Ask the Official: Should a goal be nullified for playing the puck with a high stick or allowed since it deflected off the opposing team’s goaltender?

By Dave Zednik, IHOA VP of Rules & Ethics


QUESTION: Player A from attacking team has positioned himself in front of his opponents net. His teammate takes a shot from the blue line. Player A deflects the shot with a high stick into the goaltender.  The rebound comes back out to Player A who shoots again and scores. Should the goal be nullified for playing the puck with a high stick or allowed since it deflected off the opposing team’s goaltender?

ANSWER: Casebook Situation #9 under Rule 621 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “The puck is deflected into the goal crease by an attacking player’s high stick. The goalkeeper immediately covers the puck, causing a stoppage. Where is the ensuing face-off? At an end face-off spot in the offending player’s Defending Zone. Rule Reference 621(c). Even though an opponent has “played” the puck by falling on it, the intent of this exception to the rule has not been satisfied. The goalkeeper has not elected to “play” the puck in a manner that would allow play to continue, but has instead determined to stop play and, in effect, allowed the high stick violation to be enforced.”

This same interpretation would apply to a rebound off a goalkeeper. The deflection/rebound off the goalkeeper does not nullify the high-stick infraction.



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