Hockey referees are a fickle creature: sometimes they tell you how to beat the goalie, sometimes you get arrested for checking them into the boards. This weekend saw both.
We start in the OHL, where the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors took the first game of their playoff series with the Peterborough Petes thanks to a third period penalty shot. Rob Flick had the honors, but before taking the shot, he consulted an unlikely source of advice:
I was thinking maybe just go forehand or whatever, then all of a sudden I was confused," said the London, Ont., native. "I talked to the ref, I pulled him over and said, 'What do you think I should do here?' He goes, 'Well, he's a big goalie y'know and he's got a big five-hole.' So I kinda changed my thinking as I went down, and I thought, 'Y'know what? He's probably right.' So I tried it out and it worked.
"Thank goodness for (the referee), I'll give him an assist on that one... once he said it, it clicked."
The Petes predictably lodged a complaint, and the league investigated. No action was taken, as the ref's version of events differed. Still, if the goalie was presenting that big a five-hole that the ref, who's monitoring 10 players at once, could see it, and no one on the Majors bench spotted it, maybe they do deserve to be penalized.
But hockey refs aren't all strategy; sometimes they get down and dirty. Like one working an ACHA playoff game between Colorado State and William Paterson (the university, not the guy). According to the Simsbury (Conn.) police department,
approximately six minutes into the Rams' game against William Paterson, a referee ejected [CSU's AJ] Hau from the contest. Hau then "took a running start, allegedly throws a shoulder into the ref, slamming him into the boards."
Hau was arrested for disorderly conduct, of all things, perhaps because the legal system is just as capricious when it comes to penalizing boarding calls as the NHL.