NCHC announces shootout will be in play during all conference games, home nonconference games

The NCHC announced Thursday it will use shootouts to award an extra point within conference standings after the NCHC board of directors unanimously approved the use of a shootout to decide games after the NCAA standard five-minute, sudden-death overtime period has expired.

“The conference office and our member institutions are committed to engaging our fans in ways that provide them excitement in our home venues,” said NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton in a news release. “The use of a shootout at the conclusion of our standard overtime to determine an extra point within conference standings will make for an exciting race to determine the NCHC regular-season champion. We are confident our passionate fans will enjoy this aspect of the game in similar ways to how it is embraced in the National Hockey League.”

All NCHC regular-season conference match-ups will feature a shootout should the game end in a tie at the conclusion of a five-minute overtime period and any game that uses a shootout will be officially recorded as a tie within the overall record of each team. The Pairwise ranking will be calculated knowing the game was officially recorded as a tie.

The shootout will start with three shooters for each team, but should the shootout be tied at the conclusion of the initial three shooters, a sudden-death round with one shooter from each team will go until a winner is declared. Goaltenders will not switch ends during the shootout.

Each conference game will also be worth three points. Three points will be awarded to any team that wins a game in regulation or within the five-minute sudden-death overtime period. One point will be awarded to each team in a game that remains tied at the conclusion of overtime period. One additional point will be awarded to the team who wins the shootout, giving that team two points total for winning the game in a shootout. A team that loses in regulation or during the five-minute overtime period will not get any points.

Nonconference games held in NCHC venues will also feature a shootout with mutual agreement from the visiting institutions. NCHC tournament games will not feature shootouts with the exception of the third-place game of the NCHC championship that will use a five-minute, sudden-death overtime followed by the shootout.

At the end of the regular season, the team with the most points in the standings will be declared the NCHC regular-season champion. If two or more teams are tied for the championship, they will be considered co-champions. For NCHC tournament seeding, any ties within the conference standings will be broken based upon the below set of rules.

1. The team with the greater number of NCHC regular-season wins shall be the higher seed.

2. Head-to-head competition: The team with the best NCHC regular-season winning percentage against the other teams tied in the standings

3. Goal Differential: The comparison of total goals for and against each team in contests between (among) the other teams tied in the standings in NCHC regular-season play

4. Winning percentage of the teams tied in the standings against the remaining NCHC teams, starting at the top of the standings and working toward the bottom until the tie is broken.

5. Should the teams still remain tied in the standings, the seeding will be decided by a coin flip.

No shootout results will be used to break ties in the standings. Games decided in a shootout will be considered a tie when deciding final seeding for the NCHC tournament.


  1. Respect to CCHA for pioneering this system and kudos to the new
    NCHC for adopting it. The NHL system is absurd in that once a game goes to OT a third point appears which, at that moment, is unfair to the rest of the league.
    All games should be worth the same number of points.and 3 is great.
    A shootout win should not be equal to a win in regulation or overtime. Now I hope the other conferences (and the NHL) follow suit.

  2. it is a farce when a shootout determines a championship (Olympics for example) or even a playoff game, but…
    The NCHC will only go to the shootout in regular season games and since it only counts for 1 of 3 points, the added excitement makes this plan a winner for players and fans alike. Sure it’s only a ‘skills competition’ but what’s wrong with that? Don’t forget how many OT games are settled by a freak bounce or some other ‘non-skill’ event. I love it! Wake up ECAC, and get on board!


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