ECAC Northeast and MASCAC wrap and playoff preview: Feb. 28

An upset-free weekend will see the top four seeds in the ECAC Northeast meet in the semifinals on Wednesday night.
Fourth-seeded Becker used three unanswered goals following a 2-2 first period to down visiting Nichols, 5-2, Sunday. Branden Parkhouse had two goals and an assist for the Hawks, while Korby Anderson added two assists.
Western New England kept it close in the day’s other quarterfinal game, but four third period goals by Johnson and Wales turned a 3-1 lead into a commanding 7-1 advantage
Jason Piestrasiak had two goals for the Wildcats, while ECAC  Northeast Player of the Year Jeremiah Ketts turned in three assists.
With the loss, WNEC finishes 8-17-1, a five-win improvement over last season.
Both teams will hit the road Wednesday, with Becker set to take on Curry at 7:35 and JWU facing Wentworth at 8:00.
MASCAC Quarterfinals
With a lack of upsets in the Northeast, can the MASCAC deliver any?
Quarterfinal action begins Tuesday night. Here’s a breakdown of those games. All stats referenced are from conference play only.
No.6 Westfield State at No. 3 Plymouth State, 7:00
It’s the second meeting in less then a week for these teams, as Plymouth’s 7-4 win on Saturday closed out the regular season. The Owls lost the bookends of the regular season series, but grabbed a 4-0 win on freshman Eddie Davey’s first collegiate shutout.  Davey will need to replicate that performance and not the one he turned in Saturday (seven goals on 32 shots) if Westfield is to advance.
For the Panthers,  Jack Astedt  emerged as one of the top goaltenders in the conference during his sophomore year.  The Owls, led by Dennis Zak (14-19), have the firepower to challenge Astedt, but need to stay out of the box after being the second-most penalized team in the country during the regular season.
If Davey can stand on his head again, Westfield State should have a shot, but the Panthers have a lot of talent starting from the net  out,  so an upset appears unlikely.
No. 5 Worcester State at No. 4 Fitchburg State, 7:30
The first time these teams met, the Lancers used a 3-2 overtime win to propel them to one of the program’s most impressive weeks ever to close out 2010.
Things have slowed down since then, as Fitchburg took the remaining two games in the series.  However, neither team enters the playoffs on anything resembling a hot streak.
Despite struggling down the stretch, the Falcons boast the conference’s top goaltending duo in Robert Vorse and Bobby Leiser. Whoever draws the start will face a grind-it-out kind of Lancers team led by forwards Nick Asterito (5-10), Chris Wallin (7-8) and John Cahalane (10-5).
In net, Bryan Kalcynski has drawn the majority of the starts, although it was freshman Taylor Fant’s 38-save effort that gave the Lancers a 3-2 win over Salem State in Saturday’s finale.
The Falcons have eight players with 10 points or more in conference play, led by Chris Riggs (9-11) and Kris Threlkeld (8-11).
With a strong duo in goal, and a number of threats on the ice,  it’s hard to call an upset against Fitchburg State. Look for the Falcons to prevail here.