IIHF defends disallowed Finnish winner in women's gold-medal game

The International Ice Hockey Federation is attempting some damage control following Sunday's controversial finish at the Women's World Championship.

In a statement issued Monday, the governing body of international hockey explained why Finland's overtime winner was disallowed in the gold-medal game against the United States, which ultimately won in a shootout.

"All goals that were scored during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship were reviewed by the IIHF video goal judge operations," the statement read. "The overtime goal scored by Team Finland against Team USA was reviewed and disallowed by the video goal judge operations, due to non-incidental goaltender interference."

Petra Nieminen scored the would-be overtime winner before it was reviewed and overturned after Finland already celebrated what it believed to be a historic home-ice victory.

The IIHF stated Monday that the video goal judge took two specific rules into consideration:

According to IIHF Playing Rule 186 v. Goaltender and Goal/Goal Crease Disallowed: An attacking skater who makes contact other than incidental with a goaltender who is out of his(/her) goal crease during game action will be assessed a minor penalty for interference. If a goal is scored at this time, it will not count.

According to IIHF Playing Rule 183 ii. Protection of a Goaltender: Incidental contact is allowed when the goaltender is in the act of playing the puck outside his(/her) goal crease, provided the attacking skater makes a reasonable effort to minimize or avoid such contact.

The governing body acknowledged that the on-ice official handed U.S. goaltender Alex Rigsby a tripping penalty on the play but clarified that penalties assessed on the ice aren't reviewable by the video goal judge.

With the 2-1 shootout victory, the United States won its fifth consecutive gold medal at the Women's World Championship.

IIHF defends disallowed Finnish winner in women's gold-medal game
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