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CCHA looks at revamping video review

According to The Ann Arbor News, the CCHA is looking at revamping the current replay system to include more camera angles.  Associate commissioner Fred Pletsch said the league is looking into using a portable camera unit.

This discussion comes on the heels of Michigan getting hosed for the third time in a month by the current review system, which only allows the referees to use the overhead goal cameras.

During Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Ohio State, the Wolverines had a goal waived off when the official determined the puck went off Louie Caporusso’s glove before going into the net.  However, replays on TV clearly showed the puck hit Caporusso up near the top of his chest or visor.

Then later in the game, with a loose puck in the crease, Scooter Vaughan and C.J. Severyn battled for the puck and it was knocked in to the net with a skate.  The officials, using the overhead camera, determined it went in off the skate of Vaughan, while TV angles appeared to show it off the skate of Severyn.  That goal would turn out to be the deciding factor.

Last month against Notre Dame the replay system was exposed when a puck went into the net clearly off the skate of Irish forward Billy Maday.  The first problem is somehow all four officials missed it.  Then the replay did not show it because it happened outside the crease area.  The CCHA apologized to Red Berenson after the game.  They probably apologized after the Ohio State games, too.  They can apologize all they want, but you can’t go back and change the outcome.

Pletsch said that the use of a portable camera unit will all come down to cost.

In my opinion, if some schools can’t afford it or don’t want to shell out for it, then that should be their choice.  But the whole league shouldn’t have to suffer as a result of it.  I don’t like the “all or nothing” mentality that seems to prevail all too often these days.  “Not all schools will have the equipment, therefore we won’t do it,” is not a valid reason that you shouldn’t at least use all camera angles when a game is on TV.

One of their reasons is because some teams (i.e. Michigan) are on TV more than others and therefore it wouldn’t be fair to the rest.  However, that argument doesn’t hold up because NOT getting the correct calls can also affect the rest.

Lets say Michigan’s third goal counts and Ohio State’s goal is disallowed and U-M goes on to win the game.  Michigan remains in a 2nd place tie with Miami as opposed to be two points behind them.  But also Ohio State would be five points behind Alaska instead of three.  So the Nanooks go from locking up a first round bye to potentially losing it because of this.  Northern Michigan is five points behind OSU.  If OSU would have lost, they would have only been three points behind and had a shot at fifth place and a better first round draw.  Just because a team isn’t on TV as much does not mean there aren’t ramifications that effect them.

When a TV network comes in to broadcast a game, there is no reason not to use their camera angles to help determine the right call.  The technology is already there and there’s no added cost to the team.  I mean would it be that hard to hook up a TV in the booth with a picture of the game and have the official talk on headset to the production truck?

There’s no good reason the league should pass up the opportunity to get the games that are broadcast called correctly.  Fix what you can now (the games that are broadcast and schools that can afford the equipment) and work on the rest later.  But this “all or nothing” approach is stupid.  And Berenson shares the same feeling.

“I don’t think we’re getting it anymore right right now then we did before (the replay review),” he said.  “If all these games are televised, you’ve got resources.  So let’s use them.  Now, the league is saying not every rink has (televised games and extra camera angles).  Well, it doesn’t matter.  Use the ones that you have.  We’ve already seen huge situations evolve.  … If we want to get it right, let’s get it right.”