Despite not getting a win over the weekend, Quinnipiac clinched its second regular-season title in three years Saturday night.
The Bobcats tied Brown 2-2, but that one point was enough to give Quinnipiac a four-point lead over St. Lawrence entering the final weekend. The Bobcats swept the season series with the Saints, giving them the tiebreaker should St. Lawrence manage to pull even in the standings over the final two games.
At 15-2-3, Quinnipiac has a chance to match its conference record from 2012-13, when it went 17-2-3, winning the regular season title and advancing to the program’s first Frozen Four.
Where the rest of the league stands
Here’s a rundown of where the rest of the ECAC stands entering the season’s final weekend.
St. Lawrence has clinched second place and the accompanying first-round bye. The final two top-four spots are down to Yale, Colgate, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cornell. Yale and Harvard each control its own destiny for the final two spots.
The Bulldogs Cornell and Colgate this weekend, while Dartmouth and Harvard host Quinnipiac and Princeton. The Crimson will play in the Beanpot consolation Monday at 4 p.m. against Boston College. The game was postponed two weeks due to a snowstorm in Boston.
Clarkson is currently in eighth place and holds the final home-ice spot in the first round; however, the Golden Knights could slip to ninth and be on the road for the playoffs.
Rensselaer and Union are likely to be on the road in the first round. Regardless of what happens, it’s the second straight season the defending national champions have opened postseason play in the first round of the ECAC playoffs. Yale swept Harvard in the opening round last year before falling to Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals.
Princeton and Brown are guaranteed to be heading on the road in the first round. The Tigers have locked up last place, while the suddenly hot Bears can move up from its current eleventh-place position.
Per the ECAC, here are the official tie-breaking procedures for the league standings:
Seeding for championship competition is based on total points accumulated during league contests. In the event teams are tied in the final regular-season standings, the following tiebreakers (listed in order of application) shall be used to determine seeding. (Note: Only league games apply):
1. Comparison of game results between tied teams (head to head).
3. Comparison of results of games against the top four teams.
4. Comparison of results of games against the top eight teams.
5. Goal differential in head-to-head competition.
6. Goal differential in games against the top four teams.
7. Goal differential in games against the top eight teams.
In the case of ties among three or more schools, the criteria will be used in order until a team, or teams, is separated from the pack. At that point, the process will begin anew to break the “new” tie. In other words, when a four-way tie becomes a three-way tie, the three-way tie is treated as a “new” tie and the process begins with the first criterion.
Bears ending on a positive note
It had been a miserable season for Brown entering February. But the Bears have turned it around in the last month, and entering the final weekend on a five-game unbeaten streak. Much of that has been due to an improved defense and goalie Tim Ernst: the Bears have allowed seven goals over that five-game stretch.
Brown hasn’t scored prolifically this season, but the Bears have plenty of skilled players. If the defense keeps playing the way it has the last few weeks, Brown could be a tough first-round opponent.