The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League (PIHL) appears to be on the verge of ushering in a new era of competitive hockey overtime, with the league shrinking the extra period, giving way to a three-round shootout.
As reported by MSA Sports and KDKA sports reporter Josh Rowntree, the PIHL will adopt an overtime format that begins with a three-minute period featuring three-on-three skaters. If that period fails to determine a winner, the two teams will then reportedly take part in a three-skater shootout, which would ultimately become a winner-take-all shootout should the game remain knotted after the shootout.
The new overtime rules for games in Pennsylvania appear to be the first to cut straight to three skaters per side, with a shootout directly following. There has been no additional insight into what motivated the new overtime rules, though it may have been sparked in part by games like Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s 5-4, double overtime victory against Seneca Valley in the PIHL Class 3A semifinal.
Now, that game would have been decided earlier, and more directly, which is precisely what PIHL officials hope to instill in the forthcoming season.