in the biggest celebration of their lives.

And then the rejoicing came to a sudden halt when they learned the goal was under review. The officials were checking to see if captain Jenni Hiirikoski had interfered with American goalie Alex Rigsby before Petra Nieminen’s apparent game-winner. The review determined that Rigsby was interfered with, the goal didn’t count and the game would keep going. Finland went on to lose in a shootout.

The decision to overturn the goal was highly controversial. While Hiirikoski did make contact with Rigsby, it appeared Rigsby had exited the goal crease, which would negate the possibility of interference. The officials on the ice also wanted to call Rigsby for tripping, but that penalty was nullified by the replay crew.

“The referees on the ice had a different view on the situation than the video-goal judge,” Finnish hockey federation CEO Matti Nurminen told The Canadian Press.

“Referees on the ice were giving a penalty to the goalie for tripping and they were allowing the goal.

“But when it goes to video review, the power and authority goes the video-goal judges. They saw it as goalie interference and made that decision.

“IIHF president Rene Fasel said it was a judgement call. If you show it to 100 hockey persons, some per cent say it was a goal and some say it wasn’t.”

“These are tough decision for the video goal judges. We have to respect their call.”

It’s just another example of how replay reviews can have unintended consequences. Just like a baseball umpire would never call a runner out if their foot lifts a fraction of an inch off the bag for a fraction of a second, no referee would have called that goaltender interference with their naked eye. There’s also no way the replay crew saw anything resembling indisputable evidence of interference on the play.

Finland has every right to be irate over the decision, but the players can still be proud of having made some very impressive history. It’s the first time in the history of the women’s world championships that the final did not feature the USA against Canada, which means Finland was the first country outside of those two to win a silver medal. A gold would have been better, but still.

Tiger really did it

The final round of The Masters showed just how gripping a golf tournament can be when Tiger Woods is in the running. Sunday’s action featured no fewer than a half-dozen guys making serious runs at the green jacket, but let’s not pretend like Tiger wasn’t the only person anybody cared about. The fact that the tournament was so competitive only makes his comeback from being nearly crippled all the more impressive. And the scene on the 18th green was an instant classic. 

Logan Couture is lucky to still be in one piece

Sharks forward Logan Couture nearly paid the ultimate price to block a shot in San Jose’s Game 2 against the Golden Knights this weekend. 

After the game, Couture said he was pretty much sure he’d be leaving the arena without his anatomy fully intact. 

To make matters worse, San Jose ended up losing the game despite scoring three goals in three minutes to erase a 3–0 deficit. 

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Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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