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Posted on Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson wants answers regarding controversial overtime call

By Jeff Arnold


Michigan's Kevin Lynch begins to celebrate what he thought was the game-winning goal in the first overtime against Miami in Sunday night, March 28th's NCAA tournament regional final between the two teams at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Lon Horwedel |

Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson is still searching for answers on why an apparent game-winning goal that would have sent the Wolverines to next weekend's Frozen Four in Detroit was disallowed.

Berenson said Wednesday he will work with university athletic department officials to get a formal explanation from the NCAA regarding Kevin Lynch's overtime goal in a 3-2 NCAA Midwest regional championship loss to Miami (Ohio).

Berenson said he knows of no formal process in NCAA hockey that allows him to request a review after Sunday's night's heart-breaking double-overtime loss. 

"It's really frustrating," said Berenson, who said he didn't see a decent television replay of the controversial no-goal until the Wolverines returned from Fort Wayne, Ind., at 3 a.m. Monday morning. "I never got a clear answer about why the goal didn't count or if there was any room being made for human error ... and that's what we're trying to find out."

Berenson would not say how many time he's reviewed replay, but believes it's clear that the officiating crew that also worked Michigan's semifinal victory over Bemidji State didn't get the call right.

"I saw what I saw and I know what I know," Berenson said. "I think it's pretty obvious."

After Michigan and No. 1 Miami finished regulation tied at 2, Lynch found a loose puck in the crease after RedHawks' goalie Connor Knapp tried to cover a Carl Hagelin wrap-around shot. Video replays show Knapp never gained control of the puck, which Lynch pushed into the back of the net.

"I was just trying to dig the puck out," Lynch said Sunday night. "Carl made a nice play behind the net and threw (the puck) out front and it slid between the goalie's legs and I just dug it out and shot it into the back of the net.

"I don't know why they blew the whistle or why the goal wasn't allowed. I thought it should have gone in."

A split-second before, though, the referee blew his whistle in order to assess a Miami penalty, NCAA Director of officials Steve Piotrowski told immediately after the play was reviewed. Because Miami didn't gain control of the puck and the puck never stopped moving, Berenson maintains play should have continued considering the upcoming penalty was against the RedHawks.

Game officials reviewed the play, but determined that the whistle blew the play dead before Knapp pushed the puck into the back of the net. Michigan failed to score in the first overtime despite out-shooting Miami 20-6 in the 20-minute period.

The RedHawks, who will face Boston College in one of two national semifinals at Ford Field, ended the game with a goal 1:54 into the second overtime.

Berenson said Sunday and again Wednesday he never received formal word on what officials saw - either during play or during the review process. Although an official explanation wouldn't change the game's outcome, Berenson - who called the request for review "sour grapes on our part" - said he would request an explanation to protect the integrity of the game and to prevent such an incident from happening again in the future.

"In a game of that magnitude and with a goal of that magnitude, we should know what happened," Berenson said. "You're dealing with a program and a school and a team of players that should be going to the Frozen Four, but that's not.

"Am I discouraged? I am alarmed at what happened? Yes. But I just want what's right."

NOTES: Berenson is meeting with individual players Wednesday and Thursday as part of the annual end-of-the-season review he conducts. He said on his radio show Tuesday night that he'll begin to put together a spring plan to prepare for next season next week. 

Asked if he planned to return next season, Berenson - who operates on a 1-year rollover contract - said he'll meet with athletic department officials soon but that "he wasn't leaning toward not coming back" next season. ...

Senior defenseman Steve Kampfer will miss this weekend's team banquet after reporting to the Boston Bruins' Providence, R.I. minor league affiliate Tuesday night, Berenson said Tuesday night.

Kampfer, a Jackson native, was originally drafted in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks and was traded to Boston on March 2 for a conditional fourth round pick in the 2010 or 2011 Draft.

Jeff Arnold covers Michigan hockey for He can be reached at or 734-623-2554. Follow him at Twitter @jeffreyparnold.



Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 2:06 p.m.

We all know Miami Of Ohio should not be a participant in the frozen four. Before you tell me to quit whining, all I'm saying is that the NCAA owes Michigan an explanation for three major screw-ups at the end the apparent 3-2 loss to Miami in the quarterfinal. Until then we should boycott any sanctioned or scheduled NCAA events.


Fri, Apr 2, 2010 : 8:18 p.m.

The following letter was sent to Coach Berenson, President Coleman, Assistant Athletic Director Bruce Madej and the NCAA itself. I'm glad Coach Berenson is stepping up to the plate. As a former representative to the Advisory Committee on Recreation Intramurals and Club Sports at the University of Michigan (1970-71), I'm concerned with Michigan's apparent game winning goal in the overtime. The goal was disallowed supposedly because a penalty was being called on a Miami player. But Michigan had the puck, so the whistle wouldn't blow until Miami regained possession. The on ice official blew the whistle erringly because Miami touched the puck but never possessed it. After the game NCAA officials supervisor Steve Piotrowski told a Michigan Daily reporter that the whistle blew because Miami "touched" the puck, not possessed it..I've included the actual rule itself which clarifies the possession question. Michigan has been paying the NCAA for its mistakes since Chris Webber stepped on campus nearly a generation ago. Today an NCAA probe into the misuse of football "practice time" threatens sanctions, probation or worse. It's time the NCAA is accountable for its own mistakes. The NCAA owes Michigan a rematch against Miami next Tuesday night at Ford Field. I don't think there's another game scheduled there that night. c. The appropriate on-ice official shall use a delayed whistle when a foul is committed against the team in possession of the puck, thereby HR-50 RULE 4 / PENALTIES postponing the stoppage of play until the offending team shall have possession and control of the puck. Continuation of NCAA rule: PART3: The last player to control the puck, other than the goalkeeper, is the last player to be deemed in possession of the puck. Control of the puck is defined as the act of propelling the puck with the stick, hand or skate. Possession and control is not a rebound off the goalkeeper, an opposing player, the goal or the boards or any incidental contact with the body or equipment of an opposing player. Batting the puck with the hand or kicking the puck is considered to be controlling the puck. Touching the puck (e.g., poke check or deflection) is not considered control of the puck. During a delayed penalty, a goal may not be scored by the penalized team as a result of a deflection off of a penalized team player.


Fri, Apr 2, 2010 : 12:42 p.m.

What is so funny to me is people can say all they want that this whole controversy has turned into mass amounts of "whining" shall you call it, but look at the game replay, or the highlights on There is absolutely NO reason that whistle should have been blown to begin with, and since it so happens that by "fluke" the ref made a bad call it cost michigan its rightful win and road to the frozen four. Congrats miami, your there by fluke. Good thing there is always next year.

Beth Schneeberger Hutton

Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 2:03 p.m.

How true everyone is on this is tobadnotheing can be doneabout thebad calls. It is like when we played Michigan State in football at State and the clock went to 0 and a student was controling the clock and put time back on the clock and State kicked a field goal to win the game. They apoligized but that did not give us the win. Something has to be done about the way they do the offciating to make it fair for everyone.


Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 12:51 p.m.

1. The officiating was terrible on Saturday (5 1st period penalties?!?) which could have cost us a chance at the frozen four. 2. They allowed Miami to keep poking at the puck without a whistle which gave them their second goal and cost us the frozen four. 3. They blew the call by blowing the whistle in OT, denying the game winning goal; the game is flat out OVER then. 4. They reviewed the play and made the gutless decision because it was defendable by the letter of the rules regardless of unanimous agreement that it should have been a good goal; how much would Miami have complained? Not much I bet. 5. They swallowed their whistle not long after that as they hauled us down from behind while breaking in alone toward the goal. 6. Their incompetence cost Detroit and the tournament hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars, not to mention priceless memories for our team and fans. 7. All I am doing is whining because even though it sux, there is nothing anyone can or will do.

Christopher Sorel

Thu, Apr 1, 2010 : 6:41 a.m.

Typical bad call when a ref is out of position. Lazy refs ruin any sport.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 9:01 p.m.

I think something else I do not like with this "system" is playing back to back days. Why couldn't they play Friday night and Sunday? What if the OT game had been Saturday, and the game ends less than 24 hours before the next one starts. Then the NCAA decides to wait 11 days before another game? It was a bad call, and I can accept that, but the NCAA needs to have a system to fix glaring errors like this. I guess it comes down to, did the whistle change the ability of Miami to react? If the answer is an obvious no, then play on. Of course, Michigan should have gotten a puck past the guy too.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 8:28 p.m.

Yeah, it was a terrible call...and I felt so bad for a team that really deserved to win... Michigan was clearly the better team, but knowing this team, they will come back next year with a vengence! They were a totally different team the second half of this season...they have hit their stride..they'll be back!!


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 6:10 p.m.

What most people don't remember was that this was the same crew that did the Saturday game and called 5 straight penalties on UM...sure a couple could have gone either way, but the others were joke calls and they missed two other obvious calls. If it were not for the great penalty killing and a couple lucky bounces they would have already cost us a game on Saturday. They didn't accomplish their goal Saturday so they finished the job on Sunday...worst crew I have seen in my 25+ years of playing and watching the sport.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 5:15 p.m.

We cannot turn back the clock, undo the wrong, and send our team to the Frozen Four. No one expects that to happen. But it is high time that incompetent officials get some punishment for such horrible mistakes. Would any of us keep our jobs if we made such critical mistakes? Maybe, but the blunder would not go unpunished.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 4:57 p.m.

my sentiments exactly, bluemax79! yes the whistle blew a fraction of a second before crossing the goal line, but it should NOT have been whistled AND it had absolutely NO affect on the play of either team. we're not talking about a blown call during the regular season against western or some such team! this call cost them a trip to the frozen four in DETROIT for chrissake! 2 games from a national championship!


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 4:44 p.m.

Maybe also worth noting that this OT non-goal was waived off due to a quick whistle. But there would not have been an OT if not for a late whistle when Hunwick had the puck covered and Miami was allowed to keep whacking at it to score their second goal. Officials blew this game. Blew it big and bad.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 3:18 p.m.

in a situation like that even if the whistle blew the officials need to be able to say "DID THE WHISTLE BLOWING KEEP THE GOALIE FORM STOPPING THE PUCK?" if not then it should be a goal. the fact that the goalie never had the puck or even saw the puck should tell you that the whistle blowing meant NOTHING to the play. it did not cause anyone to stop and was almost simultanious to the puck being shot. either the officials were incompentent or crooked. either way they should never be allowed to officiate a tournament game again. if the NCAA does NOT step in and punish those officials they are more of a joke than we all know they are.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:56 p.m.

I was at that game. The officiating crew was absolutely awful. The referees should be suspended and barred from calling any game that is of importance which means fire their butts.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

Yeah, the whistle blew all right -- in error! Michigan was clearly denied its rightful victory.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:19 p.m.

The whistle blew.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

It was a terrible call by the officials. They cost us the game. Unfortunately none of that matters because Miami(OH) is moving on and Michigan is at home watching the next two games. Too bad such an amazing end of the season run ended this way.