, автор: Быстрова А.

Empty space. Why in hockey can you change a goalie for a field player?

The numerical advantage in hockey is often realized, so coaches are willing to take risks.

Источник фото: Bruce Bennett / USA Today

It is not without reason that they say that the goalkeeper is half of the team: it is difficult to overestimate the importance of the person playing in the gate, because he is the last hope of avoiding a goal. But sometimes things happen on the ice in such a way that the team is losing, and it is necessary by all means to score a goal. That's when the coach tells the goalie to bring in a new goalie. The goalie rushes to the bench, a defenseman takes his place, and the goal is left empty. After all, in hockey, a numerical advantage of one player can be significant.

Most often it happens in the end of the match, about two or three minutes, when it is time to go for broke. Say, the score is 2:3, it is urgent need to tie: what difference does it make if you miss the fourth puck or not, if there is a chance to score.

Consider, for example, the final of the 2018 Winter Olympics, in which the Russian and German teams played. There were two minutes and eleven seconds left until the end of the game, and suddenly Russian forward Sergey Kalinin earned a two-minute suspension. Russian team found itself in a desperate situation: time pressure, deficit and the score in favor of the Germans. Head coach Oleg Znarok decided to remove Vasily Koshechkin and even the lineup. And it worked: Nikita Gusev evened the score in the last minute and Kirill Kaprizov brought the gold to the Russian hockey team in overtime.

However, such cases are not limited to the decisive minutes of games: the goalie often rolls to the bench during a delayed penalty. That is, the opponent violated the rules, the referee signals it, and the delayed penalty becomes a real penalty. But our team owns the puck, so it's time to change the goalie, because as soon as the opposing hockey player touches the puck, the whistle blows, and the referee won't even let him shoot on goal, and the offender will be instantly removed. True, there are rare cases when the puck is accidentally sent to his goal by a player of the attacking team. And then it will be counted, and the opponent, who touched the puck last, will be credited with throwing it.

Who was the first to think of replacing the goalie with a field player during a hockey game? It was Boston Bruins coach Art Ross. On March 26, 1931, his charges were playing in the playoffs with the Montreal Canadiens and were losing 0-1 in the last minute. Ross decided to take the gamble and replaced goalie Tiny Thompson with a sixth fielder. And although he failed to level the score, this trick was noticed and began to be regularly used by fellow coaches.

By the way, the practice of replacing the goalie with a field player exists not only in hockey, but also in indoor soccer. There, the player who comes out instead of the goalkeeper wears a goalkeeper's jersey with the same number and retains the right to play with his hands within the penalty area.

As for hockey, ice hockey is the only game where such a move is allowed, with the goalkeeper replaced by a field player. Neither in ball hockey, field hockey nor floor hockey is it allowed. However, on large fields this manipulation makes no sense: for example, in soccer the numerical advantage does not always affect the game - teams win by playing most of the game with ten men after suspension.