As first reported by CTV’s Lee Jones today, the WHL has admitted the officiating crew in last night’s game 4 between the Swift Current Broncos and Calgary Hitmen missed the glove pass in overtime that led to Calgary’s winning goal. Brooks Macek gloved the puck into the Swift Current crease and Victor Rask then knocked it in to secure a controversial 1-0 victory for the Hitmen.
I talked to a league source this afternoon that confirmed they are aware a mistake was made and the goal should not have counted. However, once the referees missed the call on the ice the league had no further options to deal with the goal. Glove passes are not included among the items that can be looked at in a video review. The WHL says they follow the NHL guideline on review closely and this isn’t something they were able to review under the current rules.
The admission of error is likely cold comfort for the Broncos who don’t get a second crack at overtime and are still now in a huge 3-1 hole in the series. The only option Swift Current has now is to dig deep and win game 5.
I’m still impressed the WHL would admit the error. A lot of times you won’t see that in sports. We all know referees are human and capable of mistakes like anyone. It’s incredibly unfortunate this acknowledged mistake ended up having such an enormous impact on what has been as entertaining and close a series as any in the first round.
Game 5 is tomorrow in Calgary and I’m glad to hear the Broncos have been able to meet the numbers they need to bring a fan bus to the game. The city has rallied around the team and that kind of support can only help tomorrow night in a do or die game.