Hockey: Confusing end to some exciting games in Q

Women's hockey in the Quebec conference operates in two languages, French and English — now it apparently has two sets of rules.

We'll file this under the heading of it's a funny old world. To err is human. The QUHL (as we're calling it now) has had three games go to a shootout, each involving Concordia. None has used the league's 'after 60' format — a five-minute 4-on-4 overtime and if necessary, a five-round shootout.

In both of Concordia's shootout losses last weekend at Ottawa (2-1 on Sunday) and Carleton (same score on Saturday), the officials used Ontario University Athletics' three-round shootout rule. One can only imagine the confusion when the game was called Sunday after the third Stingers shooter, Alyssa Sherrard, was stopped (Ottawa had scored in the second round).

It would have been explained to each team bench when it gave the officials their shooting order. However, the officials had apparently forgotten the rule had been explained to them prior to the game, by the coaches. However, it goes against the form for a coach to correct an official during a game.

It was a similar deal in the Concordia-Carleton game. I feel bad since, full disclosure, I was pinch-hitting as a colour commentator alongside John Bower on Streaming Sports Network Canada. With no web access in between leaving Frank Clair Stadium for the Ice House, prep work was limited. So as the shootout loomed, in a bit of a role reversal, the colour commentator played the ingenue and asked the play-by-play person to explain the rule. John explained it perfectly.

Imagine the apoplexy from each of us moments later. Carleton's Melanie McKnight began the third round by executing her specialty shootout shot, going five-hole on Con U's Audrey Doyon-Lessard to put the Ravens ahead. The Ravens' Victoria Powers then kicked out the ensuing Stingers shot and contrary to our expectations, Carleton's team poured on the ice to congratulate the rookie netminder. It stings when correct information is rendered incorrect.

It is just confusing, that's all. These things can happen when a rule has been changed and when a league crosses from one regional bailiwick (Quebec to Ontario).

It turns out that a week prior, Concordia and Montreal did have a five-round shootout which ironically ended in three since the Stingers converted all three and Doyon-Lessard stoned a trio of Carabins. However, the overtime was 5-on-5. No one knows why.

Point being, this comes down to whether you believe rules in a team sport in CIS should be standardized for all conferences. I don't mind breaking away from a monoculture; it is neat the Atlantic conference has 10-minute sudden-victory OT in the regular season when everyone else plays five.

Women's hockey probably should try to make the IIHF format a rule; the men should probably use the NHL's.

In the meantime, one league, one set of rules, is that so hard? The upshot is it did not take the shine off two well-fought games and this won't happen again. Personally, there was no feeling of being shortchanged. Concordia could have had eight, 10, 12 shots and might not have beaten Powers.
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1 comment:

  1. Seriously though... I remember only FIVE years ago that women's hockey in the Q didn't even HAVE overtime or shootouts... Can you imagine?

    Anyways, this is entirely embarrassing. The QSSF, or sorry, RSEQ now needs to TELL officials how things work.

    Full disclosure: I have worked as a PA announcer in the past, and have had referees come up to me SEVERAL times to ask what the rules were. Luckily, I covered the sport for a few years so knew the answer. Other announcers may not be so lucky.

    This is a league issue. It makes no sense, and it's hard to take the league seriously when this happens. I can imagine if the coaches even knew what the shootout would be before the players stormed the ice.