WCHA games will have winners this season — at least for standings purposes — as the league on Tuesday announced that it will implement 3-on-3 overtime and shootouts to games that are still tied at the end of the NCAA-mandated five-minute, 5-on-5, sudden-death overtime.
The league also is implementing a new point system for the standings, giving three points to teams that win in regulation or in 5-on-5 overtime instead of the usual two. A team that loses in that situation gets zero.
If games are tied after the first overtime, they will go down officially as ties per NCAA and Pairwise standards. However, a five-minute, 3-on-3, sudden-death overtime will be played after that to get a winner for league purposes. If the game remains tied, a shootout will take place. Shootout and 3-on-3 winners will get two points, and the losing team will get one for the standings.
UPDATE: Mavericks coach Mike Hastings, whose team had a league-high seven ties last season and still shared the MacNaughton Cup championship, said he likes the move: "We're trying to get away from ties. Also, part of the goal is to provide entertainment to the fans who pay a dollar to watch us play."
The WCHA also announced that it will use NHL-sized nets which are shallower by four inches, leaving more room for players behind the net.
For more on the WCHA changes, go here.