Putting the Wrong Foot Forward
No Goal Call Dashes Irish's Hopes For NCAA Title
by Mike Machnik/CHN Senior Editor
DENVER It will be the play Notre Dame fans talk about for years.
Trailing 3-1, Irish sophomore defenseman Kyle Lawson appeared to have scored to pull his club within one with 15:04 to play, hoping for one more miracle against favorite Boston College.
Instead, the goal was disallowed. And just :35 later, Ben Smith put the finishing touches on the Eagles' third NCAA title — a two goal swing. Instead of it being 3-2 BC, it was 4-1.
After the game, Lawson discussed the play, where he and defensive partner Ian Cole led the rush up ice.
"I just drove back post, trying to suck the defender out so I could go back to the high slot. Suddenly I felt it hit my skate, and then their defenseman came and tied me up.
"All I remember is that it came across and hit my skate, and I looked down, and the next thing I know, the defenseman was picking my stick up. I peeked around and saw it went in the net, and I thought it was a 3-2 hockey game.
"I think that was the biggest thing that bothered me, that on the ice it was a goal, and then we've gotta go to video replay and let guys who aren't on the ice decide the thing.
"It's a tough call, but that is why we have video replay. It goes both ways, and it just happens that this time it didn't go our way."
"I didn't think it was a goal when I saw it," said BC goaltender John Muse. "It looked like he moved his skates to direct the puck in the net, and luckily they saw the same thing and disallowed it.
Muse took the worst case approach at first.
"I just figured it would be a goal. I got disappointed when [the referee] said it was a goal, so I just took it as — they scored and we were up by one."
But as time went by, Muse came to think the call on the ice would be overturned. He certainly wasn't surprised when the decision came, although he did think it could have gone either way.
"No, I wasn't surprised. I wouldn't have gone all crazy if they hadn't disallowed it though."
Likewise, Lawson said the lengthy delay led him and the Irish to realize that the goal wasn't going to count.
"At first, I thought it was a 3-2 hockey game. And then as time went on, and time went on, it was, 'They're not going to count this.'
"A couple minutes in[to the review of the goal], we already started talking about, 'Okay, this what we're going to run off the draw, because they're not going to [count the goal].'
Lawson put to rest any questions about whether or not he was trying to kick the puck to his stick. The play just happened too fast, he said.
"Absolutely not. I felt it hit my skate, and I looked down, and my momentum just carried me in. I think that was the ref's explanation, that it hit my other skate and that was a kicking motion. That was just my momentum.
"It was a tough play, and you can look back to that, but there are so many other plays you can look at that we should have capitalized on. But it was definitely a tough break, especially with them to come back with that fourth goal, kind of put us back on our heels."
Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson agreed.
"I think that was the turning point for us. I thought we had something going at that time and I thought we were doing a much better job with the puck.
"We've had that happen to us at least ten or twelve times in the second half of the season: disallowed goals, video replay goals, goals that probably shouldn't have been goals that were allowed to be goals."
"You don't want to say it put us away, but in reality, it was a tough pill to swallow," said Lawson.
"But the biggest thing that Coach said was, 'We're not going to embarrass this jersey. We've come too far over the past three years in rebuilding this program, and we're never going to quit.
"So hopefully that's what everyone took out of it. It was definitely tough, and not the outcome that we wanted, but we didn't want to show any quit, and hopefully do Notre Dame proud."