Four teams advance, four teams are finished

These are the three things I learned this week.

1. To no one’s surprise, UMass’s and Maine’s seasons end while Providence and Vermont move on.

Massachusetts ends its season with 17 straight losses. For Maine, it ends without a single win on the road.

So it was no surprise at all that Providence and Vermont swept the league’s two weakest teams, and quite handily at that, 3-0 and 5-2 for the Friars and 5-0 and 5-1 for the Catamounts.

The question now becomes, can those two teams go from bulldozing the league’s weak sisters at home to pulling off modest upsets on the road? PC travels to Notre Dame while Vermont visits Boston College.

2. Northeastern ends UConn’s season with another sweep.

This match-up looked considerably more equal on paper, but again lasted only two games. Northeastern proved conclusively that it was the better club, reprising its sweep of Connecticut from two weeks prior, this time winning 3-1, 6-2.

Northeastern advances to face Boston University.

3. UNH ends Merrimack’s season in a decisive third game.

New Hampshire and Merrimack swapped 4-0 wins in the first two games, wins that arguably looked more lopsided than they really were. Merrimack added an empty-netter on Friday, and UNH added two of them on Saturday.

Nonetheless, those games set up a winner-take-all, loser-goes home contest on Sunday, the only Hockey East action that day. The Wildcats jumped out to an early 3-1 lead over the hosts, and Merrimack never got any closer.

Top-seeded UMass Lowell will host the Wildcats, the only road team to advance from the first round.

9 COMMENTS

  1. College hockey is interesting because juggernauts are rare, and the mighty can suffer humiliating tumbles. Such is the 2016-2017 BC squad, which will barely make the NCAAs and only if they run the table in the HE tournament (not likely). A rather solid start was followed by a miserable second half where BC went from a Top-three team to out of contention now. The Eagles will be back, but York’s horizon is rather unclear.

    • One could make the argument that it might be time for York to bow out. He’s 71 years old (72 over the summer), has eye issues, but is the all-time leader in wins and has 5 NCAA championships. What else does he have left to do?

      • York has earned the right to decide when and if he will bow out. He likes the job too much and he is one of the few BC coaches (along with Katie Crowley) that’s had any recent success. You don’t get rid of a legend after one off season (which is not over yet, btw).

      • I would love to see Coach York leave BC, and take over the head coaching job at Maine, and Make Maine Great Again. He could do it too. 71 is the new 41.

    • BC, which was picked to finish SIXTH by the coaches poll at the beginning of the year, finished in a three-way tie for first, despite the recent slump. They have 13 freshmen (young freshmen, not 21 yr.olds), and they are still developing. I expect better results next season. If the make the NCAA’s this year (which I’m not expecting either), that will be a bonus.

      • Saying the teams has young players is such a cop out. Eichel ran the table at BU. He was easily the best player on the team as a freshman and would have won a National Championship if not for their embarrassing goaltender mistake. The school alone should attract top talent enough so that all the freshman they get anyways will be good.

        • The “mistake” was on the tying goal. The winning goal by PC was later scored as a result of Eichel losing a key face off in BU’s zone.

          • I don’t know why you put “mistake” in quotations. It was clearly a ridiculous one to make on the biggest stage of college hockey.

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