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College Hockey:
ECAC Hockey is headed back to the LP

ECAC’s final four is set

Congratulations to Union, Colgate, Quinnipiac and Cornell for their quarterfinal wins. Without further ado, Friday’s pairings:

(1) Union vs. (4) Cornell: 4:07 Union swept the season series
(2) Colgate vs. (3) Quinnipiac: 7:37 The teams split the season series

As wild as this league can be, it’s not so rare to see the four top teams advance to the conference’s final weekend: It happened just two years ago with Union, Harvard, Colgate, and Cornell. (1) Union edged (3) Harvard in the title game for its second Whitelaw Cup; the Dutchmen are gunning for No. 3 this weekend.

PairWise ramifications

For eight ECAC programs, golf season has begun again:

• Princeton
• Harvard
• Dartmouth
• Brown
• St. Lawrence
• Rensselaer
• Yale
• Clarkson

I wasn’t sold on Yale in the immediate aftermath of its Saturday elimination loss at Quinnipiac, but the Bulldogs have since fallen from 18th to 20th and are unlikely to move up the five or six spots necessary without, y’know, playing any more hockey.

The four remaining contenders are a mixed bag of NCAA shoo-ins and bubble-riders:

• Colgate and Cornell are 15-16 in the PairWise, respectively. Neither team can afford a semifinal loss, and it could very well be the case that only a league title would elevate either team to NCAA tournament qualification. Remember, there is no third-place game this year for better or worse (better, in my opinion), so there is even more at stake in Friday’s contests.

• Union and Quinnipiac – ranked third and sixth in the PairWise this morning – are all but assured NCAA berths. That said, even if we pretended that the league title doesn’t mean anything – and it definitely does for both programs – the Dutchmen and Bobcats would still be competing for more advantageous seeds, draws, and regional placements in the national tourney. So there’s that.

While we’re at it, let’s open the floor to bracket possibilities: Can anyone find a scenario in which Cornell or Colgate makes the NCAA field without winning twice this weekend? Use our handy-dandy PairWise Predictor and let me know using the comments section below! I look forward to playing around with it myself, as should all of you. It’s some good clean fun.

Notes ‘n stuff

• Broadcast notes, per ECAC Hockey’s tournament fan guide:

ECAC Hockey has partnered with Fox College Sports (FCS) to televise the 2014 semifinals and championship game March 21-22 at the 1980 Rink – Herb Brooks Arena, Lake Placid N.Y. Production shall be arranged by USA World Events, LLC.

Eric Frede will be the play-by-play announcer with Cap Raeder providing color commentary and Sonny Waltrous on the sideline.

Games will be on DirecTV as well. The channel location will be release the week of the championship.

FCS Atlantic on all other cable subscribers.

Following is an FCS channel finder to locate availability in your area.

http://fcs.channelfinder.net/start.asp

STREAMING

ECAC Hockey first-round and quarterfinal tournament games will be available for viewing by a global audience and be aired through www.ecachockey.com and America ONE Sports.

ECAC Hockey tournament games will be available for viewing by a global audience and be aired through www.ecachockey.com as well as http://www.americaonesports.com/partner_members.asp?id=407. Fans can watch all games from the ECAC Hockey tournaments on mobile devices as well as standard PCs and Macs. The games will be available on iOS devices as well as Androids.

Fans can either purchase a game for $9 (US) for viewing directly on a mobile device or purchase for viewing on a standard computer and add the mobile option for an extra dollar.

• As a reminder, this is the ECAC’s second go-’round in Lake Placid: The championship weekend was held here for 10 years before relocating to Albany for eight years, then Atlantic City for three. The ice surface is, understandably, Olympic-sized (200 x 100 feet) rather than NHL-sized (200 x 85)… all 12 league schools play their home games on NHL sheets.

• Union is looking to become the first back-to-back-to-back Whitelaw Cup-winner since Boston University won it four times in a row, between 1974-77.

• Commissioner Steve Hagwell has a conference call scheduled later today to discuss ticket sales thus far, fan buses, and related matters, so check back later for updates on that front. For the record, the ticket prices are set as such:

ALL-SESSION TICKET PRICES
Adult = $50
Junior/Senior = $40
*Students = $20

SINGLE-SESSION TICKET PRICES
Adult = $30
Junior/Senior = $25
*Students = $10

*Discounted Students Tickets will be available on campuses for the participating schools for the championship and at a designated student window at the Olympic Center Box Office.

Adult Ages: 13-64 — Junior Ages: 12 & Under — Senior Ages: 65 & Over

PREMIUM TICKETS
A limited number of special all-session Premium Seats are available by calling 518-523-3330 with access to the venue’s Hospitality Center.

PREMIUM ALL-SESSION TICKET PRICES
Adult = $175
Junior/Senior = $130

PREMIUM SINGLE-SESSION TICKET PRICES
Adult = $100
Junior/Senior = $85

GROUP SALES
Groups of 20 or more please call 518-523-3330 to qualify for a discount on any session.

Bonus section: Signings

Signing season has begun, coincidental with golf season, as it happens.

• RPI has lost two talented forwards to the professional ranks in sophomore Mike Zalewski (Vancouver) and junior Ryan Haggerty (New York Rangers).

• After initially believing that Yale senior forward Kenny Agostino had signed with Calgary – then questioning/retracting that info – it has since been announced that indeed, the New Jersey sniper has inked a pro contract with the Flames, who acquired his rights from Pittsburgh in last season’s blockbuster Jarome Iginla deal.

Any I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments section, or through Twitter.

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