The SPHL has long needed something that other leagues have had, something fans love, or hate. The review system.
I wrote this on Friday, February 1st at 11 pm because of one game. Huntsville vs Quad City, final score 5-4 with Huntsville getting the game-winning in OT, at the 4:59 mark, one second left. At least according to the box score.
That’s the leagues note for how the game ended. In reality, it ended in anger, surprise, and confusion. In the aftermath of that ending, tweets were sent, comments were made, and then, I writing this.
To began, we also have to start with the two disallowed Huntsville goals during regulation, one from Tyler Piacentini, and one from Christian Powers. The Powers goal has actual evidence with a net swoosh for when it goes in, and they still disallowed it. The crowd was angry, and when the game was tied, the section that did the goalie chants instead used the officials name instead.
We are now back at the end of OT, the goal has just been scored, the time keeper just confirmed it was good, and now the tweets are being sent out.
— Quad City Storm (@QuadCityStorm) February 2, 2019
Then the Storm Facebook page posted this image, clearly showing the puck was not in the net while the clock was at all zeros, while the arena clock (the actual clock that’s used) said 0.1 remained.
But now we have an issue, and the SPHL needs to realize snap judgements don’t work, and another, why does SPHL Live have a faster clock? (Editor’s Note: This is often the case on HockeyTV as well, it’s not like broadcasts on ESPN or NBCSN where they can connect their clock up to the arena clock, it’s usually an intern or whoever is monitoring the broadcast who stops and starts the clock graphics in the SPHL or HockeyTV streams, thus why the clocks don’t always exactly match. I’ve seen PLENTY of games on HockeyTV where the on-screen clock is minutes off from the in-arena clock.)
The league needs to utilize the offseason and actually look into finding a solution to this so more games and incidents like this don’t happen. There was already the Havoc-Bulls, “did it cross the goal line?” in the FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON. In a season that was supposed to be one of finally great officiating, it has actually turned into a joke.
My dream SPHL review system would be like the NHLs, but instead of using individual tablets, (note, this helps make arenas better), the refs use the Jumbotrons, so that everyone is looking at the footage. Of course you could say, “why not use a tablet,” while, this is the SPHL, not the NHL, the budget isn’t there.
However, the SPHL needs to do it, a review system needs to be in place to help officials and to give clarity to the fans and players on what happened. There are far too many questionable goals, and it should have been in place at least last season.