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New Rules Approved

The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee announced some changes for next season.

Next year, all games will use the two-referee, two linesman system. There are pros and cons to both ways of officiating, but I didn't notice a huge difference in the games with two referees as opposed to one last year.

They also outlined their points of emphasis:
"Protection of the puck carrier and faceoff protocols were identified as the committee’s points of emphasis. The committee believes officials have properly handled obstruction away from the puck, but believes the puck carrier must be afforded more opportunities to make offensive plays. In the area of faceoffs, the committee will continue to emphasize the administration of the line change procedure and increase the enforcement of interference and obstruction fouls immediately after a faceoff."
Really? I recall very few penalties ever being called away from the puck last year. The two-man forecheck has virtually been banished from the game because it's impossible to attack effectively when one forechecker is always going to get held up by the opposition. The NCAA may be patting themselves on the back, but the rest of the hockey world is starting to recognize that college hockey is falling behind in terms of calling obstruction penalties.

Other proposals forwarded were:
* Goals scored by kicking. The committee spent a considerable amount of time discussing goals that are scored with the use of the skate. To make this rule as clear as possible, the group proposed adjustments to its rules that will allow all goals scored as a result of deflections. This will include deflections off an attacking player who is in the act of stopping, provided neither skate is used to direct the puck into the net. Pucks that are directed or kicked with the skate moving toward the goal will not be allowed.
* Shootout. The committee voted to maintain the traditional game structure (60 minutes, followed by a five-minute overtime), but will allow interested conferences to use shootouts at their discretion. This will in no way alter national rankings or the NCAA championship selection process.
* Icing. The committee approved a proposal dealing with icing. The rule will not allow a team that ices the puck to change its on-ice personnel.
* Faceoff locations. Starting next season, all faceoffs will be conducted at one of the nine faceoff spots.
In order...

1. I still don't think this rule makes a lot of sense and it will leave a lot of grey area. The easiest solution would just be to allow players to kick the puck into the net, but I know they can't really do that since it's not allowed anywhere else in hockey.

2. This seems like the best way to handle shootouts. It gives some closure to games, and should make intra-conference rivalries a little more dramatic, but doesn't have any real effect nationally.

3. This was a no-brainer after the NHL implemented it and it seemed to work. I'm surprised we also didn't see the 2-minute minor for shooting the puck over the glass.

4. Um.....ok?