Tiebreaker game would be played Friday

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

There's no fancy math necessary to break ties in the Memorial Cup tournament format.

The Canadian Hockey League settles its deadlocks the old-fashioned way -- with an extra game to determine who stays alive in the Cup chase and who goes home early.

The tiebreaker game, scheduled for Friday, will only be necessary if all four teams in the tournament win at least one round-robin game.

The Memorial Cup handbook states, "If two teams tie for the final playoff position, at the conclusion of the single round-robin series of games, a sudden-death game between the two tied teams shall be played with the winner to advance to the semi-final game."

Basically, the game settles third and fourth place, where the round-robin can't.

It's obvious that ticket holders and major junior fans in general would cheer for the extra game because it means more hockey.

With the tiebreaker, the Cup becomes a nine-game tournament instead of eight.

If three times are knotted with a 1-2 record at the end of the round- robin, then the tiebreaking formula gets a little more complicated. The first way to sort it out is to add a team's goals and goals-against, then divide the sum into the team's goals for. The team with the highest percentage gets a semifinal berth (the second-place spot) and the other two teams play the tiebreaker game.

Surprisingly, the tiebreaker game isn't a common occurrence. In fact, it has only occurred five times since its debut in 1986 -- a 8-1 win for Kamloops over Portland, Ore.

It's clearly not the best route to go to win the tournament. No team that has played in the tiebreaker game has gone on to become Memorial Cup champions.


Photos