By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
The Owen Sound Attack beat the Kitchener Rangers 4-3 in a shootout last Wednesday night in an Ontario Hockey League contest at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre.
It was an exciting game, and yes, my level of excitement ( & joy ) was likely heightened by the fact the Attack overcame a 3-1 deficit, tied the affair in the last minute of regulation and finally won it in Round 5 of the shootout.
The 10 shots in the the shootout were certainly dramatic, I can't deny that, but......................
The 5 minute overtime that preceded the shootout was vastly more entertaining with point blank opportunities and saves by both Mack Guzda for the Attack & Kitchener's Jacob Ingham.
Why not have more 3 on 3 OT ?
By the time the ice surface is scraped and the nets are in place, you probably could have played another 5 minutes of extra time.
Is there anything wrong or unjust in having a tie game if 10 minutes of 3 on 3 doesn't settle the issue ?
My other suggestion for overtime is this; make forward progress mandatory.
Using Owen Sound & Kitchener as an example, there were several cases where the team in possession of the puck backtracked, circled back to make a line change or alter their path for attacking.
I say alter the rules so that once the team in possession gains the neutral zone, they cannot go back into their own end with possession.
Furthermore, once the team in possession crosses the opposition blueline in overtime, make it a rule that they cannot go back into the neutral zone, unless the defending team has knocked the puck away from the attacking team into the neutral zone.
The Shootout game between the Attack & Rangers was exciting and fun.
I believe abandoning the shootout, extending overtime and implementing the forward progress initiative would make OHL Overtime that much more exciting.
I'm Fred Wallace