Men’s Division III playoffs – Eastern teams preview

Geneseo's Stephen Collins (Benjamin Gajewski, North Street Studios/Benjamin Gajewski - North Street Studios)
Geneseo’s Stephen Collins (Benjamin Gajewski, North Street Studios/Benjamin Gajewski – North Street Studios)

The second season of conference tournament play has arrived. It is a reset opportunity for every team entering the playoffs in their pursuit of a conference title.

Here is a quick preview of the upcoming games starting with first round matchups on Wednesday and leading into semifinal matchups and title games this weekend.

Endicott ran the table in their final eight games to take the top seed and faces No. 8 Western New England in quarterfinal action on Saturday.

The other quarterfinal pairings include No. 2 Nichols vs. No. 7 Becker; No. 3 Salve Regina vs. No. 6 Johnson & Wales; and No. 4 Curry vs. No. 5 University of New England.

Utica and Manhattanville clinched the top two seeds respectively a couple of weeks ago and await the outcome of tonight’s quarterfinal games to determine their opponents on Saturday.

Hobart needed points in their final two games with Elmira to leap past Nazareth and secure the third seed. With their wins, the Statesmen locked up the no. 3 seed and host No. 6 Stevenson. The other first round game finds No. 4 Nazareth meeting No. 5 Neumann.

Tuesday night’s makeup games finalized the conference standings and locked down the playoff pairings. Plymouth State finished the regular season at 16-1-1 and easily secured the top seed and first-round bye, while Salem State’s win helped them grab the no. 2 seed and first round bye.

The first round games this Saturday include No. 3 Massachusetts-Dartmouth vs. No. 6 Westfield State and No. 4 Fitchburg State vs. No. 5 Worcester State.

Assumption will play St. Michael’s in the NE-10 championship game on Saturday. This is the third title game appearance in the last four years for the Purple Knights, who are seeking their first title since 2009.

This week’s semifinal games find No. 4 Castleton traveling to play No. 1 Norwich while No. 3 Babson takes on No. 2 New England College in a rematch from the final weekend of the regular season that earned the Pilgrims the no. 2 seed and home ice with a 4-3 win over the Beavers.

The battle for seeding went right to the final whistle of the final weekend of play. Hamilton finished 5-1-2 over their last eight games to secure the top seed and a date with No. 8 Bowdoin on Saturday.

The remaining quarterfinal pairings next week include No. 7 Wesleyan at No. 2 Colby; No. 6 Tufts at No. 3 Trinity; and No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Williams.

Oswego and Plattsburgh earned the first-round byes. Many thanks to Russell Jaslow for explaining a change in tiebreaker that swung the bye from Geneseo under the old tiebreaker rules to Plattsburgh on the basis of the third tiebreaking criteria which is now changed from goal differential to record against the top team in the conference (Oswego) and working their way down as needed. In this case the Cardinals, went 1-1-0 vs. Geneseo being 0-1-1, which gave Plattsburgh the bye.

For the SUNYAC playoffs this week, Wednesday’s first-round games will feature No. 3 Geneseo hosting No. 6 Brockport while No. 4 Buffalo State will host No. 5 Fredonia.


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