CCHA TO CONDUCT A SHOOTOUT STARTING WITH 2008-09 SEASON
Shootout To Determine Regular-Season Conference Game Winner Following Overtime
* CCHA Shootout Announcement Release* PDF
The Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) announced today that an NHL style three-player shootout will be used in the 2008-09 season to determine a winner for all of the 168 regular-season conference games that are tied after 60 minutes of regulation play and five minutes of overtime.
|A shootout will be held for all 2008-09 CCHA regular-season games which are tied following the five-minute overtime period.
"The shootout has proved to be an exciting addition to hockey at a variety of levels and we are anxious to bring it into college hockey. The drama it creates is very popular with fans, and importantly, today's players love it," stated CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos, whose conference becomes the first of college hockey's six Division I men's leagues to adopt the shootout. "At the same time, the NCAA rules and ice hockey committees have allowed us to implement this tie-breaker protocol so that every regular-season league game will have a winner while preserving the integrity of the national rankings because CCHA games decided by a shootout will still be considered ties for NCAA purposes. Bonus points awarded will impact the conference standings only."
The shootout concept has been enthusiastically endorsed by Greg Hammaren, the Vice President and General Manager of FSN Detroit, which will televise 17 CCHA regular-season and playoff games in 2008-09.
"This is a bold decision and I think it's a great one," said Hammaren. "College hockey is already one of the most exciting sports in America, adding the shootout just adds to the excitement."
"I have some reservations from the standpoint of how this will unfold," said Ferris State head coach Bob Daniels. who enters his 17th season at FSU in the 2008-09 season. "It will be exciting to see how this (shootout) plays out. For the casual fans, the shootout will add some excitement to the game and the extra point earned from winning a shootout could have an effect on the final league standings.
The CCHA has also approved the following point system for regular-season play; Two (2) points for a win in regulation or overtime, one (1) point for each school if the game is tied at the conclusion of the five-minute overtime period and one (1) point is awarded to the team who wins the shootout.
A total of 90 regular-season games have been tied through 60 minutes of play over the past three CCHA seasons; 31 in 2007-08, 26 in 2006-07 and 33 in 2005-06. Of these, 61 finished in a deadlock; 19 last season, 16 in 2006-07 and 26 in 2005-06. An overtime goal was scored on 29 occasions; 12 times in 2007-08, 10 times in 2006-07 and seven times in 2005-06.
University of Alaska Athletics Director Forrest Karr, who serves as chairperson of the CCHA Council and is also a member of the NCAA Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Rules Committee, noted that considerable thought has gone into the decision.
"The game belongs to student-athletes, coaches and fans," said Karr. "As administrators, it isn't our place to change things without adequate input. For the past two years, we've received feedback from all constituencies. We've also been given a direction to make decisions that reward speed, creativity and skill, while maintaining the game's safety and integrity. By allowing shootouts, the rules committee gave conferences a means to enhance game excitement. We are always careful when making changes as there can be unintended consequences. In this case, the CCHA Council was comfortable that shootouts will have no direct impact on the RPI and also felt that shootouts are in the best interest of the game at this time."
Overtime will continue to be played similar to regulation time with five skaters for each team (penalties excepted). The shootout may also be used for non-conference games hosted by CCHA schools pending the mutual consent of their opponents although, once again, any game deadlocked through overtime would be considered a tie for NCAA purposes.
The NCAA Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Rules Committee voted early last month to allow conferences to experiment with a shootout in regular-season contests as a means to enhance the excitement of the game. The committee adopted the measures in hopes that conferences will use a shootout and provide feedback for future consideration.