NCAA hockey committee proposes keeping options for 3-on-3 overtimes, shootouts

Bob Motzko

 

After being on the chopping block for a little more than a month, 3-on-3 overtime and shootouts might be back in college hockey.

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee on Thursday voted to alter its overtime proposals after receiving feedback from its members.

On June 14, the committee approved a standard overtime format that would have teams playing a five-minute, 5-on-5, sudden-death OT period. If neither team scored, the game would be declared a tie.

That format mirrored what was used by the three Division I men’s conferences: Hockey East, ECAC and Atlantic Hockey.

But now, the committee will give conferences two options after a mandatory five-minute, 5-on-5, sudden-death overtime period:

1. A conference could use a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period, followed by a shootout if the score remained tied. This is the format the NCHC and WCHA uses.

2. A conference could use a shootout if the score remained tied after the five-minute, 5-on-5 overtime. This is the format the Big Ten uses.

The NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel will consider the proposals and render a decision Wednesday.

The rules, if approved, would be in place for the coming season.

Both overtime options would be used only to award conference points; games tied after 5-on-5 overtime would be a tie for NCAA tournament selection purposes.

In nonconference games, both options would not be permitted, and a game would end in a tie after the 5-on-5 overtime.

When the rules committee approved the standard OT period in June, NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton and WCHA Commissioner Bill Robertson expressed disappointment with the elimination of 3-on-3 OT, which has been popular in both conferences.

“This is terrific news for the WCHA,’’ Robertson said. “[3-on-3 overtime] has been immensely popular. … Eliminating the 3-on-3 and shootout would have been a step back for college hockey.’’

Added Fenton, “We’re certainly excited. … It’s not only great for fans … but it’s also great for the student-athletes.’’

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