There have been several years of talk over whether to eliminate the full cage in the college game. The basis for the argument is that every other level of hockey that is equivalent to NCAA hockey in the world plays with shields. Even lower level hockey sees the players sporting shields. The USHL and BCHL, both junior developmental leagues that produce NCAA commitments like cows produce milk, both allow the use of shields. So, it must be a rather awkward transition to go back to the cage when these recruits step onto the ice with the full cage.
It is even thought that by introducing the shield into the college game, that it will make the game safer. How? because (a) players will naturally become less aggressive (for a lack of a better word) in the corners. Players will likely no longer target the face of an opponent in the corner, thus making the game safer for all involved. (b) players will no longer have metal bars running in the path of vision. Instead, there will be a clear plastic shield. This will increase vision for all players, and will reduce the time it takes to locate the puck on the ice. This not only makes the game safer because the player will find the puck sooner and not have the need to have his head down, but it could make for a better product of hockey.
Types of shields
|Here is an example of a "Half Shield"|
as worn by former Terrier Nick Bonino.
|Here is an example of a "three quarter|
shield" being worn by
(Photo from NHL Connection)