April 17th, 2024

PWHL announces playoff format that will allow No. 1 seed to pick opponent

By The Canadian Press on February 28, 2024.

A PWHL logo is seen on a player's jersey during Professional Women's Hockey League (PWHL) training camp at TD Place in Ottawa on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023. The Professional Women's Hockey League is adding more outside-the-box rules for its inaugural season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Spencer Colby

TORONTO – The Professional Women’s Hockey League is adding more outside-the-box rules for its inaugural season.

The first-year circuit announced Wednesday that four of its six teams are set to make the playoffs – with a twist. The No. 1 seed will have the option to choose its semifinal opponent from the third- and fourth-place finishers for the five-game series.

The No. 2 seed will have its home-ice advantage secured in the semis. The title will also be decided in a best-of-five format.

The PWHL, which has implemented a 3-2-1 points system and the so-called “jailbreak” where a short-handed goal frees a penalized player from the box, also announced during a mid-season video conference call with reporters Wednesday that it will implement the “Gold Plan” for its draft order.

The system, proposed by statistician Adam Gold more than a decade ago, rewards team success following post-season elimination with the goal of having something to play for down the stretch and to stop clubs from tanking for the top pick.

The PWHL draft will be held in mid-June with seven rounds and 42 selections.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2024.

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