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NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee proposes new rule changes to video review, hitting from behind

Michigan State hockey may play with a new set of rules next season.

COLLEGE HOCKEY: JAN 14 Michigan State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee is reviewing some potential new changes for the 2022-2023 season.

Coaches can challenge reviewable plays including goaltender infractions, offsides and high-sticking. If a team’s challenge isn’t successful, a timeout will be assessed. If a timeout isn’t available, the team will be charged with a minor penalty.

That proposal, along with some others, must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel at its July 20 meeting.

“The committee believes this change will reduce the number of reviews while still providing tools to ensure the most significant calls are made accurately,” Joe Gervais, the committee chair and the associate athletic director at Vermont, said in a statement. “All areas of the hockey community indicated support for reducing the number of replay reviews.”

Another proposal revolves around overtime and shootouts. A five-minute period of 3-on-3 action will continue to be the overtime approach, but the committee has now voted to allow a shootout if the game is still tied after overtime. Shootout rules will be decided by the host school’s conference rules. If the proposal is passed, ties in NCAA hockey will drop significantly.

Referees would now also be able to assess a major penalty without an ejection for hits from behind and contact to the head. Prior, a major penalty would be assessed along with an ejection in such cases.

“We strongly believe player behavior has improved and remain committed to enhancing player safety with these critical rules,” Gervais said. “In recent years, the rigid nature of the penalty has resulted in ejecting players that do not warrant such a severe penalty.”

New offside rules have also been proposed. A player will be considered offsides once the skater enters the attacking zone and crosses the blue line, which is the rule used in the NHL. Previously, a skater was considered offsides once it comes into contact with the blue line.

Additionally, the length of intermissions will either be 12 or 15 minutes. The 18-minute option has been removed.

Find a full report on every proposed rule change at USCHO.

Michigan State enters the 2022-2023 season with a new head coach, Adam Nightingale, and a new staff. There are also a handful of new transfers that will be joining Michigan State. Most notably, MSU landed forward Miroslav Mucha, who will join the Spartans in the fall.

Michigan State is coming off of a tough 12-23-1 season, in which it lost 15 of its final 16 contests, resulting in the departure of head coach Danton Cole.