Wednesday, August 19, 2015

3v3 OT: Should the Big Ten Conference Adopt it?

As fans of the game, we can all agree that we like to take in some "free hockey" during the season. A last-second goal to push the game into overtime injects another level of excitement in the arena. But push it much past the first overtime -- or god-forbid five -- and things can get a bit stale.

Taking a page from the NHL's newly adopted 3-on-3 overtime rule -- approved by the NHL Board of Governor's earlier this summer -- the NCHC announced a 3-on-3 overtime for its league play, too. The team that wins in the 3-on-3 stanza, which takes place after an original 5-minute, 5-on-5 overtime, will receive an extra point in conference standings.

Here's how it plays out according to the NCHC official statement:
"As has been the case in previous seasons, any conference game that remains tied after regulation will play the NCAA-mandated 5-on-5 (plus goalies) 5-minute overtime period, which is also done throughout all NCAA hockey conferences. If one team scores, they receive all three points in the conference standings while the losing team receives none. The game also counts as a win and loss nationally in the PairWise rankings. If no goal is scored, the game is considered a tie with both teams receiving one point in the conference standings and it is also called a tie nationally, also the same as previous seasons.
Beginning in October, if a conference game is still tied after the 5-minute overtime, the two teams will then play a 3-on-3 (plus goalies) 5-minute overtime period for the extra point in the conference standings, keeping all conference games worth three points. The result of the 3-on-3 overtime will not affect the PairWise rankings as the game is still considered a tie. If a team scores during the 3-on-3 overtime, the winning team will receive the extra point for two points in the standings while the losing team will receive the one point for the tie. The final score of the game will still reflect a tie, however."

If the game is still tied after the second OT period then, similar to last year, the two teams will square off in a shootout** to decide the winner of the extra point. The extra point will only benefit the teams in the NCHC conference standings and will hold no value on the NCAA level when it comes to national standings or tournament selection.

Now that we broke down the logistics, the B1G question is: will the Big Ten look into adding this to their conference rules?

My first thought is, why not.

The biggest thing to consider is ending a game in OT rather than a shootout. With less players, the ice is opened up for more scoring chances. Who doesn't want to see the game decided on more than just one skill set?

Three-on-three hockey can be a lot of fun to watch -- then again you will have plenty of people argue that shootouts are fun to watch, too. Either way, I'm excited to see the NCHC making steps toward making the game exciting. They are establishing themselves as a conference that's not afraid to try things. Maybe the Big Ten will follow suite and take a page out of their book for the benefit of its fans.

Should the Big Ten go with a 3v3 OT? Tell us what you think in the comments section below or Tweet at us @b1gicehockey.

** = A minor change to last year's shootout rules, this year the NCHC decided there will only be one round rather than three, which keeps going until a winner is decided. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you. Why not? It sounds intriguing, especially for those who don't like the shootouts.