File photo from 2016 of UMaine's Nolan Vesey taking control of the puck against Quinnipiac at Alfond Arena in Orono. The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee on Thursday announced that all hockey overtimes will remain a five-on-five (plus goalies), five-minute, sudden-death format. Credit: Peter Buehner

It appears as though there will be uniformity for overtime in college hockey next season.

All overtimes will remain a five-on-five (plus goalies), five-minute, sudden-death format as decided by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee on Thursday, according to a NCAA.com report.

If nobody scores in the OT, it goes in the books as a tie.

That is what the NCAA rule has been but three of the six Division I conferences extended the overtime so teams could earn extra points for their league standings. That will no longer be permitted.

The National Collegiate Hockey Association and Western Collegiate Hockey Association went to a five-minute, three-on-three (plus goalies) format after the normal overtime and then went to a sudden-death shootout. The Big Ten went right to a shootout after the five-on-five OT period.

Hockey East, the Eastern College Athletic Conference and Atlantic Hockey stuck to the NCAA-mandated overtime rule.

Joe Bertagna, Hockey East commissioner and chairman of the rules committee, said although there were differing opinions, the committee “strongly endorsed a single overtime option” because “hockey is played, for the most part, in a five-on-five format.”

He said there someday could be an overtime with reduced manpower “but the prevailing voices on the committee did not see that time as now.”

University of Maine head coach Red Gendron said he is in favor of the standard five-minute overtime and the fact there will be overtime “uniformity.

“It’s great because we all play a lot of out of conference games and now everybody will be doing the same thing [pertaining to overtime],” Gendron said.

Several other proposals will also be sent to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for final approval.

Those include the use of video during a game in a situation where ejecting a player is being considered; a redefining of the slashing penalty; players coming off the ice on a line change must be within five feet of their bench before the substitute comes on; each team will be given a timeout for overtime; and the number of skaters (excluding goalies) will increase from 18 to 19. Also, a player who catches the puck must drop it on ice immediately or receive a minor penalty and coaches must now use a challenge to review goals scored where a potential high stick was involved or plays where the puck touches the netting out of play and leads to a goal.

Gendron likes most of the proposed changes.

As for the video review of a potential player ejection, he said, “We’ve all seen or been involved in games where a player gets ejected, there’s no video review, and coaches get upset because they didn’t think the penalty was worthy of a five-minute major and a game misconduct or a game disqualification. At the same time, there are other times when a minor penalty was assessed when it should have been a major penalty and a game misconduct or game DQ. It ends up going to supplemental discipline.

“Now they can take care of it relatively quickly during the game,” he added.

He feels the line change rule will cut down on the “cheating” on line changes; that it “makes sense to be able to have a timeout for overtime” and that adding an extra skater is a positive rule.

“Every team in the country has more than 18 skaters in their program and this enables you to put another player in your lineup. It’s also good in case you get a player injured or one gets disqualified,” Gendron said.

And forcing a player to drop the puck on the ice immediately after it goes into his hand is good because “the game is intended to play with the puck on the ice with a stick. Players shouldn’t be able to use their hands to gain an advantage.”

He also said if a player momentarily carries the puck, that opens him up to get slashed by a opponent trying to knock the puck out of his hands.

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