Breaking Down the Hockey East Tournament: Quarterfinals

Hockey east bracket

The Hockey East tournament begins with a best of three series hosted by the school with the better ranking.  The remainder will be single elimination played at the home of the regular season champion.  The highest advancing seed plays the lowest in the second round so the bracket above isn’t absolute.

Maine at Boston College

bc me

Overview:

Boston College dominated their Hockey East opponents, going 24-0-0 in conference play.  Most teams didn’t play them particularly close.  BC only had one conference game decided by one goal (Boston University), and only two decided by two goals (both Northeastern).  Maine was no exception.

Keys to the Series:

Boston College:

Just keep doing what they did.

Maine:

I don’t even know.  Here’s how long it took BC to score in each of their games: 5:00, 2:22. 0:51.  Here’s how long it took BC to score twice: 5:49, 10:18, 15:18.

The X-Factor:

Meghann Treacy.  If anyone can keep Maine in the series, it’s their goaltender.

Prediction:

Boston College sweeps

Providence at Northeastern

nu pr

Overview:

Northeastern had a similarly smooth run through Hockey East opponents.  Only BC and BU were able to beat them.  Providence saw themselves down early and considerably as Northeastern scored multiple first period goals in each of their meetings.

Keys to the Game:

Northeastern:

Don’t come out flat.  Northeastern sometimes plays disorganized to start games.  That hasn’t happened yet versus Providence – the Huskies scored eight first period goals during the regular season and outshot the Friars 45-17 in the opening frame.

Providence:

Try to get on the board first and make the Huskies play from behind.

The X-Factor:

Kendall Coyne.  The Northeastern superstar is capable of winning games almost on her own.

Prediction:

Northeastern in 2.  They score more than 10 total goals in the series.

Vermont at Boston University

bos vt

Overview:

That draw against Vermont was weird, but BU lost one to the Catamounts last year and it didn’t seem to matter as they took the Hockey East tournament crown.  In fact Vermont was their quarterfinals opponent in 2015.  The results?  8-1 and 7-2 BU wins.

Keys to the Series:

Boston University:

Get out in front and stay out of the box.  It’s no coincidence that their one draw was the only game they saw a deficit and the only game they gave up multiple power play goals.

Vermont:

Do that.  Try to get a lead, and take advantage of their special teams opportunities.

The X-Factor:

Dayna Colang.  The senior led Vermont in goals and assists.  She only had one goal and one assist in the season series versus BU so she’ll need to step it up.

Prediction:

BU in two.

New Hampshire at Connecticut

uconn unh

Overview:

UNH and UConn were two odd teams.  UNH was a solid possession team (29.7-26.1 shots per game) but they couldn’t win.  UConn finished over .500, but their possession was terrible (21.4-35.5 shots per game).  A lot of that comes down to goaltending.  UConn’s Elaine Chuli had a .942 save percentage, UNH’s Kyra Black a .896 figure.

Keys to the Series:

Connecticut:

Keep shots close and rely on superior goaltending.

New Hampshire:

Keep UConn from scoring by keeping them out of the offensive zone.

The X-Factor:

Cassandra Vilgrain.  You need snipers to beat Elaine Chuli and with 10 goals and five assists on the year, Vilgrain is a sniper.

Prediction:

UNH wins a 2-1 squeaker.

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About Alex

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