Ice Hockey Overtime

Chapter 2.3

What happens if the score is tied at the end of regulation? Who wins? Get ready to learn about the rules of overtime in ice hockey.

Introduction

We've already learned about the basic structure of an ice hockey game. Every ice hockey game is made up of three (3) periods. Together, these periods of play are called regulation.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Regulation Image

In this tutorial, we will learn about extra periods of play called overtime.

Overtime

If the score is tied at the end of regulation, extra periods called overtime are played. The rules of overtime differ at all levels of play (youth, college, pro), but the purpose remains the same.

Overtime determines the winner if the score is tied.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Overtime Image

PRO TIP: In the NHL, a professional ice hockey league, the rules of overtime differ during the regular season and post season. We've covered the rules of both below.

Overtime Procedure

TThe puck is put into play to start overtime via a face-off at the face-off spot at center ice.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Face-Off Image

NHL Regular Season Overtime Rules

During the NHL regular season, overtime is a sudden-death format, meaning the first team to score a goal wins the game.

How Many Players?

NHL regular season overtime uses a 3-on-3 format (not including each team's goalie), as opposed to a 5-on-5 format during regulation. So, there are three (3) skaters and one (1) goalie on the ice per team during regular season overtime.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey NHL Regular Season Overtime Players Image

How Long Does It Last?

NHL regular season overtime periods last five (5) minutes long. If the score is tied at the end of the overtime period, the game ends in a shootout. We'll learn more about shootouts in future chapters.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey NHL Regular Season Overtime Image

NHL Post Season Overtime Rules

During the NHL post season, overtime is also a sudden-death format, meaning the first team to score a goal wins the game.

How Many Players?

NHL post season overtime uses a 5-on-5 format (not including each team's goalie). So, there are five (5) skaters and one (1) goalie on the ice per team during regular season overtime.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey NHL Post Season Overtime Players Image

How Long Does It Last?

NHL post season overtime periods last twenty (20) minutes long. If the score remains tied at the end of the first overtime period, additional periods are used to determine the winning team. Post season games never end in shootouts.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey NHL Post Season Overtime Image

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