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.

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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.

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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.

Predictions:

  • Boston College in 2
  • Northeastern in 3
  • Boston University in 2
  • Providence in 3

 

 

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