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I've seen just the opposite. Hitting is up and skating and skill is down. Some of these D-1 h.s. games look like town midget games. Kids just running kids to run them.
My better question is, why haven't they moved onto 18 minute periods (if not 20 minute periods)? All of these kids play in tournaments that have longer periods - and don't say 'money.' 9 minutes a game is not breaking any bank
Hitting is not a penalty. What you are seeing is bad hockey.
I don't see emt`s at HS hockey games
Recent high school game the players had to wait and not get onto the EMT arrived (35 minutes late) because it's an MIAA rule.