WCHA women going to three-on-three overtime for 2019-20 conference regular-season games

The WCHA women’s conference will implement a three-on-three overtime period in league games should contests remain tied following the five-minute, five-on-five overtime period.

The announcement was made Friday.

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 games.

“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 commissioner Jennifer Flowers said in a statement. “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 games 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.