All games will be played under USA Hockey rules and consist of three 15 minute stop time periods and teams will play all teams in their division in the preliminary round. At the end of the preliminary round the teams will be ranked in order of points, with 2 points being earned for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. There will be no overtime or shootout games in the preliminary round.
The top two teams from each bracket will advance to the semi-final round with the team ranked # 1 in the Black Bracket playing team # 2 in the Gold Bracket and the team ranked # 1 in the Gold Bracket playing team # 2 in the Black Bracket. The winners of the semi-final games will play in the finals. Teams that don't qualify for the playoffs will play in a consolation game against the similarly rank team in the opposite bracket (#3 Black vs. #3 Gold, #4 Black vs. # 4 Gold).
In case of a tie in the semi-final or final games there will be a 5 minute sudden death 5v5 overtime period follwed by a 3 player shootout. If the game is still tied the shootout will continue as sudden death with new shooters until there is a winner. No player can shoot more than once until all players on her team have shot. Players serving a penalty at the end of the overtime period will be ineligible for the shootout.
Time outs - There will be one 30 second timeout allowed per team in the semi-final and Final games only. There will be no time outs allowed in the Preliminary Round or consolation games.
Preliminary Round Tie Breaker Rules
In the case of a tie after the preliminary round, team rank will be determined by the following tie-breaking formulas applied to all games played. In order to break the tie, the following formulas will be followed until one rule determines the position of all teams that are tied.
- Result of game played between tied teams
- Most wins
- Goal Differential
- Least goals against.
- Dividing the goals scored in these games by the goals scored against (GF divided by GA), the position being determined in order of the greatest quotient. A quotient involving dividing zero where two or more teams have no goals against and the quotient tie breaker is required, the teams shall be ranked high to low in descending order of "goals for".
Note: Forfeits - If a team forfeits any of its games, and their games become involved in any tie-breaking formula to determine who will advance to the next level of play, the team forfeits all games in the round robin play and the games are recorded as 1-0 victories for the non-offending team.
If the above procedure does not break the tie, then their position will be determined by the number of penalty minutes assessed in all games they played. Their position being determined in order of the least penalty minutes. If the teams remained tied then a coin flip will determine the order of finish.