Friday, May 13, 2016

Changes Coming To AUS Hockey

The AUS held their annual general meetings in Nova Scotia last week and it produced a pair of changes to men's hockey that will go into effect this upcoming season.

First, the seven participating teams agreed upon a balanced 30 game regular season that will see each team play five games against each of the other six teams. All teams will play 15 home games and 15 away games, with the additional home game against each team alternating each year. The teams will remain in one division with the top six teams qualifying for the playoffs.

Originally the plan was to go to a 30 game schedule, but with a two division format consisting of the NB/PEI schools in one division and the Nova Scotia teams in the other. This would have meant each team played 6 games each against division opponents and 3 games each against the other division. This model would have been better economically, but when St. Thomas folded their program last month the schedule had to be adjusted and although this schedule is more costly "the teams wanted balance. They felt that was the most equitable way," according to Varsity Reds athletic director John Richard.

The final schedule for men's hockey will be released next week.

The second change approved involves the overtime format, which will now mirror that of the NHL. Beginning this season overtime will consist of a five minute 3-on-3 period followed by a shoot-out, if necessary. This replaces the current format of a 10 minute 4-on-4 period followed by a shoot-out.