Following Saturday’s 5–2 loss to then-No. 1 Boston College, No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey coach Jack Parker said he thought his team was “frustrated” at some of the calls that went against them and some of the calls that did not go against the Eagles.
Parker was particularly upset about a few specific calls relating to diving rules, so he took his complaints to Hockey East Chief Observer Dick DeCaprio.
“It’s too late to affect the way it happened last game, but I think it will affect the way it will happen in the future,” Parker said.
One of the calls Parker did not agree with this weekend involved former BU forward Yasin Cissé, who left the team Tuesday, and BC forward Steven Whitney. At the end of the first period, Cissé was called for interfering with Whitney off a faceoff, which led to a BC power-play goal early in the second frame.
According to Parker, Whitney grabbed Cissé’s stick before diving to the ice to make it look as if Cissé interfered with him.
“There would have been no penalty on Cissé at all had the other guy not grabbed his stick and jumped up in the air,” Parker said. “BC has been doing that for years and I don’t believe it is the referee’s fault. The referee was looking right at it, the kid was coming right at him and they can’t see it happen as quickly as they have to.”
Later in the game, officials called BU for more than just a standard embellishment when senior defenseman Sean Escobedo was called for diving when his leg was taken out from underneath him as he was skating over his own blue line.
Unlike a normal embellishment call, Escobedo earned a diving penalty, which did not give BC a penalty on the play.
“There definitely should have been a tripping call,” Parker said. “If he thought that was embellishing … it was just a little bit of a swing, then call it, I don’t care. Then they both sit down. I would rather have that called than not called.
“I am saying that is not the problem. The problem really is the guy who gets touched and dives into the boards – the guy who grabs somebody’s stick and jumps up into the air.”
Teams diving to draw penalties are not anything new to the league, according to Parker. He said purposeful diving has been going on for years now, and claims that some Hockey East schools coach it.
“We had a situation — a number of situations with different players, especially BC and Maine as well,” Parker said. “They are the two teams that over the years have had a number of guys diving around. They don’t think there is anything wrong with that. They think it is up to the referee
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with them thinking that way. That is the way they coach, that is the way they believe you take advantage of the referee not being able to do this. I don’t believe that, so I get angry with it.”
Instead of leaving the decisions on diving penalties up to referees who only have a second to judge whether or not a player is falling purposefully or not, Parker explained the same plan of attack to eliminate diving from the league that he mapped out last month.
Just like in the NFL or NBA, he suggested using video review to a referee make a ruling on a play that is too difficult to make a call on in the middle of a game. If a player is caught diving, the referee would warn the coach that the next player on his team who dives will be suspended for a game.
“That Whitney situation where Whitney grabs the guy’s stick and jumps up in the air and falls down, the referee doesn’t see it … next night he is not playing,” Parker said. “That would stop him from doing that.”
BU was called for diving twice over the weekend, increasing its total of diving calls on the season to four. Escobedo has been called for a diving-related penalty twice, while junior defenseman Garrett Noonan and sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues were each whistled for embellishment once.
However, Parker said he discourages his team from taking dives to draw penalties.
“My guys know we are not encouraging it and I get pissed off if we do it,” Parker said.