Midweek Playoff Primer: We have an upset

A frenzied closing minutes ensured the first round of the playoffs in ECAC Northeast and MASCAC wouldn’t be devoid of any upsets.
Sixth seeded Westfield State scored three goals in the final 6:03 to snap a 1-1 tie and knock third seeded Plymouth State out of the playoffs.
Pat Nelson’s goal broke the deadlock, while Jeff Callahan and Brad Norkum added insurance. Norkum’s strike was an empty netter.
Tim Vleck scored the only goal of the game for Plymouth, while goalie Jack Astedt stopped 26 shots. Ray Monroe turned in 29 saves for the Owls.
Westfield State to No. 2 seeded Salem State Thursday at 7:00
Fitchburg State 4, Worcester State 0
The other game of the night was fairly devoid of any drama, as the Falcons used two third period goals to defeat the Lancers. Robert Vorse turned away all 28 shots for the shutout, while Kevin McCready and Kris Threlkeld each had a goal and an assist for fourth seeded Fitchburg, who will face top seed Massachusetts Dartmouth Thursday at 7:30.
Check back tomorrow for a rundown of the MASCAC semfinals.
MASCAC Yearly Honors
As announced by the conference today:
Player of the Year- Dennis Zak, Westfield State:  The senior saved his best for last, leading the MASCAC with a 14-19 line in 18 conference games. 
Rookie of the Year- Daniel Miressi, Framingham State:  A bright spot in what other a dismal season for the Rams, the forward led Framingham and was third overall in the conference with 26 points (16-10).
Coach of the Year-John Rolli, UMass Dartmouth: An old hand at turning out winning seasons, it’s no suprise Rolli has a few of these awards stockpiled through his 26 years at UMD.  This one is his first in the MASCAC, and comes after the Corsairs turned their first losing season under Rolli into a first place finish this year.
Click here for a complete list of the awards, including all-conference teams.
ECAC Northeast Semifinals.
And then there were four.
Here’s some quick hits on tonight’s semfinal games, featuring the conference’s top four seeds.
No.4 Becker at No. 1 Curry, 7:35.
The Hawks were one of the fews teams that had the Colonels number this year. Granted, the teams tied in each of their two meetings, but those ties reprsent half of the games Curry didn’t recieve  two points   during conference play.
Curry is one of the best skating teams in the conference, and can demoralized an opponent’s power play unit by taking it the other way: their six shorthanded goals were second in the ECAC Northeast.
In net, the duo of Travis Owens and Robert Dawson have proven more then capable, as the Colonels were second in team defense during the regular season, while boasting the league’s highest-scoring offense.
Becker used three unanswered  goals to turn the tide Sunday in their playoff opener against Nichols.  A few anaswered strikes against Curry would go a long way to helping the Hawks reach the championship.
 No. 3 Johnson and Wales at No. 2 Wentworth, 8:00
The Wildcats showed little dissapointment in letting a first round bye slip through their hands in the final day of the season.
Four quick goals helped JWU turn a 3-1 early in the final period into a comfortable 7-1 win against Western New England Saturday.
But in the playoffs, matchups matter more then seeds and JWU has proven it can take on the Leopards, dealing them all but one of their conference losses in sweeping the season series.
The Wildcats will roll out an impressive attack, led by ECAC Northeast Player of the Year Jeremiah Ketts, against Wentworth freshman Chris Azzano. 
Azzano took over for injured starter Mike Jarboe midway through the team’s first meeting in November and has held down the starting job ever since, providing Wentworth with some stability in net.
The Wildcat’s Matt Cooper was honored as the conference’s top goalie, and  has been a major part of JWU’s success this season.
Don’t overlook Wentworth’s skaters, who are led by the talented Jameson brothers, Skylur (13-7) up front, and Shaun (4-9) on the back end.
It’s not a novel hockey concept, but with all the on-ice talent, its probably going to come down to whch goalie is going to be up to the task of negating that talent.
 
 

40 COMMENTS

    • Hey there,

      The conference does not re-seed following playoff rounds, so it was predetermined that Salem would play the winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 game.

      -Nate

    • Hey there,
      The conference does not re-seed following playoff rounds, so it was predetermined that Salem would play the winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 game.
      -Nate

      • Brian, it’s going to be interesting. Yale had a hard time last year finding out who they were after the departures and with the every-game bullseye on your back. Union lost some very good players — Gostisbehere got his early callup to Philly due to injury and Bodie is in the AHL — and I think the key is not to end up in a spot where you feel like you’re running out of time before season ends to click finally.

      • Brian, it’s going to be interesting. Yale had a hard time last year finding out who they were after the departures and with the every-game bullseye on your back. Union lost some very good players — Gostisbehere got his early callup to Philly due to injury and Bodie is in the AHL — and I think the key is not to end up in a spot where you feel like you’re running out of time before season ends to click finally.

  1. Early season standings are great, but just remember that the Buffalo Bills perennially lead the AFC East for a few weeks at the beginning of each season.

    • Remember also that EVERY team makes the league playoffs. So, theoretically, the last place team could end up in the NCAA Tournament with an auto-bid!

  2. What you are seeing is the most intensely competitive ECAC conference that has ever existed and the bloodletting has just begun. Upsets are going to be the norm. Its going to be a free-for-all. The league standings at this point have no bearing on what they will look like in March and the tournament will be a crap shoot. Its going to be a wild ride !!!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here