The Big Ten on Thursday announced that it has adopted three-on-three overtime 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 OT 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 Gophers hockey news, freshman forward Blake McLaughlin will be out about six weeks because of an injury. … The team captains for this season will be Tyler Sheehy and Brent Gates Jr., the assistant captains Jack Ramsey and Darian Romanko. All are senior forwards.

Randy Johnson

U women to drop puck

The No. 3 Gophers women's hockey team will open its season against No. 10 Mercyhurst at 7 p.m. Friday at Ridder Arena.

Before the opening faceoff, the Gophers will honor their one current (Kelly Pannek on the U.S. team) and two past players (Lee Stecklein on the U.S. and Mira Jalosuo on Finland) in attendance who played in the 2018 Olympics and will raise the banner for winning the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff.

The Gophers return seven of their top 10 leading scorers and Pannek, a senior redshirt forward who has 155 career points, including 56 goals. Another big offensive threat back, after missing last season to try out for Canada's Olympic team, is redshirt junior forward Sarah Potomak, who had a team-high 20 goals two seasons ago.

Forward Taylor Heise, picked the WCHA preseason rookie of the year, is among six incoming freshmen. The Red Wing prep star was named the tournament MVP of the 2018 IIHF Women's World Championships. Also new is goalie Sydney Scobee, a junior who had a 2.59 goals-against average in two seasons at Vermont before transferring.

The Gophers are 8-1 all-time against Mercyhurst.

U soccer match delayed

The Gophers women's soccer match with Maryland, scheduled for Thursday night at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, was postponed to 6 p.m. Friday because of travel issues for the Terrapins.