Rule Differences You'll Love

Mandatory facemasks: OK, maybe you won’t swoon over this rule, but at least you know the odds of someone losing an eye are remote.

No center line: In the NHL, a successful pass that crosses two of the three lines in the neutral zone (i.e. the defensive blue line and the center line) is illegal. In the college game, the center line is ‘invisible’ with regard to the two-line pass rule.

No-touch icing: Instead of requiring a member of the opposing team to touch the puck for icing, icing will automatically be called when the puck crosses the opponent’s goal line. Proponents believe the rule speeds up the game and helps prevent injury.

Obstruction: The NCAA’s crackdown on obstruction, which was implemented this season as an effort to open up the game, has played to mixed reviews. Some feel the measure has worked, while others believe it’s resulted in too many power play opportunities. Unlike the NHL, however, it’s late in the college hockey season and the officials – as a whole – are calling the games the same way they did in October.

Touch-up offsides: The NHL’s delayed offsides rule requires players from the offending team to clear the offensive zone and not re-enter until the other team moves the puck into the neutral zone. In the NCAA, once the offending team has cleared the offensive zone, they’re free to go back in and pursue the puck.

Fighting: Common misconception: fighting isn't "outlawed" in college hockey, its penalty (one-game suspension on your first offense) is just much more severe than the NHL's (five minute penalty, feel shame). The result, of course, is very few fights. While we're not above a good scrap now and then, we think you'll find that you don't miss it.

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