There will be a few subtle changes to the rules for college hockey next season.
The NCAA men’s and women’s ice hockey rules committee met earlier this week and forwarded those changes to the playing rules oversight panel for approval and adoption at its July 16 meeting. Rules are implemented every two years.
The coaches preferred that overtimes remain five-on-five (plus goalies) for five minutes rather than switch to the NHL’s four-on-four, five-minute OT period.
And the players still will be required to wear full face shields instead of going to the three-quarter visors used in other leagues, including the United States Junior (A) Hockey League.
Maine coach Red Gendron likes the current overtime procedure but is in favor of going to the three-quarter visors.
“The game is played five-on-five,” said Gendron. “Some people want to get rid of ties but a tie is better than a loss. There’s nothing wrong with ties. Eliminating ties doesn’t do anything for anybody.”
Gendron feels it’s unfair for a road team to play a “real hard game” for 60 minutes and come up empty-handed because the home team capitalizes in a four-on-four or a four-on-three power play.
The NHL has a shootout if nobody scores in overtime and some college leagues also have experimented with a shootout. In addition, a shootout is used in regular season tournaments from time to time although the game counts as a tie in the eyes of the NCAA.
“Even though it counts as a tie, if you lose in a shootout, it still feels like a loss,” said Gendron.
He is in favor of the three-quarter visors because “it encourages players to keep their sticks down and to stay on their feet rather than lay on the ice to block a shot. I don’t like people lying on the ice.”
The changes will include a minor penalty when a player taking a face-off plays the puck with his hand. Gendron said that will prevent the defending team’s face-off man from using his glove to run off valuable seconds in the waning moments of a game.
The defending team’s face-off taker will have to put his stick down first instead of the attacking player.
“The first player to put his stick down is at a disadvantage,” said Gendron.
The other noteworthy change is that when the attacking team is attempting to score and the puck goes out of play, the face-off will remain in the attacking zone.
There were also some video replay tweaks:
— A play is reviewable to assess if a goal was scored before a penalty occurred.
— If a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty or an offsides is missed and a goal is scored, it is reviewable until the puck leaves the offensive zone.
— A video review can be used without the restriction of games that are being broadcast on television.