3ICE Hockey Returns For a Second Season

3ICE Hockey, in anticipation of this weekend’s Patrick Cup being awarded in Las Vegas, is already looking forward to its second season with innovative ideas and creative solutions. Their goal is to bring three-on-three overtime back onto a national platform as many consider this part of hockey to be its crown jewel.

Throughout its six-week summer tournament in various U.S. cities, a fast-paced 3-on-3 ice hockey league features well-known faces and big name players, such as Hershey Bears legend Ray Bourque who will coach Team Bourque. A two-time Norris Award winner who played 20 seasons for two different NHL clubs before his jerseys were retired is among them.

Bourque is among the many former NHL players to sign on and coach a 3ICE team, featuring former stars as well as promising young talents – the goal being to highlight both veterans’ skills as well as those that might make an impactful move at a later time.

3ICE was formed with similar leagues such as basketball’s BIG3 in mind and is taking the NHL’s overtime format and amplifying it significantly. Instead of five-minute periods with sudden death rules, games feature two eight-minute periods with running clocks (unless there’s a penalty or injury). Furthermore, penalties differ considerably from their treatment in the NHL; no penalty box exists, making these fast-paced contests all the more engaging!

Johnston and his team’s goal has been to offer hockey fans an engaging way of watching the game, which they have done through their inaugural season. Though there have been some dud games here and there, Johnston feels that overall this experience has exceeded his expectations.

One key thing he has observed this season is how NHL fans who watch live were more responsive than expected to 3-on-3 overtime, with TV broadcasters successfully capturing and relaying it.

Regarding 3ICE’s future, its founder and CEO sees great promise. He wants to expand the league’s reach, including possibly organizing youth version at Olympic games. Furthermore, he’s confident that 3-on-3 hockey has its place amongst so much sports noise in today’s society.