The Atlantic Hockey post-season tournament next spring will have a new format.
Starting next March, all 12 teams will be seeded based on the results of the regular season standings with the top four teams getting a bye in the first round.
The first round match-ups will then be the fifth seed hosting the 12th seed, the sixth seed hosting the 11th seed, the seventh seed hosting the tenth seed and the eighth seed hosting the ninth seed. This series will be a best two-out-of-three and will take place March 2-4, 2012.
The quarterfinal round will also be a best two-out-of-three series, which will take place March 9-11, 2012. The top four seeds will host the four teams advancing from the first round, with re-seeding taking place.
The quarterfinal winners will advance to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, N.Y., where the semifinals and championship games will be held on March 16 and 17, 2012. The four teams advancing will also be re-seeded.
The winner of the tournament will earn the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
“I think the new format is going to further enhance the competitiveness of the league and it will certainly place more importance on the regular season schedule and where teams finish in the standings,” said AHA commissioner Bob DeGregorio in a statement.