Get the engravers ready
After much anticipation, we’ve reached the point of the season where hardware will be handed out with increasing regularity.
Northeastern secured its first Beanpot title since 1998. This year, overtime was kind to the Huskies, as they advanced past Boston College via a shootout in the semifinals, and then outlasted Boston University with a thrilling 4-3 sudden victory. Previously, overtime had been where Northeastern’s dreams died; NU fell to Harvard in OT in four consecutive Beanpots following its previous championship.
Cornell takes the crown in the ECAC regular season. With only two games remaining, the Big Red have an insurmountable five-point lead. After many years where Cornell was closer to the bottom than the top, it has now triumphed in three straight campaigns.
Wisconsin has earned a share of the WCHA regular season throne, and the Badgers can claim the title outright with at least a point in a home series with Ohio State next weekend. This is the second straight regular season championship for Wisconsin, and fourth in total.
Still left to sort out in Hockey East
Northeastern took care of business on the weekend, sweeping Maine at home to retain a two-point lead over BC. All that stands between the Huskies and the Hockey East title is a home-and-home series with Providence. The Eagles kept pace by taking four points from Connecticut, and now host Vermont for a pair of games, hoping to get help from the Friars and wrest the crown back on the final weekend.
BU swept Vermont and sits alone in third as it prepares for a home-and-home with Connecticut. Providence is a point back in fourth after sweeping New Hampshire, but with Northeastern coming up, the Friars are not yet clear of Maine. The Black Bears are three points down on PC, but if they can match the sweep of the Wildcats, they can take back fourth place if the Friars are unable to solve Northeastern.
Meanwhile, the bottom three in the league — UNH, Connecticut and Vermont — were all swept and the status quo was maintained, with the Wildcats holding the final playoff spot, the Huskies a point down, and the Catamounts two points short.
CHA’s deciding weekend
In the CHA, Robert Morris didn’t get the sweep it wanted versus Niagara, but the Colonials did manage to take three of four points. Mercyhurst swept Syracuse, increasing its lead in the conference to two points. From the Lakers’ perspective, they can now grab a share of the CHA regular season championship with a tie in next weekend’s series versus RMU. However, the Colonials will take the top seed if they come away with at least three points from the weekend.
Ten still alive in the ECAC
Brown, Rensselaer, and Colgate all remain alive for the final spot in the ECAC tournament. The Raiders were only able to pocket one point from games with Yale and Brown, and no longer control their destiny, with Clarkson and St. Lawrence on tap. Two points ahead, Brown and RPI are tied after each produced a much-needed win. Brown won a key showdown with Colgate, while RPI came back from two goals down to surprise Dartmouth. The Engineers travel to Princeton and Quinnipiac needing points to overcome the Bears advantage in a tiebreaker; Brown will head to Harvard and Dartmouth looking to make RPI’s task more difficult.
Clarkson looks like a safe bet to join Cornell and Harvard as quarterfinal hosts, while SLU has a two-point gap on Dartmouth for the final home-ice position. Quinnipiac and Princeton will be packing road uniforms for the tournament.
WCHA nearly settled
Minnesota State salvaged a point from North Dakota to enhance its hopes of passing St. Cloud State and escaping the basement. A Mavericks win in Duluth can accomplish the feat if the Huskies are unable to gain points while hosting Bemidji State. Minnesota-Duluth holds the upper hand with a game lead over Ohio State for fourth and the chance to host in the first round. The two teams will square off in two weeks, and with the Buckeyes finishing the regular season in Madison, Duluth appears to be the likely site.