It has plagued the GOJHL since the beginning of time – phantom assists. Some happen accidentally. The ref awards an assist where it doesn’t belong. Sometimes point hungry players are telling the ref that they deserve one when they don’t, often denying a worthy teammate of the point.

Having kept the Strathroy Rockets stats for many years, I have always compiled my own scoring based on video. The worst offender was a player who picked up an extra 14 points in one season. Perhaps it aided him in being the first overall pick in the OHL draft. He had a phenomenal junior career, won a Gold Medal in the World Juniors and advanced to the NHL. Was the need for achievement so high that he resorted to stealing points or earning them where no point should have been awarded?  Possibly.

Often it is defensemen who are on the outside looking in. (Kurtis Sander of the Rockets was denied 7 assists two seasons ago.) They make that first great pass out of the zone. There is only one more pass made but all three forwards earn the points. In the hustle and bustle of the game it usually goes unnoticed by the officials, players and the fans until the goal can be reviewed on video.

But no one reviews the goal on video.

A huge step in the right direction would be to verify all scoring by video before Pointstreak is finalized.  GOJHL historian and former Western Conference statistician Scott Holland of Leamington has volunteered his services to verify the scoring.

We wait in silence.

A great case in point is this video. The Strathroy Rocket defense turns the puck over in their own zone to Spencer Hutchinson. He feeds the puck to Matt McJannet for his second of three consecutive goals on the night. Somehow linemate Carson Brookshaw earns a phantom assist.
The on-ice officials, in this case, veteran referees Glenn Anderson and Rob Veccia, handed out the free point.

Plays at this level develop quickly. It could have been an honest mistake. It could have been Brookshaw who asked for the point and the refs accommodated. Brookshaw sits in third place in Western Conference scoring just two points from the lead.

There is a better method. Take the responsibility away from the refs. Have them indicate the goal scorer. The video can take care of the rest.

(photo credit – Colleen Wiendels Photography)

David Honsberger is a former journalist and columnist for the Strathroy Age Dispatch. A winner of the Stuart Bolton Memorial Award for the Strathroy Rockets Volunteer of the Year in 1996, David served for seven years as the club’s president. He was honoured in 2015 when he was inducted into the Strathroy Rockets/Blades Wall of Fame in the builder category. David is currently in his 20th year of volunteering with the Rockets and provides the colour commentary for the Strathroy Rockets radio broadcasts on 105.7 my FM. He resides in Strathroy with his mother and his two cherished Savannah cats, Scout and Hey, Boo.

David Honsberger

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