Touring 3-on-3 summer hockey league, 3ICE, set to launch in 2021

Updated: January 13, 2020 at 3:20 pm by Zach Laing

A new travelling hockey league is set to bring the excitement of the National Hockey League’s 3-on-3 overtime to the middle of summer.

The league dubbed 3ICE, launched Monday by Hockey Hall of Famer Craig Patrick and E.J. Johnston, is set to launch in June 2021 with games across North America.

“3 on 3 hockey has proven to be incredibly exciting display of speed, skill and creativity and we see a creation of a league based entirely on that as a natural extension whose time has come,” said Johnston in a release. “When the puck drops for our inaugural season in the summer of 2021, fans will have the chance to enjoy nine hockey filled weekends in nine different locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“We’ll deliver news with the same innovative, fan-centric approach in which we created our league. Fans will be given the opportunity to be closer to the game and players like never before, potentially impacting on-ice competition with real-time interactive voting.”

The league will utilize a full-sized rink with every game consisting of two, eight-minute halves using a running clock to keep the game’s pace up.

3ICE will see eight teams compete with seven players (one goalie_ and a head coach. The league says they won’t have teams based in particular cities, instead, all eight teams will visit each tour city playing in a bracket-style format to determine a champion at each stop.

“Overall each season will see 60 games per season, culminating in a final league championship game, giving fans the ultimate hockey experience,” the league said, adding “every player on a 3ICE roster will come from a professional hockey pedigree and each team will play at least one game each weekend.”

Games will be televised in thanks to two partnerships. 3ICE games will air exclusively in the United States on CBS Sports, while in Canada games will air on TSN and RDS. Partnerships have also been formed with Getty Images and ASM Global, the league said.

“3ICE is going to thrive on pure skill, creativity, play making and goal scoring,” said Patrick, Commissioner of 3ICE. “What that means for fans is that our events will be all hockey and no filler. Fans will get seven games in a single-elimination format and a champion will be crowned at each of our nine stops across North America. No penalties, only penalty shots. No long intermissions or stoppage in play for video reviews. Just pure excitement.”

No word yet on players, or team names, nor has a schedule been set for the inaugural season.

On Twitter: @zjlaing