Coming soon to a Big Ten hockey rink near you: Three-on-three overtime.
The Big Ten on Thursday announced that it has adopted three-on-three OT for the 2018-19 season, joining the NCHC and WCHA in using the format.
Here’s how it will work:
* If the score is tied after regulation play, teams will play an NCAA-mandated five-on-five, sudden-death overtime period. Any game decided in regulation or the five-on-five OT period will be worth three points in the conference standings for the winner.
* If the score still is tied after five-on-five OT, the game will be considered a tie for NCAA tournament selection purposes and each team will receive a point in the conference standings. The teams then will play a five-minute, sudden-death, three-on-three OT period. If the game still is tied after the three-on-three OT, it will go to a shootout. The winner of the three-on-three OT or shootout will be awarded a second point in the conference standings.
In NCAA tournament play, the 20-minute, five-on-five, sudden-death overtime format still will be used.
Gophers coach Bob Motzko, speaking on the Big Ten teleconference, was happy with the change.
“The biggest thing with three-on-three: They players love it and the fans really enjoy it,’’ said Motzko, who had experience with the format when he was St. Cloud State’s coach in the NCHC. “… I love the fact that it’s in our league and I really like the fact that we’ve got three leagues in the west all using it.’’
* Motzko said freshman forward Blake McLaughlin will be out about six weeks because of an injury.
* Motzko named his captains for the season. Tyler Sheehy and Brent Gates Jr. will be captains, and Jack Ramsey and Darian Romanko will be assistant captains. All are senior forwards.
* Freshman forwards Sammy Walker and Sampo Ranta “are really off to a great start’’ in practice, Motzko said.
* The Gophers have a future series scheduled with Colorado College, Motzko said. He also wants to schedule trips to play eastern teams. “I want our players going east two times in their careers. We’re working on that,’’ Motzko said. “We are not going to hide from a tough schedule.’’