Thursday, August 28, 2008

Women's WCHA adopting shootouts for the 2008-09 season

The Women's WCHA is adopting shootouts for the upcoming season, and apparently the decision among WCHA head coaches was unanimous. Here are the Badger Women's Hockey and WCHA press releases.

The new points system will apply to conference standings only and will not affect the pairwise. For pairwise purposes, games decided by a shootout will be considered ties.

Here's the points system:
Two (2) points for a win in regulation or overtime, one (1) point for each team if the game is still tied at the conclusion of the five-minute (5:00) overtime period, and one (1) additional point being awarded to the team who wins the shootout. Overtime will continue to be played similar to regulation time with five skaters and one goaltender for each team (penalties excepted).

Badgers' Head Coach Mark Johnson says:
“I think it’s great for our league to step-up and take a leadership role to experiment and try it out. It will be more exciting for fans and adds similarity to the NHL. People can leave games knowing the winner and loser rather than it ending in a tie. I think at the end of the year we can evaluate its effectiveness, especially since it will count towards league championships.”

WCHA Associate Commissioner Sara Martin says:
"As a group, our head coaches were unanimous in adopting this exciting tie-breaking procedure to determine a winner for our regular season games. Over our first nine seasons as a Division 1 league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has continued to bring an impressive brand of women's hockey to the ice and collectively we think the adoption of the shootout will add an extra element of drama to our games for student-athletes, coaches, fans and media."
Hmmm . . . no quotes from WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod . . .

By the way, the press releases indicate that the WCHA currently has no plans to implement the shootout in the men's league.