Coaches and players talk about 60-minute efforts, but a lot of the time, 60 minutes aren’t enough to settle a game.
That’s especially true in the B.C. Hockey League’s Island Division – of the six teams in the BCHL that have played the most overtime games this season, four are from the Island. The Victoria Grizzlies have gone to OT nine times, more than any other team in the league.
All that overtime experience might be useful as teams adjust to a new rule for OT that was introduced at the start of 2016-17. Now, the teams switch ends of the ice after the third period and stay there until the game is over.
“The longer change gets guys trapped out there, tired, it’s a harder change to make and I think that’s the theory behind it,” said Mike Vandekamp, Clippers coach.
Alex Evin, assistant coach of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs, said he loves the new rule.
“I think it’s great any time you can create more offence,” he said. “No one wants a tie … It definitely makes the strategy part come into play a little bit. Especially with the defence, you’ve got to be careful with the change.”
His team is 3-4-1 in OT this year. The Powell River Kings are 4-1-0, the Cowichan Valley Capitals are 3-2-2, the Grizzlies are 3-3-3 and the Clippers are 1-5-1.
Vandekamp doesn’t like the new rule and doesn’t have a problem with tie games.
“I don’t even like the overtime at all…” he said. “I’d like to see us play five minutes of extra time at five-on-five and see if you can settle a game and then shut ’er down, like it used to be in the old days.”
GAME ON … The Grizzlies visit the Clippers on Wednesday (Dec. 7) at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.