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NCAA Approves Rule Changes for 2014-2015 Hockey Season

Meet the new hockey, same as the old hockey

5 for interference?
5 for interference?

College hockey approved its rule changes for the upcoming season on Tuesday, and while there's nothing major, there were several minor tweaks that will affect games for the new season.

Chief among them was an update that replay officials can use video from any source to determine a ruling. This was clarified after BC's infamous win over UMass last season where a UMass goal was reviewed and waved off because the play was offside immediately preceding the goal being scored. The officials correctly ruled the offside, but were later admonished for using the online video feed available to them, which was technically not allowed. The rules stated that only video from television broadcasts could be used.

Also among the rules pertaining to replay, video can now be used to nullify a goal scored if there were too many men on the ice... which would have been handy in the 2013 Beanpot final against Northeastern. Granted, they didn't score (either time), but, yeah.

Other rule changes taking affect -- some that will affect BC games more than others -- include:

  • Officials now have the option to call a major penalty for interference, specifically "to assist officials in properly penalizing significant contact – particularly blindside hits – that is not to the head or neck area."

    Last season, Steve Santini was called for "Excessive Roughness" and given a game disqualification for this hit against UMass, forcing him to miss his next two games. This will presumably be when an "interference major" will be called -- clean hits to the body that are too big for Hockey East's liking. Sigh.
  • The NCAA is mandating that all nets be held in place by 10 inch goal pegs by the 2016-2017 season. This will certainly have an affect on BC's games against Notre Dame and BU, given their histories with knocking the nets off, although I do find it funny that this rule was put into effect after Steven Summerhayes graduated.
  • Along the same lines -- if a goal is knocked off its pegs during a penalty shot, and it was deemed to be intentional or that a goal would have scored anyway, the referees can award a goal or allow the shooter to attempt again.
  • The "look up line" used at Frozen Fenway will be allowed, but not mandatory.
  • There is an experimental rule in women's hockey only that will allow pucks to be played with a high stick. There has been quite a bit of backlash on this on the USCHO women's forum, but it will be interesting to see how it changes the dynamic of the game. Deflecting high shots from the point would become quite a useful skill.

There are a few minor rule changes that you can read about here. What do you think of the changes? Do you think Steve Santini is being targeted for being a bad, bad man? Let us know in the comments.