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NCHC becomes 1st conference to adopt 3-on-3 overtime format

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A couple of Minnesota college hockey programs will be among the first in the country to test 3-on-3 overtime hockey.

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference announced Monday it will be the first college hockey conference to use a 3-on-3 overtime format to decide the extra point in the standings after a conference game ends in a tie.

The rule was approved by the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee in July.

Here's how it will work.

Any conference game that remains tied after regulation will play the NCAA mandated 5-on-5, 5-minute overtime period. If the game remains tied after the 5-minute overtime, the two teams will then play a 3-on-3, 5-minute overtime period for the extra point in conference standings.

Minnesota Duluth, St. Cloud State and North Dakota all play in the NCHC.

"I think others around the world of hockey have shown what great excitement 3-on-3 overtime can bring to the game," said NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton. "We look forward to bringing this same excitement to NCHC student-athletes and fans during the coming year."

The NCHC and the Big Ten were the only two conferences using shootouts to determine extra points in the standings. According to the Star Tribune, NCHC venues will follow the same protocol in non-conference games if the visiting team consents.

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