No, that is not a typo. I wrote the subject that way deliberately. And I am taking some literary license. Allow me to explain. First, I should tell you that I'm not the kind of fan that cries about poor officiating every time my team loses. But you know what? Sometimes officiating is poor and sometimes it affects the outcome of a game. This was very likely one of those times.....
Midway through the second period in a scoreless game a blatant hook on Binghamton was let go by referee Dan O'Rourke. It was an amazing pitchfork job by Steve Bancroft that sent a Sound Tiger (sorry I didn't get the number) tumbling head over heals. My eyes stayed on the infraction momentarily, stunned that there was no call, while the puck was carried up the boards and into the Tigers zone by Tony Tuzzolino who got all of a slapshot as he was crusing down the wing. I turned my head that direction just as he was letting the shot go and my first instinct was that it went in and ricocheted out immediately. I say that because my eyes clearly registered two changes of direction which means it could not have simply rung off the post and came out. O'Rouke, who was still out in the neutral zone and not in a position make a definative call, pointed at the net but clearly without conviction. He seemed to be in "I think it went in but I'm not sure" mode. Sound Tiger goalie Deiter Kochan protested and said that it never went in.
A meeting followed at the tunnel entrance to the Tigers locker-room between O'Rourke and the goal judge who had come over from his booth behind the net. They discussed things for what had to be 3 full minutes and I couldn't imagine what they could be discussing. He saw it go in or he saw it stay out. What is there to discuss? The light never went on.
After the lenghty discussion, a goal was awarded and, naturally, the Tigers were none too pleased. They were already frustrated by a number of very questionable penalty calls, particularly two calls on Mapletoft in the first period. The first was a collision behind the Sens net while two players were chasing a loose puck and trying to lean into each other for position as they approached the puck. Mapes "won" the collision and got position but it cost him an interference penalty. Terrible call. Shortly after he came out of the box he was sent back in for a slashing call while stick checking a Senator in the defensive zone. He whacked the stick as a pass arrived and got 2 minutes for slashing. Those were but two of the numerous questionable calls that went against the Tigers. But the most important was the goal that may or may not have ever gone in.
A guy who sits in the row behind me went to talk to his buddy that sits by the tunnel. The word from the tunnel is that the goal judge reported that the puck glanced off Kochan's shoulder and hit the post and rang out. That accounts for the two changes of direction that my eyes registered and convinced me that the puck never went in. But O'Rourke who seemed to "think" it went in overruled the goal judge and awarded the goal. So what was the three minute discussion about? I wish I could tell you.
The Tigers battled back and tied the game on a Martin Chabada goal with 6 minutes left off a play made by Mapletoft in the corner. He won a physical battle for the puck (while managing to avoid a penalty) and nudged it over to Chabada who tried to cut out front around the left post. He was checked but managed to direct the puck at the net where it fluttered and handcuffed Ray Emery who lost it between his arm and the post as it fell over the line.
It took a minute and 15 seconds for the Tigers to give the goal back. It was an innocent play where Josh Langfeld took a routine wrister from the top of the right face off circle that somehow evaded Kochan. It was a routine save that gets made 99%= of the time: just not this time. It was very frustrating to see them struggle and battle back so hard for so long, get the tying goal, only to lose it so quickly.
Anyway, about the action...... I though the Tigers played a much more effective game than Saturday vs. the Phantoms. They were fast, aggressive, carried much of the play and worked well as a team for the full 60 minutes. But thanks to what may very well have been a gift from the ref and soft goal from Kochan they ended up with nothing to show for it. Martin Kariya really looks like a player. But like so many others on this team, he's just too small. The team looks like a solid group but is missing finishers, at least so far.
But they are going to play a lot of teams that aren't as sound defensively as the Sens were tonight and a lot of goalies that are not as good as Emery. For now, they are 0-2 at home, looking for scoring.
One last item: I'm sick and tired of losing to the Senators. In both leagues!
This was in the Ct.Post
<< Replay isn't available to AHL officials during games, though, so after discussing the play with his linesman and the goal judge
who maintained his no-goal call O'Rourke let the goal stand. >>>
Why have a goal judge if his decision does not matter? In the AHL a goal judge should have the control that they used to have in the NHL before video review which many times was the final word and many times resulted in players going at it with the goal judges.
As for the Tigers they do not seem to be a team has a lot of offense yet, going by preseason and the early games but there are a lot of new players up front and it will take some time. But as you wrote they were skating so no complaints with the effort.
Of course, Jason Spezza is no longer in Binghampton.
I think it's going to take some time for Cronin. He is not only a rookie coach, but in his time with the Islanders he has worked for two coaches (Goring/Laviolette) that did not play a trap and now he has to learn that system as well as take over from a coach (Stirling) that did a very good job in Bgpt. The asst coach is the same so he has that to rely on.