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An update on college hockey OT rules (since we got it wrong)

2021 NCAA Division I Mens Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

Boston College men’s hockey opened up its season last night with a 2-2 tie against Quinnipiac, then won the shootout, leading us to erroneously tweet:

Except... nope, this is wrong. It was a tie and goes down as such (50-50) for pairwise rankings purposes. The shootout was solely for placement purposes within the Icebreaker.

The actual rule:

1) All tie games, both conference games and non-conference games, go to a 3-on-3 overtime.

2) The winner of a 3-on-3 overtime gets “55% of a win” for pairwise purposes, while the loser gets 45% of a win.

3) If 3-on-3 overtime is tied, all conference games go to a shootout. In Hockey East play, for standings purposes, regulation wins are 3 points, 3-on-3 Overtime or shootout wins are worth 2 points, and 3-on-3 overtime or shootout losses are worth 1 point.

4) If 3-on-3 overtime ends in a tie, the game is officially a tie. 50-50 split for pairwise purposes.

5) If teams elect to play a shootout for the hell of it in nonconference games, they can, but it has no bearing on the national record. In-season tournaments such as the Icebreaker (and, sadly, the Beanpot) can use shootouts for classification/tournament advancement purposes.

6) For purposes of your historical record, an OT win is a “win,” even though it’s not really a full win for pairwise purposes. A shootout win in a conference game is, for historical record purposes, a tie, even though it’s worth the same number of conference points as an overtime win. If this is confusing to you, you are not alone.

7) The cheese stands alone.

Our bad for getting that one wrong last night. The culprit in what may have tricked our memory? Our old friend HEPI, the Hockey East Power Index. Under HEPI, shootouts and 3-on-3 overtime results counted the same as one another toward the rankings, and pairwise functionally didn’t exist last year.

If you’re confused... you’re probably not the only one. But long story short: BC tied last night. Now let’s win tonight!