No timetable for shootouts for PIHL |

No timetable for shootouts for PIHL

The poll question has been posted on the PIHL web site for more than a year: Do you want to see a shootout for tied PIHL varsity games after overtime?

The results show a clear-cut opinion: 73 percent yes, 27 percent no.

Although the public appears to be in favor of eliminating ties by adding shootouts, PIHL commissioner Ed Sam says the prospect is still being debated.

“We had discussed it (over the offseason),” Sam said. “We discuss it every year. We just can’t get a consensus of our associations and, more so, our coaches.”

One of the major concerns coaches and association members have is the idea that a shootout would put heaps of pressure on goaltenders, some of whom are just 14 or 15 years old.

But time is also an issue. PIHL games have to run within a set amount of time to respect the ice-time rules at rinks and make sure other games start on schedule. Games that go to a shootout would run the risk of going past curfew.

“Some of those things have prohibited doing a shootout,” Sam said. “There’s no doubt it’s an exciting event. But we have to look at all aspects, not just that part of it.”

Still, Sam said talks on the subject will continue.

“At the high school level, does having tie games take away from the credibility of the sport• Maybe it does,” he said. “We just can’t get our heads around it for a good consensus.”

» Being that the season is scarcely two weeks old, they can’t be considered pivotal games, but Class AA this week features two matchups between teams with plans for deep playoff runs. Peters Township visits West Allegheny tonight, and first-year Class AA team Pine-Richland will travel to three-time defending state champ Latrobe on Thursday.

» Judging by early returns, Mars once again looks like the team to beat in Class A. The reigning state champion Planets scored a 7-0 victory in their season opener, but they looked truly dominant last week’s 5-1 victory over Serra Catholic. The game was a rematch of last spring’s Penguins Cup final.

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