HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The latest road trip for the Quad City Storm didn’t go as they planned. After a four-game road trip that saw the team leave Knoxville last weekend without a point, the Storm traveled south to face the defending league champion, Huntsville Havoc.
With only nine weeks left in the regular season, securing the last playoff spot is essential for the newest team. After the weekend series against the Havoc, only three points separate Pensacola in 8th place and the Storm out of contention.
Friday’s game in Huntsville had several issues, least of which was the shots on goal count for both teams. By the time the second period ended, Huntsville led shots on goal 41-24 but was down 3-2 on the scoresheet. There were also some calls that fans from both teams disagreed with, which was not unusual. The debate on goals, or no goals, was unusual. In the second period, there was some controversy about whether a goal by Huntsville should be waved off or not due to offsides. The controversy didn’t reach the officials, however, as they had no issue calling the goal. In the third period, what appeared to be a good goal by the Havoc was waved off. The Storm also suffered from a goal being waved off, but the true controversy came in overtime.
As I’m sure most people know, Huntsville won in overtime; but was overtime over? There have been lots of pictures and videos floating around since Friday to try to prove or disprove that the game was over before the puck found its way behind Peter Di Salvo. After watching the replay over (and over and over and over) again, the overlay clock has hit zero long before the puck found the back of the net. Some say the horn sounded before the puck crossed the line, while the official ruling was that there was a fraction of a second remaining on the clock at the arena. The overlay clock has been known to not be accurate compared to the arena clock, so it’s possible the arena clock did still have time remaining before the clock ran to zeros. But I’m not of that mind.
The puck isn’t near the net when the clock appears to expire. I’ve seen multiple angles from different videos or pictures, and it still looks like the clock ran out before the goal was scored. Yes, there was definitely a goal, but it was after the buzzer.
I’m sure I’m beating a skeletal horse, but the league needs video replay for goals. The outcome of the game could have been much different if there was video review, maybe not even requiring overtime, because of the goals that were waved off.
Regardless of how the game ended, the Storm had the opportunity to come out on Saturday and grab two points with the energy from the loss. But that didn’t happen. Saturday saw the Storm unable to solve Max Milosek. One night after allowing Di Salvo to face 59 shots in 65 minutes, the Storm managed to only allow 35 shots between Ryan Mulder and Di Salvo. Mulder faced 22 shots and allowed four goals in 28 minutes to be chased out of the net.
As evidenced by Friday’s contest, the teams are capable of playing close games. The Storm defense looked weak during Saturday’s game, however, at one point allowing Alec Brandrup skate through the crease to score a goal. That doesn’t work well for not losing games.
The Storm returns home for the first time since January 13 this Saturday, but first they travel to Peoria. Friday’s matchup will start at 7:15 pm CT in Peoria. The next night’s opening puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 pm CT and it will be Hockey Fights Cancer Night. Fans are invited to paint the names of loved ones who have fought or are fighting cancer on the ice on Wednesday, February 6 from 10 to 7 PM.