PIHL increases length of periods to maximize ice time
By Paul Kogut
Published: Monday, Nov. 26, 2012
With an eye on getting the most for its money, the PIHL decided it was time for a change and added six minutes to varsity games this season.
The league increased the length of each period from 15 to 17 minutes to better fill the block of ice time (1 hour and 50 minutes) purchased for each game, PIHL commissioner Ed Sam said.
“We were not utilizing all the ice we purchased,” Sam said. “We thought about it for a couple of years and determined we'd have time to increase the time of each period.”
The change has drawn mixed reactions.
While many agree it is prudent financially, some are concerned longer periods could make things more difficult for teams with little depth and prematurely end close games when the allotted ice time expires.
Others don't think the increase will have a significant impact, with the exceptions of providing more playing time and bringing the PIHL closer to the 20-minute periods of the NHL and NCAA.
“It might affect teams that are short-benched more than teams that have fairly strong rosters,” Freeport coach Dave Hepler said. “Still, if you only have 12 players, but you have 12 good players, it doesn't matter. If you don't have a quality bench, then you're in trouble.”
With 18 skaters and three goaltenders, Class A Freeport can afford to get tired players off the ice and replace them with fresh legs. In the past, however, the Yellowjackets have had seasons with low turnouts, and those small teams might have been negatively affected by a six-minute increase, Hepler said.
Money-wise, the move appears to make sense, Hepler added. If a game finishes before the allotted ice time expires, the league still pays for the whole slot.
“You could be throwing 15 minutes of ice time in dollars out the window,” Hepler said.
Regardless of time slots, tie games are played until a winner is determined or until overtime completed.
Ford City coach Glen Kilgore, whose team competes in the Open Class, admits he would have voted against the measure, if given that option.
“You're definitely getting closer to curfew on some games,” Kilgore said. “But if you get a curfew in a tight game, that's the stupidest thing that can happen. If someone gets hurt, there's a long delay to help him and the game is running late, the game could be curfewed in the third period. The players and coaches feel left out of the process if that happens.”
Kilgore said, when the PIHL had 15-minute periods, his team never had a contest cut short because ice time ran out.
Dave Stonebreaker, coach of Class AA Plum, thinks the increase shouldn't cause most teams to run out of gas late in the game.
“Hockey players, in general, are in shape to begin with,” Stonebreaker said. “Most programs have dry-land conditioning, so they've addressed those areas.”
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-224-2696.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Bishop Canevin hockey team wraps up top seed in Class AA
- PIHL Penguins Cup playoffs roundup: Penn-Trafford beats North Allegheny in overtime
- Season, careers come to end for Norwin hockey seniors
- Postseason experience key for veteran Quaker Valley hockey
- Armstrong stops Latrobe to reach PIHL semifinals
- Freeport’s Hepler will continue hockey career in Alaska
- TJ goalie’s strong play keys playoff win over Deer Lakes
- Franklin Regional hockey looks forward after season
- Bethel Park tops State College