Saturday, February 18, 2006

AMHL Thursday: Naked Zebra

“I can’t yell at a naked man,” Aaron Sherman says after returning to the Bruins' locker room from the referee’s suite off Rink Two.

Dave Losier—bad back and all—scored the game-winning goal with less than five seconds to play in regulation to give his Capitals a 4–3 win and sole possession of first place. The former Colby College White Mule bucked out of his own zone with the puck, rushed over the red line, crossed the Bruins’ blue line, and approached Bruin defenseman Mike Kennedy. “K” stood his ground, but Losier slipped around him, corralled the puck, and fired a shot over goalie Anthony Bonfiglio’s right-handed waffle.

As much as that goal deflated us, the goal Losier was credited with in the second period irked us, not so much because the lone on-ice official (who shall remain nameless) signaled a goal but because AMHL commissioner Mitch Weiss and his off-ice video review team were sound asleep at AMHL Worldwide Headquarters in Carlisle, MA. Had league management been watching the replay (as hundreds, if not thousands did on ESPN9), they would’ve witnessed Losier’s shot careen off the post to Bonfiglio’s left and flit toward the opposite corner—an angle any seventh-grade geometry student could tell you was impossible for a goal to have been scored.

The naked truth: next Thursday against the last-place Avalanche, we can’t put ourselves in the position of letting an official—on or off the ice—decide the game. We must be accountable in all three zones and finish our scoring chances if we want to avoid renting space in the division cellar. And besides, Zebras are people too.