By Dave Zednik, IHOA VP of Rules & Ethics
QUESTION: If at the start of play (a face-off) there are six players and a goalie on the ice for one team. That team wins the draw and plays the puck to the player trying to leave the ice knowing they have too many men. Is that a penalty? I had an official blow it dead and say it’s no penalty. He miscounted. To which I also ask. Shouldn’t I always put six guys in if at worst it’s a dead puck and face-off?
ANSWER: The officials are responsible for checking that the proper number of players are on the ice before they drop the puck. Therefore, if they start play with too many players they should immediately stop play and correct the line-up without a penalty.
In regard to your second question, you could put six players on the ice but you would just be wasting everyone’s time. Best case, the officials catch it before the face-off and correct the line-up (dragging out the stoppage). Worst case, play begins and then is stopped and everyone wonders what on earth the coach is doing deliberately putting six players on the ice (“doesn’t he know the rules?”).