Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A polarizing topic in college hockey recently has been the shootout. A great way to decide regular season games or a gimmick to sell more tickets? What about distributing points?
Personally, I think it's a great way to determine the outcome of the game. It makes the game mean more and it's fun to watch. I got to see the Avalanche beat Minnesota in the regular season finale shootout last season and I watched the Lincoln Stars beat the Omaha Lancers at the IceBox in a shootout a few years back in the USHL. It's great to see and gives guys the chance to use their individual moves out in space 1-on-1. This season, the WCHA Women's teams will be using the shootout, but not the men. It's a chance for the WCHA to be at the forefront of the shootout and they are going for it 50%. It makes no sense to me why you would have half your league do it and half not, but I'm not the commish and I wasn't asked. Regardless, it sounds like the Tigers would love the challenge.

Gazette TigerDen
Lined up at center ice, Colorado College players watched as freshman Tim Hall sped toward the net, faked a shot, deked to his backhand and beat the goaltender with a forehand shot.

Hall and the rest of the Tigers practiced their shootout skills for 15 minutes at captain’s practice Friday, although the Western Collegiate Hockey Association only approved the NHL-style three-player shootout for women’s hockey.

The NCAA hockey rules committee added the shootout to the rule book in July but made it an optional experiment for the sport’s six conferences.

In men’s hockey, only the Central Collegiate Hockey Association decided to adopt the shootout to decide games tied after regulation and a 5-minute overtime.

“I love the shootout,” Hall said. “I’m surprised the WCHA didn’t (adopt it), especially with the success at the pro level.”

The CCHA still awards two points for a win in regulation or overtime. But each team will receive a point if the game is tied at the conclusion of overtime, with an additional point awarded to the team that wins the shootout. Games decided by shootout will be considered ties for the purposes of the PairWise rankings and NCAA Tournament selection, but the points will impact conference standings.

The shootout and corresponding points system were popular with players and fans in the United States Hockey League — a junior league — said right wing Stephen Schultz, who flashed several shootout moves, roofing one shot on goaltender Drew O’Connell.

“The whole point of the game is to decide a winner,” Schultz said. “It decides the game and that extra point can really help the team further down the road.”

Added O’Connell: “Nobody likes a tie.”

CC opens the season Oct. 6 with an exhibition against the University of Alberta at World Arena.