SiouxSports.com has just learned that the NCAA director of officials for the 2013 Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship has overturned the disallowed goal from the first period of Saturday’s Yale/North Dakota regional final in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The goal review, which took nearly nine minutes during the game, wasn’t long enough, according to Kristin Fasbender, NCAA associate director of championships and alliances and operations manager for the tournament.
Speaking on behalf of the NCAA officials, Fasbender reported that a three-person “review team” has been sequestered since late Saturday evening, and after nearly 36 hours, they have a verdict.
“They went back-and-forth on the thing,” she said, “because they wanted it to be unanimous. This is so important. The guys on the ice did the best they could, but they didn’t want the game to drag on, so they kind of mailed it in at the end. Late this morning, I got the call from the review team that it was a goal.”
The next question was what to do with that information? Should they keep it a secret? Make the final score “Yale 4, North Dakota 2” and move on?
“We knew that we had to replay the game. That early in the game (2:31 into the first period), that can change everything,” Fasbender continued. “So we asked North Dakota if they could host the game since they were the higher seed and we knew we could sell 11,000 tickets in four days. I called (Dave) Hakstol as soon as I found out to make sure none of his seniors played in an NHL game before this weekend.”
The game will be played this Friday, April 5th at 7:37 p.m., the customary start time for Friday home games at UND. When the puck is dropped at center ice, the scoreboard will read UND 1, Yale 0 with 17:29 to play in the first period. The teams will be required to dress the identical lineup as the first time around, although either coach will be allowed to change his starters and line combinations. It is unclear whether North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol will tab freshman Zane Gothberg or junior Clarke Saunders in net.
The winner of Friday’s replay will join St. Cloud State, Quinnipiac, and Massachusettes-Lowell in the Frozen Four, held in Pittsburgh, PA on April 11th and 13th.
A press conference detailing ticketing procedures is scheduled to air at 4:01 p.m. Central on ESPNU.