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‘Beer league’ net pegs cost Finland winning goal at WWC

Noora Räty had reason to celebrate after backstopping Finland’s first win over Canada at the Women’s World Championship on Saturday but her mood was a lot less celebratory 24 hours earlier after having to deal with inferior net pegs on the international stage.

Räty, who by the way wasn’t really celebrating too much after the big win over Canada, was understandably upset Friday after net pegs better suited for a beer league led to the winning goal in a tournament-opening 2-1 loss against Russia.

“We can’t push off the post since they come off so easily,” Raty told Nicole Haase, who is covering the tournament for Sports Illustrated. “This would never happen on the men’s side, it should never happen here. The nets are absolutely awful. That’s why they scored the second goal because I could not push off of the post because the nets come off.”

That game was played on a secondary rink in Plymouth, Michigan but unlike the main rink Finland played on against Canada, there were no marsh pegs, which are used in the NHL but require a hole to be drilled into the ice. Instead, Finland and Russia played with these:

As anyone who has played recreational hockey can attest, those pegs (even when new) come off with the slightest push into or, especially, off the post. In beer league, it often leads to warnings from referees about delay of game. The results for Räty were a lot worse:

As Räty attempts to push off her post out of the reverse-VH, the net comes off behind her instead of providing support for a push across the crease, leaving her stranded and out of position as Russia scores the winning goal in the final minute of play.

“I pushed on reverse and the net was gone,” Räty wrote in a note to InGoal. “Such a joke”

No wonder she was upset afterwards. As any goalie who has ever used the inferior pegs knows, it’s impossible to play the position properly if you can’t count on the net staying on.

Marsh pegs aren’t always a workable solution because some arenas have cooling pipes running under the crease, making it risky to drill the required holes.

The Women’s World Championships could have used a second set of these adjustable Anchorpegs after the nets started coming off. (InGoal phot0)

Some junior teams and leagues in Canada have started using Anchorpegs (pictured left) instead, with positive results in terms of both goaltenders being able to play the position the way they’re taught, and games not being slowed by constant delays.

Ironically, Räty, who said she trains with Anchorpegs during the offseason in Minnesota, said officials at the World Championships also looked for some Anchorpegs when the net kept coming off in that opening game.

“The game got delayed 20 minutes because the other net would not stay,” Räty wrote. “I think the funny thing is that when they tried to fix the other net, they found Anchorpegs for that one but the net I had to use for two periods had the beer league ones.”

Of course that was the net Russia scored the winning goal into.

Räty won’t have to worry about inferior net pegs the rest of the tournament because Finland plays the rest of its games on the main rink. For the goalies that have to, lets hope USA Hockey organizers found a second set of Anchorpegs. Goalies at every level know how frustrating it is when the net won’t stay on, something that happens even with worn-out marsh pegs in the AHL:

“Every rink has plastic pegs but of various diameters and some are 20+ years old and flexible as hell,” McKenna wrote in a full-up note. “Some rinks drill holes around the peg big enough to fit a puck. Skate blade ends up in it. Awful.”

For the rest of us still struggling with poor pegs and referee warnings about delay of game penalties, consider taking a page from InGoal Magazine’s editorial staff:


  1. Davit

    Bwhaaaa those aren’t even the worst ones. There is a set of pegs that have 4 spikes on them (see easy pegs here . Those are the worst. The spikes dig in and wreck the ice leaving nothing for the spikes to grab on to. I would love to play regularly with the ones in this article. Every time I play with the 4 spike ones I end up making a big pile of snow behind the post (inside the net), and soak it with water, hoping to make an ice dam helping keep it in place.

  2. Sean Murray

    I’ve finally got a couple of associations to switch over, most notably BWC. Today’s goalie uses post integration as an integral part of their save selection and the old school pegs are useless. Anchorpegs come off when need to hit higher in post but do not come off when G using for RVH or pad hook seal. If you have any say in your association invest in these , at least for games and you won’t regret it.
    Sean Murray
    Owner, Pro-Formance Goalie Schools(PFGS)
    GC: PG Cougars(WHL)

  3. Ken Bird

    My son used to use the standard “Beer League” posts during goalie coaching sessions, but I got tired of watching him try to reposition the net after every drill that he used the post to either make a save or movement. Like any other goalie parent you try to help your child, so I purchased a set of “Wylie Posts” for my son to use during goalie coaching sessions and team practices. We have had very good results when installed according to the attached video. When the net has become dislodged, a “water bottle treatment” was all that was needed to get the net/ice interface back into shape.

    Are they better than the Marsh begs? I couldn’t tell you. My son hasn’t had the opportunity to play using Marsh pegs (maybe some day!), I do know they are light years ahead of the standard pegs that the rinks use.

    Just got back from Scottsdale, Arizona, where my son was fortunate to play in the USA Hockey’s 15O Nationals – 2017. I couldn’t tell you how much time was wasted and how many goals were either scored or waved off because of the net being dislodged. If USA Hockey wants to do something for the goaltending position and the flow of the game, they need to address this PROBLEM!

    Ken Bird
    Goalie Parent