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NHL

World Juniors overtime rules: Explaining the different formats at the 2023 IIHF U20 World Championship

One of the main differences between the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) competition and the NHL is overtime. At the international hockey stage, there are different formats for overtime depending on the stage of the tournament. 

The 2023 World Junior Championship is one of those competitions and as a result, the games use a slight variation from the NHL overtime regulations. One thing that stays consistent is that there are no ties — whether it is in regulation, overtime or a shootout, a winner will be decided. 

However, the way a victor is determined varies, as the OT formats do not stay consistent throughout the tournament. There are differences between the group stage and the knockout round, and finally the medal games.

MORE: 2023 World Juniors schedule, standings, results

Here is more information on the overtime rules at the 2023 World Juniors: 

World Juniors overtime rules for the preliminary round

If a game is tied after the end of regulation during the preliminary round, teams will play a five-minute, 3-on-3 overtime period. Teams will not change ends for the OT period and the game ends when a goal is scored.

If neither team is able to score in the overtime, then the game goes to a shootout. Each team gets five shooters and the team with the most goals after five rounds wins the game.

If the teams are tied after five rounds, then the shootout will keep going until one team scores in a round and the other does not. While teams have to choose five different skaters in the initial rounds, once the first five rounds are over, players can go as many times as their coach desires. 

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Teams that win in overtime or a shootout are awarded two points in the standings while the losing club earns one point. 

World Juniors overtime rules for the knockout stage

In the case of a tie at the end of regulation in a playoff, placement playoff, quarterfinal, semifinal, or bronze-medal game, then a 10-minute sudden-death overtime will be played. It is 3-on-3 and the first team to score wins the game. 

If the contest remains tied after OT, then it will go to a five-round shootout or until a winner is crowned in the shootout.

World Juniors overtime rules for the gold-medal game

The gold-medal game is the only contest that does not feature shootouts. 

If the gold-medal game remains tied after three periods of regulation, then it goes to 20-minute overtime periods of 3-on-3 hockey. Unlike the previous rounds, the OT periods continue until a goal is scored. 

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These games will have 15-minute intermissions between each overtime period, and the ice will be resurfaced. The first team to score wins the game and the gold medal. 

We saw the 2022 World Juniors winner decided in overtime, as Canada and Finland were knotted at 2-2 after regulation. Kent Johnson won the game for Canada with his OT goal. 


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