Yesterday, the Division I Competition Oversight Committee approved and announced that the NCAA Division 1 Men’s and Women’s hockey would be adding a day off between the semifinal and regional final games.
Official NCAA release — Teams advancing in the regional rounds of the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship will have a day off before the regional final, starting with the 2022 tournament.
The Division I Competition Oversight Committee approved the change recommended by the Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee.
The rationale for making the modification includes the need for additional time for the student-athletes to rest and recover as the season comes to its conclusion.
Along with the necessary rest, this provides more equity for all the teams when it comes to the game times. With the day off, a team playing the later game on the first day of the regionals has additional time to recover instead of turning around and playing again the next day, which it did under the previous format.
UND head coach Brad Berry is in favor of the change.
“Absolutely,” head coach Brad Berry told Brad E. Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald. “It provides consistency and equality to every team. The biggest thing is the ESPN contract is still in place. They dictate game times. If that’s the case, and we’re playing a 9 p.m. game as the No. 1 seed, it eases it a bit knowing you have a day off the next day if you win that first game.”
Apparently, in the eyes of some, UND is to blame for the new rule changes.
Anything else @UNDmhockey needs? Just let us know how else you can be catered to. Day off and basically home games aren’t enough, maybe we do like the PGA Tour championship and you guys can start with a 2 goal lead?https://t.co/70lK9ke6Lw
— DHG (@UmdPenaltyBox) September 10, 2021
You can’t make this up. Yep, it’s UND’s fault.
The North Dakota rule https://t.co/8UmSlCH2EG
— Dan Jacobsen (@DanJacobsen) September 10, 2021
Not in Favor Say I
Schlossman had an interesting statistic on Twitter yesterday. Since 2011, the team that plays the earlier game has a 28-14 (.667) winning percentage. Moreover, the winning percentage of the number one seed versus the number four seed is (.605). The earlier game has a higher winning percentage.
For reference, early semifinal winner has a better winning percentage over the late semi winner than the No. 1 seed has over the No. 4 seed. From my story: pic.twitter.com/5f46UNpL5L
— Brad Elliott Schlossman (@SchlossmanGF) September 10, 2021
I am not a fan of the new rule. I think it’s an overreaction. First, we’re not talking about a bunch of 50-year-old men. We’re talking about a bunch of highly skilled and physically fit athletes. They play back-to-back, two-game series all season long. Do they need to have a day off between the games?
If anything, the top seed should get to pick when they play. I don’t see a reason we needed to change this rule. Now folks will have to take an extra day of vacation to go to the regional finals.