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OT Win Hot Topic of Discussion on LSN MLL Press Pass Today

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
photos via MLL and the NY Lizards web site   Given the controversy over the Launch’s OT winner by Alec Tullet I made it my duty to watch this week’s MLL Press Pass on LSN today.  For those who are not familiar with what happened, the Launch scored the game winner Saturday with Tullet taking a behind the back feed from Dylan Molloy right in front of the cage and scored as he was falling into the crease.  The referees gathered around the goal and since no one noticed a crease violation they allowed the goal to stand. You can see the game winner in the video article we posted previously.  The NY Lizards claim that there is a still photo of Tullet’s foot touching the crease but it is hard to tell from the video and pictures are not available for referees to view during the game. The MLL rule is pretty clear about this situation . . . ONLY the referees can decide to review the game film for an OT game winner, it can not be a Coach’s Challenge.  In this case the referees decided to not review the goal and deemed the game over.     Needless to say, the Lizards coaching staff and team were not happy with that decision and the topic came up for lengthy discussion when Launch Coach Tom Mariano and Lizard Coach Joe Spallina were interviewed today for their normal weekly press conferences.  Coach Mariano was interviewed first and his basic thought was that the referees made a decision and stood by it and that’s it.  He also indicated that he felt that the continued argument by NY was ‘almost demeaning to the effort Florida had put out to come back and win the game’.  The interview then turned to other things for the Launch, including his feelings for how the rookies had bought energy and commitment to each other and how well the veterans and kids had blended together. His feelings towards Dylan Molloy were that he was very good, that Molloy was himself disappointed with how he played the first half, but that he quickly diagnosed what he did wrong and listened to input from the staff that helped him have a much better second half.  I certainly concur on that . . . in the first half Dylan tried to force things a little too much and didn’t play off the double team, and when he did in the second half his effectiveness was high end. Coach Mariano was then asked about Austin Kaut’s season and the Coach indicated that the team is allowing Kaut to be himself and feel comfortable, and that Kaut has responded very well to that.  He then noted that the upcoming game with Atlanta will be difficult, as the Blaze have also fielded a number of rookies and that the team has yet to put together four quarters of play.           And then NY Lizard Coach Joe Spallina’s segment came up and as you would expect he and his team have a different perspective on the OT winner. The main takeaway from their side is that the referee crew should have reviewed the game film regardless, as the impact of an OT winner was so big, going saw far as to indicate the team was “waiting to get an apology from the league for how this was handled.  The play should have been reviewed to get it right”.  And then he reemphasized that Tullet’s foot was in the crease.  When asked why his goalie and close defender did not react as if the foot was in the crease he countered that one of his defenders did bring it to his attention and that he was positioned as close to the point of the play as he could and felt he saw it too. A point of frustration was how the league had not had available instant replay film for certain previous games this season and that the cumulative effect of this season’s film availability added to the feelings of the team.  Given NY’s falling to 2-4 on the season it is easy to see why this became a point of contention.