The Hockey East quarterfinals are best of three series played at the home school of the top seeds. The semifinals and finals are single-elimination games played at a predetermined site. This year’s tournament will be played in Boston at Boston University.
All year long Hockey East constantly shuffled it’s 3rd through 7th spots and its 8th and 9th spots leading to a conference no one has fully figured out. However, despite all the uncertainty, favored seeds were undefeated versus their opponents this season massing a 10-0-2 record and a 42-20 goal differential. The only results for lower seeds were Vermont’s two ties against Providence.
That said, the games were actually pretty close for the most part. Boston University, oddly enough, had the best run of performances against their opponent.
A curious note is Northeastern’s pedestrian home record (8-8-2) against Connecticut’s solid road record (9-7-2). Most would expect Northeastern to win that series but the Huskies…er…the UConn Huskies cannot be taken lightly.
Vermont, meanwhile, may be ruing not picking up a win versus Providence or pulling a tie in their final game against Merrimack. The Friars get home ice on tiebreakers which puts Vermont in a spot. The Catamounts were 8-5-5 at home and 5-7-4 on the road. Alas, tournament games must have winners and losers so Vermont’s bid for more ties than wins or losses (they’re 13-12-9 overall) ends.
What they need to do to advance:
- Boston College: Keep Merrimack’s stars from being the difference.
- Northeastern: Strike first and don’t let up. The Huskies never trailed the Huskies but of the 9 leads Northeastern took in their series, Connecticut erased 6 of them to tie.
- Boston University: Get shots. Only three teams had a worse team save percentage than New Hampshire’s .904.
- Providence: Control possession. Providence wasn’t especially good at anything other than outshooting their opponents.
- Vermont: Focus. The Catamounts let in four extra-attacker goals this season. One of those came to the Friars with one second left on the clock.
- New Hampshire: Build on the shot advantages they had against the Terriers.
- Connecticut: Don’t constantly be playing catch-up.
- Merrimack: Get a transcendent performance from the top line.
- Boston College in 2
- Northeastern in 3
- Boston University in 2
- Providence in 3