BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) will officially drop the puck on the 2018-19 men's hockey season next Friday night. Should any games remain tied after regulation this season, MIAC hockey fans can look forward to a new wrinkle in the league's overtime structure.
MIAC membership approved a one-year trial for a new overtime protocol earlier this fall. If the score remains tied at the end of regulation, teams will play the NCAA standard 5-on-5 five-minute overtime. If no team scores during that five-minute period, the game will technically go into the record books as a tie; however, the action will continue in the form of a second five-minute overtime period, this time in a 3-on-3 format with a point in the Conference standings on the line. If the score remains tied after the 3-on-3 period, the tie will be broken in a shootout.
"Our coaches felt this format would provide a better opportunity for their teams to decide the game on the ice, as opposed to going straight into a shootout," MIAC Commissioner Dan McKane said. "This is a change our student-athletes have been in favor of and we think it will provide a new level of strategy and excitement this season."
The point system employed in the MIAC standings will also be adjusted as a result of this change. Each Conference game will be worth three points. If a team wins in regulation or the first overtime period, that team will receive three points in the Conference standings. If a game goes into the second overtime period, both teams will receive one point and the team that wins in the second overtime or shootout will receive a "bonus" point in the standings.
MIAC coaches and administrators will evaluate the format following the season to determine if the Conference will extend the one-year trial into official policy, revert to the previous overtime rules, or explore other options. MIAC women's hockey coaches elected to maintain their current overtime rules and point system.