Avalanche upset after critical timekeeping ‘mistake’ vs Canucks

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The Colorado Avalanche were down 3-1 on Sunday when the Vancouver Canucks committed two potentially costly penalties at 15:28 and 16:18 of the third period.

With a key opportunity to close the gap during a 5-on-3 power play, the Avalanche caught a break when P.A. Parenteau’s centering pass bounced off a Canucks’ player and went past goaltender Cory Schneider. The Avalanche thought the timing was perfect, as they were confident that there was still a second left on the first Canucks’ penalty.

The timekeepers disagreed and marked the goal at 17:29 of the third period — which meant that the game would return to even strength. The furious Avalanche were unable to close the gap any further and suffered a 3-2 loss.

The timekeepers decision didn’t sit well with the Avalanche. Colorado assistant GM Eric Lacroix was heard yelling at off-ice game officials in the hallway and Avalanche coach Joe Sacco didn’t keep his opinions to himself either.

“There was a full second left on the clock,” Avs coach Joe Sacco said, according to the Denver Post. “That cannot happen in our own building. That type of mistake cannot happen.

“Points are at a premium right now, we have players out there fighting and trying to gain points. We get another 49 seconds on that power play, you never know what can happen. Obviously, that’s a big mistake right there. That play should have been buzzed down and reviewed, just like any other goal.”

While the Avalanche might be mad, Denver Post writer Adrian Dater didn’t feel much sympathy for the Avalanche:

About the blown call tonight that cost the Avs 49 seconds of power-play time: sorry, I can’t get out my violin for a team that didn’t even get an official shot on goal in that 5-on-3. P.A. Parenteau’s goal was essentially kicked into their own net by the Canucks. The power play was bad all night, as the many boos from you on hand made clear.

Even Lacroix and Sacco, as mad as they were, admitted that the controversial timekeeping decision wasn’t the sole determining factor on Sunday.

Still, the Avalanche are dead last in the Western Conference and seven points out of eighth place with 17 games to go. They desperately needed those points as they try and keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

You can view Parenteau’s power-play goal below: