Women’s World Championship 2019: USA wins gold after controversial OT decision denies Finland

Team USA won its fifth straight gold medal at the IIHF Women’s World Championship on Sunday, but controversy reigned in the final moments.

The Americans were taken to the limit by host country Finland, which had already shocked the hockey world by advancing to the final after upsetting Canada a day earlier. The game was knotted 1-1 through regulation time, meaning overtime would be required. It was in the extra period where things went completely awry, with the Finns seemingly robbed of a winning goal.

After US goaltender Alex Rigsby made a stop on Finland captain Jenni Hiirikoski, forward Petra Nieminen stuffed home the rebound and sent the Espoo Metro Areena crowd into raptures.

🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮🇫🇮 @leijonat ARE YOUR #WomensWorlds CHAMPIONS!!!! pic.twitter.com/0UveRQUHfd

The Finns celebrated what they thought was their first-ever World Championship title, but after a 12-minute review the officials overturned the goal.

After video review, the call on the ice is no goal. Overtime continues on. pic.twitter.com/L9rJPX01g5

Bizarrely, it was Rigsby who was assessed a penalty on the play, with the American goalie given a tripping infraction. In normal circumstances, a delayed penalty would allow play to continue until a member of the offending team gained control of the puck or a goal is scoring by the opposition, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday.

Instead, the penalty to Rigsby nullified Nieminen’s goal and play resumed. No other goals were scored in the overtime period, sending the game to a shootout.

So, Alex Rigsby was given a penalty on this controversial call. Assessed a tripping minor. Rigsby called for tripping Hiirikoski, but the goal was also disallowed? When did USA touch the puck for the delayed call? There’s a startling lack of clarity. https://t.co/hl2EN2ei9q

The Americans scored on their first two attempts and held on to win the shootout 2-1, clinching the gold medal.

Drive for Five ✅@usahockey wins its 5th straight gold at #WomensWorlds!!!!! pic.twitter.com/sVI7lQzVQb

Needless to say, the disallowed overtime goal remained the primary talking point well after the American celebrations had subsided. Even a former member of Team USA couldn’t understand the ruling, along with other big names from the hockey world.

What is going onnnnn? If it’s not a goal, then Finland should have a penalty for goalie interference. If it’s a goal, then it means USA tripped Finland and the Finnish goal is good…? If it’s no goal, then how does USA have penalty? Someone help me🙄 honest question

That. Was. A. Goal. #suomi

This literally just happened:

– Finland scores gold medal winning goal in overtime
– The goal is called back
– USA wins in a shootout

I can’t believe it.

The game that should have been a celebration of women’s hockey was instead shrouded in controversy.

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