Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hockey East, ECAC Tournament Fields Set

The first round of the 2015 Hockey East men’s championship is set. This year’s opening round will be best-of-three series for the lower eight seeds, instead of the single-elimination games that were played last season. Higher seeds will be the host teams:

No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Massachusetts
No. 6 Northeastern vs. Mo. 11 Merrimack
No. 7 Vermont vs. No. 10 Maine
No. 8 New Hampshire vs. No. 9 Connecticut

The survivors will be re-seeded and will advance to the second round, also on best-of-three and played on campus sites. Having byes this week are the conference’s top four finishers, Boston University, Providence, Boston College, and UMass Lowell, who will all host games on March 13-15.

The four second-round victors will then advance to the Hockey East semifinals at TD Garden in Boston on March 20-21 for single-elimination matchups , with the winner claiming Hockey East’s automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Tournament. UMass Lowell won its first league postseason title last season.

The Eastern College Athletic Conference's men’s division championship will open its own best-of-three first round set of series this weekend, with the top four seeds having byes, and the bottom eight looking to advance to next week. Higher seed is again the host school:

No. 5 Dartmouth vs. No. 12 Princeton
No. 6 vs. No. 11 Brown
No. 7 Cornell vs. No. 10 Union
No. 8 Clarkson vs. No. 9 Rensselaer

Winners will be re-seeded to face the top four teams in Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, Yale and Colgate in best-of-three series played on campus sites. The four second-round winners will be off to Lake Placid on March 20-21 for the ECAC Championship and its single-elimination contests, with the ECAC’s automatic bid to the 2015 NCAA Tournament at stake. Union is the defending three-time ECAC Tournament champion.

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