No controversy here: USA’s disallowed goal shouldn’t have counted

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Team USA had a rough start to the World Cup on Saturday afternoon when it fell behind Team Europe 3-0 through the first two periods.

Turnovers, odd-man rushes and a couple of bad bounces all contributed to that deficit.

When it was still a two-goal game late in the second period, Team USA thought it finally got a break when it appeared to score a power play goal when James van Riemsdyk directed the puck into the net.

The problem: van Riemsdyk deliberately directed the puck toward the net with his body, which is not allowed. After van Riemsdyk directed the puck toward the net, it bounced off the helmet of his teammate, Derek Stepan, and beat Europe goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

That is still against the rules since van Riemsdyk illegally directed the puck in the direction of the goal.

Here is the NHL’s official explanation of the play:

At 14:10 of the second period in the Team USA/Team Europe game, video review determined that James van Riemsdyk deliberately directed the puck into the Team Europe net with his body. According to Rule 78.5 (i) “Apparent goals shall be disallowed when the puck has been directed, batted or thrown into the net by an attacking player other than with a stick.”

The fact that the puck deflected off of Derek Stepan has no bearing on the ruling. According to Rule 67.6 “A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck and it is deflected into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official.” No goal Team USA.

This is a look at the play (via @MyRegularFace)

Just a couple of minutes later Europe added to its lead when Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored on a deflection just before the end of the period.