SOCHI, Russia - A key moment in the U.S. Men's Olympic Team shootout victory over Russia came down to a decision made away from the playing surface.
With the game tied 2-2 with a little more than four minutes left in the third period, Russia appeared to score when Fedor Tyutin ripped a shot through traffic that sailed past U.S. goaltender Jonathan Quick. The Bolshoy Ice Dome erupted in cheers, but officials convened and sent the play up for review.
What was reviewed was the placement of the net. Quick had, moments before, slid to his left to make a save and made contact with the post, dislodging it from its moorings, although not enough to push the net away completely.
Play was not stopped and the puck went in. The net was, however, off and IIHF Rule 471A, Section 5, states: "If the goal net has been displaced from its normal position, or the frame of the goal net is not completely flat on the ice."
Simply put, a goal cannot be scored if the goal is not in it's normal position when the puck crosses the line. In this case, it was off the peg and about an inch or two out of position for about ten seconds.
The review overturned the goal and the game continued until the deciding shootout.
The U.S. Women's Olympic Team learned Saturday afternoon that it will face Sweden in Monday's semifinals.
Sweden upset rival Finland, 4-2, who was considered a medal favorite after upsetting the U.S. at the Four Nations Cup in November.
The U.S. practices again on Sunday. Check back tomorrow for a full game preview of Monday's matchup.
With one group game remaining in the men's tournament, the scenarios for the U.S. break down as follows.
A victory of any type over Slovenia, or a loss by Russia, locks up Group A for Team USA and ensures a bye to the quarterfinals. A regulation loss coupled with a regulation win by Russia would put the U.S. in the qualification round.
The teams are sorted first by points, and since the Russians earned a point for the shootout loss, they can still leapfrong over the U.S. if they win in regulation and the Americans lose to Slovenia.
"It's the round robin so we have to win tomorrow and take care of business," said Paul Stastny. "The best thing is to have a back-to-back games so we can forget about (the win against Russia) and get back to work."
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Tag(s): 2014 - Sochi, Russia