Herder goal a mistake that everyone will have to live with, says Jack Lee

Herder goal a mistake that everyone will have to live with, says Jack Lee

A controversial goal at the Herder final is something players, coaches and fans will just have to learn to live with.

Jack Lee, president of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador, says the referee in Game 5 who awarded the goal to the Conception Bay CeeBee Stars made a mistake.

But there's nothing the senior hockey organization can do about it.

"Games are won and lost on mistakes, and unfortunately the official made a mistake here and we've got to live with it," said Lee.

CeeBees forward Kenny King fired the puck at the Clarenville Caribous net, and video posted on social media shows the puck going under the side of the net - not through the goal line in the front.

Officials on the ice said the goal was good, and Hockey NL is standing by the referee's decision.

"Not really a goal, I guess, when you look at the video, but unfortunately the video [wasn't] played until the game was over. And I'm sure anybody involved doesn't see it as a goal, understands the controversy around it and feels nothing but regret in what happened," Lee said.

"And like everything, mistakes are made in any game of any sport at any time, and sometimes the decisions that are made on the ice are quick and have to be done in a quick fashion and unfortunately they don't have the opportunity to view a video until after the fact."

'Not an easy decision'

People have been critical of Hockey NL's decision to let the goal stand, but Lee said he understands people are angry, as they should be.

"If I was the GM of that team [Caribous] I'd probably be saying the same stuff. Social media and stuff like that is easy to get on and it's emotional, everybody's emotional, even us, we're emotional," he told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"This is not an easy decision for Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador by no means."

As for criticism that there were no goal judges and no video replay available in the final championship game, Lee said that decision was made at a meeting beforehand, with both teams involved.

"The reason why is that they didn't have goal judges all year, in either league, and they decided that they didn't think there was a need for them and they didn't have people trained to do that job."

Lee said any game in any sport is bound to have mistakes in some of the calls, and it's unfortunate that in this case, that mistake was a goal.

"This could be a guy going across the crease, knock the goalie down and a goal goes in," said Lee. "This could be a high stick that didn't get caught, didn't get seen … it's so many things that can happen in a game."