Time for Extra In NIHL

ScoreBoardLast week I visited the Altrincham Ice Dome for what was remarkably the first time I have watched the Altrincham Aces, Trafford Metros etc in a league game. As was expected it wasn’t a massive crowd since the Ice Dome is also home to Manchester Storm but the Widnes Wild did bring a good number down the M56. Despite that though it was great game. It was end to end and some standout performances made for an exciting game. The best part of the game though was that it was tight and end to end and both sides wanted to win. It was therefore disappointing that they were denied the chance to get that win because the EIHA has not sanctioned overtime or shootouts for the NIHL.

It has got to be about time overtime was instituted in the NIHL. Fans at that game and no doubt others are being short changed by league rules after all who wouldn’t want to see more of a close end to end game with 2 teams going for the win.

There is no reason why it couldn’t be instituted for next season either. The NIHL North Cup this season will feature overtime so there is a precedent. It would show fans are listened too. In our informal pole on twitter this weekend every respondent was in favour of overtime. It can not be a cost saving measure either with no resurfacing needed and OT only lasting 5 minutes plus a shootout it does not take much longer to complete the game.

In the UK we may have a sporting history that includes drawn games but hockey is hockey and it is different to football most notably we do not have boring drawn out scoreless games with a long ball tactics. The EIHA has changed the rules for the EPIHL and brought in 3v3 hockey so why not change the rules for the NIHL.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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