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COLLEGE HOCKEY: NCHC will use shootouts

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It's official: Shootouts are coming to the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.

As expected, the league voted unanimously to use a three-person shootout to break ties in conference games.

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The games will officially be recorded as ties in the record books and for NCAA tournament selection purposes, but the league will give an extra point in the standings to a team that wins a shootout.

In the NCHC, teams will get three points for winning in regulation or overtime, two points for a shootout win, one point for a shootout loss and no points for a loss in regulation or in overtime.

It is expected that the Big Ten also will use shootouts.

Prior to the 2013-14 season, the only league in men's college hockey that used shootouts was the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. That league disbanded after last season, though.

When the first shootout arrives, it won't be the first time that the UND men have been involved in one.

They won a shootout against Alaska Anchorage in Oct. 2010, which determined the champion at the Kendall Hockey Classic, and UND lost a shootout against Notre Dame a year earlier to determine the Shillelagh Tournament in suburban Chicago.

UND coach Dave Hakstol has said in the past that he's open to trying the shootout because of the excitement it generates for fans. The NHL has used a shootout since the 2005-06 season.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association women have been using the shootout since 2008.

"I agreed to it and thought it would be a good thing," UND women's coach Brian Idalski said. "We were trying to mirror IIHF. They were doing shootouts; we thought we should be doing them as well. I supported it, but we've been on the short end of the stick a few times. There have been three times where we would have been higher in the standings if not for the shootouts.

"There will be some interesting ramifications on the men's side, but it will be pretty neat to see guys with that skill level. I will be interested to watch a guy like Rocco (Grimaldi)."

Brad Schlossman covers North Dakota hockey for the Grand Forks Herald.

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