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September 27, 2006 E-MAIL PRINT Bookmark and Share

CCHA Experiments With Rules

CHN Staff Report

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — The CCHA will be using some experimental rules in their exhibition games this season, something that is now allowed in the NCAA. In addition, the league will be using video replay in all 12 arenas this season, as opposed to the three that used it last year.

In the exhibition games, the CCHA will experiment with two referees and two linesmen. The NCAA has used a two-referee system in the past, but phased it out. There has been discussion in recent years of bringing it back.

The CCHA will also experiment with two rules recently adopted by the NHL, both having to do with icing. In one, icing will be called on the defense, even during a shorthanded situation. In the other, when there is icing at even strength, the team that iced the puck may not make any personnel changes.

This is in addition to some rule changes implemented across the NCAA this season. The most significant, also related to icing, is the adoption of the "attainable pass" rule, whereby an official can wave off icing if it was determined that a pass was being attempted. The NHL implemented that rule last season.

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Also, directing the puck with your skate to score a goal is now permitted. A player still may not kick the puck. Finally, while players can go through the crease now without a whistle automatically being blown, they may not do so to interfere with the goalie's vision of the puck.

The CCHA's replay system differs from that used in the NHL and during the NCAA tournament. In the CCHA, the referee has sole discretion to review a call, and does so via a video screen near the scorer's table, akin to the NFL. In the NHL, for example, video is reviewed by a replay official upstairs.

Meanwhile, CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos said that the rules initiatives college hockey has been working under for two seasons — something he helped push through — has been successful in opening up the game. And the NHL, which implemented its own set of rules last year with a renewed emphasis on cracking down on obstruction, credited the NCAA, Anastos said.

"We were told by the NHL how helpful that was in their process," Anastos said. "We were hoping to see a significant trickle down effect and we are happy to report that USA Hockey is doing one of their own (rules initiatives), as has Hockey Canada.

"So this whole evolution in this change in culture continues to evolve, and I think it's terrific for the game, and I credit our coaches for trying to enforce a high standard. I have three kids that play youth hockey, and in a very short time, I have seen the effects already."

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