2005 Memorial Cup opener: London 4 Rimouski 3 (OT)
Yesterday evening was the debut of the 2005 Memorial Cup, the two best Canadian teams of 2005 collided in the tournament opener. Rimouski took advantage of their opportunities in 1st period and scored 3 unanswered goals to pull themselves ahead 3-1. Then, london took control of the whole game, dominating in every aspect of the game, then tying the score in the 3rd period. And win it in overtime. The game itself was interesting but only one detail was missing... A COMPETENT REFEREE!!!!!
I really don`t know why referees in hockey never apply the rules when a game is on the line. A London player intentionnally crashed into the Rimouski goaltender when the score was tied 3-3 in the 3rd period. (Yes, the referee finally gave a penalty for running into the goalie) but the damage had been done...a scrap developped and players started fighting.
Of course this pleased all those London fans that were attending the game. Nobody want to see a clean hockey game anymore! OUR team gotta win at all cost! If we have to hook down/high stick/run down goalies JUST DO IT! I even saw a man in the arena screaming right at Rimouski players: ``Are you crying now?`` ... very mature conduct, but there`s no crying in hockey.
Only in yesterday`s game,both teams combined at least 20 hooking/holding uncalled,at least 3 diving penalties uncalled and 1 high sticking infraction at the very end of the 2nd period that remained uncalled. And I will spare talking about the many hookings/holding no-calls I saw in the 3rd period and overtime.
All this leads to this tought: Does a competent ice hockey referee exist?
Either you watch a NHL game, a little league game, or even last month World Cup (with very awful refs), refereeing was extremely poor those last 10 years. No matter why players tend to do their own justice,hook down, they know that the referees will not call obvious penalties when in a close 3rd period game. The only losers in all of this are us the hockey fans that buys the tickets. We see the sport we love refereed by jerks, the game quality is low, best players are hooked down constantly. But London fans seemed happy yesterday after the game. So it MUST`ve been a great game!
In fact it wasn`t. It was a game. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing really exciting even if we had the two best Canadian junior teams colliding. But the ref had another game in mind.
Ice hockey is sick and needs quality referees!