BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Sept. 13, 2019 – Overtime will have a new look in the Women's League of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association in 2019-20. The WCHA will implement a three-on-three overtime period in league games should contests remain tied following the five-minute five-on-five overtime period. Teams would move to a sudden-death shootout should the game not be decided after the two overtime periods. The change will only affect League contests.
"We're excited that the WCHA will be the first women's league in the country to use the three-on-three format in the second overtime period," WCHA Women's League Commissioner Jennifer Flowers said. "We believe this brings more excitement to our game and aligns us with international rules, which is outstanding for our student-athletes."
The overtime procedure will mirror the existing overtime rules in the WCHA Men's League. Following the conclusion of the third period, teams will switch ends and play one five-minute five-on-five sudden-death period. If the period ends without a goal, the game will be recorded as a tie.
In WCHA regular season Women's League contests that are tied after the five-on-five overtime period, teams will change ends following the conclusion of the first overtime period and play a second five-minute three-on-three sudden-death period to determine the recipient of the extra point in the League standings.
If the game remains tied following the second overtime period, the teams move to a sudden-death shootout to determine the recipient of the extra point in the League standings. The goaltenders will remain in the goals they defended in the second overtime.
The home team has the option of shooting first or defending first. Each team has an equal number of chances to shoot before a winner is declared. The first team to have its shooter score and hold the other team without a goal, in succession, wins. If the shootout progresses past a first round, shooters that have already taken a shot are ineligible until all other bench players have attempted a shot, if necessary.
The WCHA opens its 21st season the weekend of Sept. 21-22 as Minnesota hosts the Toronto Aeros and Minnesota Whitecaps in a pair of exhibition games. The first opportunity for the new overtime rules to be used will occur Oct. 4-5 when league play opens with Ohio State at St. Cloud State and Minnesota at Minnesota State.