Overview – The goaltender’s ability to play his position is based on his ability to move freely in his goal crease. Although an attacking skater is allowed to skate through the goal crease, he runs the risk of incurring a penalty or nullifying a goal by doing so. Furthermore, any contact the attacking skater initiates with a goaltender, either directly or by pushing an opponent into the goaltender, also runs the risk of incurring a penalty or nullifying a goal.
- If an attacking skater establishes position in the goal crease, play may be stopped, and the ensuing faceoff will take place at the nearest faceoff spot in the neutral zone.
Clarification - *Crease Violation Guidelines:
Referees are instructed to interpret this rule to avoid unnecessary stoppages. Play should be stopped when the illegal „crease violation“ is obvious and considered an act to prevent or run a high risk of preventing the goalkeeper to perform his duties within the crease.
Two options are available to officials in this situation:
- Verbally instruct the player to exit the crease
- Stop play when a verbal warning is not adhered to
If it appears that the player is aware of his position in the crease, or if the player has entered the crease intentionally to „establish a position in the crease“, or he does not immediately exit after verbal warning, the officials may stop play immediately.
Goals scored simultaneously with the stoppage as the referee is in the act of stopping play for illegal “crease violation” will not be permitted.
The crease violation call is solely based on the judgement of the on-ice officials.
- An attacking skater who commits a foul on a goaltender, regardless of the goaltender’s ability to play his position or where the puck is being played, will be assessed at least a minor penalty.
- If a goaltender is outside his goal crease and an attacking skater prevents the goaltender from returning to his crease or prevents the goaltender from playing his position properly while a goal is scored, the goal will not be allowed, and the attacking skater may be assessed a minor penalty for interference.
- If an attacking skater is in the goal crease and visually obstructs the goaltender’s ability to play his position when the puck enters the net, no goal will be allowed and no penalty will be assessed.