TORONTO - The UUHA Board of Governors has approved a change to the league's Playoffs format which could see an increase in series-deciding shootouts. The change does away with the previous aggregate/total-goals aspect of each two-game playoff series, replacing it with a first-to-3-points system for determining the winner of a given playoff round.
The primary motive behind the decision was, in theory, to make for a more exciting second game of each two-game series. As with the Regular Season, a Playoffs win will now be worth 2 points, and a tie worth 1 point. Whereas a team losing the first game may have formerly been facing a significant goal deficit to overcome in the second game, the score will now be reset to zero for the second game, with the previous game's victor needing only a second-game tie to win the series as the first team to achieve 3 points in the series. If the second game ends with both teams at 2 points each, the game will go into sudden-death, 5-on-5 overtime, providing there is enough time left in the hour (8 minutes or more) to do so. If fewer than 8 minutes remain in the hour, the game will be decided by a shootout. The length of an overtime period would be between 2 and 5 minutes, depending on how much time remains before the top of the hour, allowing for at least 3 minutes for a subsequent shootout in the event the game remains tied after OT. Shootouts will be staggered (not simultaneous) with 3 players from each team shooting. If the shootout has not been decided after the first 6 shooters, the shootout will continue with new shooters, and with each individual round potentially deciding the game. No player may shoot a second time until all of a team's skaters have shot, nor a third time until all of a team's skaters have shot twice, etc.
In other UUHA BoG developments, a new team standings tie-break formula has been agreed upon. In the event of a tie in the standings, the team with the greater number of wins will be determined the leader. The decision was warranted due to a tie for 3rd place in the final UUHA Regular Season standings between the Beau's Beer Hack and the Humiliation (the teams both finished with 21 points). Although the UUHA-sanctioned Super Cup tournament has long used tied teams' head-to-head results as a primary tie breaker, the decision to go with most wins as the primary tie breaker was agreed to, at least in part, because the head-to-head formula would prove useless in the event of a potential three-way tie. According to the new system (dubber Bill 42), If after comparing number of wins the teams in question remain tied, the team with the fewest losses would get the decision. Fewest penalty minutes would be the third determinant.