Two highly controversial moments occurred during overtime in Game 3 of the Western Conference series between Atlant and SKA on Saturday. The incidents in question were an apparent winning goal and the eventual winning goal.
The KHL Refereeing Department, having studied both episodes, has released its official evaluation of events.
- In the first minute of added time, a long range shot from SKA defender Dmitry Kalinin was deflected downwards into the net by SKA forward Petr Prucha. The referee immediately signaled high-sticking. From the TV replays shown at the time it was not possible to discern the exact height of Petr Prucha’s stick when it made contact with the puck, but footage from the camera sited behind the goal clearly shows that the point of contact was above the level of the crossbar, and therefore the referee was correct in disallowing the goal.
- In the 6th minute of overtime, with Atlant on the attack, forward Konstantin Rudenko arrived in front of goal in an attempt to get his stick to a shot from defender Maxim Semyonov, and in the process he brushed against SKA goaltender Jakub Stepanek, who fell as a result of this seemingly innocuous contact. Play was not halted, and with the very next shot Atlant defenseman Janne Niskala struck the winning goal. The decision about whether or not to whistle after Stepanek’s fall rested entirely with the referee. As the referee did not detect any intent in Rudenko’s actions other than to play the puck, the decision to allow play to continue was correct.