VIJHL moves to three-point format, brings back shootout

The Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, which includes the Kerry Park Islanders, will be moving to a new points system in the standings for next season.

The league announced on its website last month that BC Hockey has approved the implementation of a three-point structure for the VIJHL standings during the regular season. Under the new format, three points will be awarded for a regulation win, two for a win in overtime or a shootout, one for an overtime or shootout loss, and none for a regulation loss.

The system is a pilot project for the 2018-19 season.

The VIJHL had asked BC Hockey to approve the new format in May, but didn’t get the backing of the other junior B leagues in the province, the Pacific Junior Hockey League and Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, so the VIJHL asked instead to implement the project as a test.

The league will have to submit a report about the three-point structure to BC Hockey next spring.

The three-points system is already used in the Cyclone Taylor Cup tournament that determines the provincial junior B champion, as well as in many leagues around the world.

The three-point system would have been marginally beneficial to the Isles last season as they went 4-6 in overtime games.

Games that are tied after regulation this coming season will go first to a four-on-four overtime, followed by a three-on-three overtime, and then a shootout. The shootout will follow the three-player format used by most leagues, as the junior A B.C. Hockey League also announced last month.

Kerry Park goalie Parker Swanson told the VIJHL website that he’s looking forward to the new system.

“I think the shootouts will be a lot of fun,” he said.

The VIJHL last used the shootout format in 2012-13, when 16 games were decided by a shootout.

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