OPINION: Ring the victory bells, ties are dead in Atlantic Hockey


The Robert Morris men’s hockey team discusses a play during a game against Niagara Nov. 2, 2018. (David Auth/RMU Sentry Media) Photo credit: David Auth

Jack O'Brien and Jack O'Brien

Editor’s Note: All opinions on RMU Sentry Media are the writer’s own.

MOON TOWNSHIP— Over the past weekend, Atlantic Hockey made a decision that many within the conference have been waiting on for some time. That decision was that the overtime protocol of a single five on five overtime period and nothing more is over. The AHA has adopted the five minute three on three then shootout method of deciding games and I for one, am ecstatic that games will no longer end in ties.

Like I said in my previous piece regarding when Air Force head coach Frank Serratore spoke his mind on what he thought about the AHA current overtime format, there isn’t a soul on the planet who spends money to see two teams tie at the final horn. Now there will be a team walking away with two points every night regardless of whether or not the game ends in regulation.

This isn’t only a win for players and coaches, but this is a win for the entire college hockey community. College hockey is a brand of hockey that is among the best right up there with the on-ice product of the NHL and IIHF in my opinion, and it doesn’t get nearly enough exposure for the effort and dedication to competing put forth by those players and coaches. It’s fast-paced and the quickness of decision making, skill, efficiency, and overall hockey IQ can be what separates your team from a win or a loss in such a competitive, hard-nosed conference. Now that Atlantic Hockey has become the fourth conference out of six to adopt this format, you’re going to see a spike in attendance and viewership across not only the conference but NCAA hockey in general. This is how you grow the game, this is how you grow the market.

It’s like cutting the fat off a steak. Some people don’t mind the fat, but most would prefer not to see it on the portion of your food you’re planning on enjoying. I bet that more people would probably eat the steak if the fat just wasn’t there. Atlantic Hockey’s on-ice product used to be a fine steak but had the old overtime format in place. In this case, ties are the fat, but the conference worked around it for a while and the steak was still really good, it just left everyone feeling it could be better. Now we’re dealing with one of the leanest, meanest steaks in College Hockey because this steak’s cooked medium-rare and has zero fat on it now bud; (yes, medium-rare is the ideal steak, this is my opinion piece, not yours, keep walking).

Get ready to send your compliments to the chef this upcoming season, because we’ll all be treating ourselves to a grade A steak every weekend with Atlantic Hockey firing up the grill with this new overtime identity.