Ask the Official: Goaltender Save – When Is the Play Considered Dead?

By Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar

QUESTION: A goalie makes a butterfly save with his leg pad and in doing so the puck came to rest under his left pad; some of the puck was visible under the pad, but the puck was not moving or loose. My question is when does the referee blow his/her whistle and consider the play dead?
1.  Does the puck need to be under the pad and not visible for the ref to blow his whistle?
2.  Does the goalie need to put his glove on the side of the pad to cover the puck up, assuming he can see it, remember he’s in the butterfly position?

ANSWER: USA Hockey Officials are instructed to stop play when the goalkeeper has sufficient control of the puck. Obviously a partially covered puck will always open to interpretation as to what constitutes “sufficient control”. A general rule might be “if the players cannot easily regain control of the puck then the puck should be considered ‘covered’”.
That being said, players are not free to poke at the goalkeeper just because the whistle has not blown. All stick contact with the goalkeeper should be penalized.

Categories: Ask the Official

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