It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
When one hears that lyric from the ever-popular 1963 song by Andy Williams, the holiday time is immediately thought of.
However, for college hockey fanatics, its can only mean one thing: PLAYOFFS!
For all of the NCAA D-III conferences, the postseason as begun, with most leagues ready to crown a champion very soon. Let’s not waste anymore time. In case you missed it, here is a run down of all the conference postseason play.
This Friday, March 1, the Norwich Cadets takes on the Castleton State Spartans in the first of the league’s two semifinal games. In the quarterfinals, Norwich got past Southern Maine with a 2-0 win, while Castleton State breezed past New College, 6-1.
In other semifinal action, the Babson Beavers face off against the Massachusetts-Boston Beacons. The Beavers handled Skidmore, 7-1, in opening round action, while the Beacons got past the University of New England, 5-2.
The ECAC Northeast will waste little time continuing its playoff action, as its semifinal round beings this Wednesday, Feb. 27.
The Nichols Bison will face the Salve Regina Falcons, after the Falcons doubled up Western New England, 8-4.
In an upset, the Johnson and Wales Wildcats squeaked past the Curry Colonels, 6-4. The Wildcats will now face the top-seeded Wentworth Leopards.
Speaking of upsets, in the ECAC West, the top two-seeds, Hobart and Utica, will not play for the conference title, as both Manhattanville and Neumann knocked them off and will play in the championship game.
The Manhattanville Valiants skated past Utica, 2-1, in overtime, while the Neumann Knights shutout Hobart, 2-0. The title game is this Saturday, March 2.
The storybook season for Westfield State comes to a close, as the Owls lost, 4-3, to Fitchburg State in the opening round of MASCAC play.
Salem State shutout Worcester State, 5-0, to advance to the semifinals, where it will face Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
Fitchburg Sate now takes on the defending MASCAC Champions, the Plymouth State Panthers. Both semifinal games take place Tuesday, Feb. 26.
Bowdoin and Middlebury square off in semifinal action, after both programs just got past their first round opponents.
In other semifinal action, Trinity takes on Williams, after both schools were on the good side of one-goal games. Both games take place this Saturday, March 2.
Talk about your convincing wins. The Oswego State Lakers and Plattsburgh Cardinals outscored their first round opponents, 10-3, to move on to the championship. The Lakers defeated Buffalo Sate, 5-2, while Plattsburgh moved past Geneseo, 5-1.
These two rivals drop the puck Saturday, March 2, for the right to be called champions of the SUNYAC.
MCHA, MIAC, NHCA
In the MCHA, the semifinals start Friday, March 1, with the first game between Northland and Adrian, followed by the Milwaukee School of Engineering battling Marian.
In the MIAC, Gustavus Adolphus and St. John’s battle in the championship this Saturday, March 2.
And finally in the NHCA, St. Norbert and Wisconsin Eau-Claire drop the puck this Saturday, March 2, in the championship game.