It didn’t take long for Norfolk’s fluky overtime goal against the Toronto Marlies to go viral.

But was the winning goal by Admirals defenceman Mike Kostka offside?

Replays clearly show that Norfolk’s Brandon Segal was inside the blueline when the puck off Kostka’s shot entered the zone prior to hitting the stanchion, thus a delayed offside should have been in effect.

Rule 83.4 states: “If the puck is shot on goal during a delayed offside, the play shall be allowed to continue under the normal clearing-the-zone rules. Should the puck, as a result of this shot, enter the defending team’s goal, either directly or off the goalkeeper, a player or an official on the ice, the goal shall be disallowed as the original shot was off-side. The fact that the attacking team may have cleared the zone prior to the puck entering the goal has no bearing on this ruling.”

However Kostka’s shot was a dump-in off the glass – way wide of the goal – that happened to hit the stanchion and deflect into the net behind Marlies goalie Ben Scrivens.

But is this still a shot on goal, or does it become a shot on goal only after it enters the net?

Marlies coach Dallas Eakins admitted that it was a challenge for the officials. “I saw it and it’s a real interesting one for the referees,” said Eakins. “The puck comes out, the puck’s rimmed in, there’s a guy that’s offside by about eight to 10 feet, the puck hits the stanchion, but now he is onside and it goes in your net. It’s a fairly grey area.”

The rule provides for nullification of the goal as a result of deflection off a goalkeeper, player, or official, but does not list stanchion in the criteria.

To be clear, the Marlies have no recourse. The Game 3 result is in the books, rightly or wrongly.

But what a bizarre set of circumstances.

EDIT: 10:30am Friday – AHL president David Andrews released a statement confirming that the on-ice officials missed the call, but also that the result of the game will stand.