With the score tied 2-2 with less than 5 minutes to go in the third period, Fyodor Tyutin seemed to have put the Russians up a goal, but it was waved off by referees Brad Meier and Marcus Vinnerborg because the net had come dislodged.
“The referee made a mistake,” said Russian coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov following the Russians 3-2 loss to the Americans in a preliminary round contest.
“Of course, it would have been more effective to have a different judge.”
“If this is a mistake of the referee there are people that will find it. It is very sad the referee didn’t count it,” he said.
Asked about whether there should be more neutral referees in the tournament, Bilyaletdinov said, “We don’t appoint the referees, a board of referees appoints them, so we can only take the situation as a given.”
Obviously, Bilyaletdinov is placing the blame only on Meier, since he is American.
Russian winger Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) said that US goaltender Jonathan Quick (LA Kings) deserved a penalty, claiming he was the one who had touched the goal:
“It was definitely a goal. The goalie touched the net so that the net moved,” Ovechkin said. “The referee had to see it. He should have given him two minutes.”
Quick denied any wrongdoing:
“I didn’t even know I did it,” Quick said. “I don’t know if it happened before the goal went in or after because a guy skated through the crease after the goal and I don’t know if he bumped it.”
The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) backed the call of Meier and Vinnerborg.
It certainly appeared to be the right call after seeing replays, yet if the goal was allowed, but it was a very difficult call. It is believed that if that happened in an NHL game, the goal likely would have counted. This obviously adds a bit of salt to the wound for the Russians, who never got over being upset by the US in the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid.