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UNH09
03-03-2013, 09:53 PM
Am I under the correct assumption that BU can no longer lock up the top spot with a UML win this afternoon?

claver2010
03-03-2013, 09:54 PM
Looks like UML will be the Thursday series:

@RiverHawkNation
Did you know River Hawks clinched home ice for the @hockey_east playoffs. Will host series beginning Thur. 3-14

pressbox
03-03-2013, 09:58 PM
Looks like UML will be the Thursday series:

@RiverHawkNation
Did you know River Hawks clinched home ice for the @hockey_east playoffs. Will host series beginning Thur. 3-14

Lowell's series will be Thursday, Friday, Sunday (if necessary). There is a scheduled event on Saturday.

Todd
03-03-2013, 11:40 PM
After Sun 3/3:
UML 3 @ MC 1

UML 32 - 36 [1-4]
--- Home Lock - 32 w/ BU tb / 33 w/o (Top 4) ---
UNH 31 - 35 [1-6]
BC 30 - 34 [1-6]
PC 30 - 34 [1-6]
BU 28 - 32 [2-6]
MC 27 - 31 [2-6]
--- Home Eligible - 30 (BC/PC) ---
--- In - 22 (UMA) ---
UVM 21 - 25 [7-9]
ME 19 - 23 [7-9]
UMA 18 - 22 [7-10]
--- Out - 19 (ME) ---
NU 14 - 18 [9-10]

Remaining LEAGUE schedules:
UML - PC/@PC
UNH - MEx2
BC - @UVMx2
PC - @UML/UML
BU - @NU/NU
MC - UMA/@UMA
UVM - BCx2
ME - @UNHx2
UMA - @MC/MC
NU - BU/@BU


"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."
- Gerald R. Ford

Finally.

With their win today, UML becomes the first team to clinch Home Ice. As noted... Sunday morning, now that they have 32 points in the bank, they can only be caught by four other teams and one of those (BU) can't pass them because they come in behind UML in every tb configuration at 32. That puts UML no lower than 4th, which grants them Home Ice.

Crank up the Tsongas ticket office.

----
MC can no longer be first, but they can still be second if, say, everyone but UML loses, as MC wins the H2H tb w/ UNH, who is already at MC's new Max of 31.

----
BU is also hoping for help from UML, since they are out of reach. They got a little help today by UML keeping MC behind the Terriers. BU has the MC tb H2H, so MC has to pass BU or hope for RR tb help. BU also has the H2H tb w/ PC, so if UML sweeps PC, BU could sneak into the last Home Ice spot on UML's coat tails if BU can get two points from NU and MC doesn't sweep a UMA team that is fighting for their season.

Of course, if BU sweeps NU, despite the Saponari Curse, then they may only need UML to split with PC for BU to take 4th.

Lots of possibilities for us to have an old-school BU/PC QF showdown. There was a period where they played each other regularly. In the first 20 years of HE, I recall that BU and PC had played 20 playoff games H2H. Something like that. I believe that PC is the 3rd-most-faced opponent of BU, behind BC and NU. Considering the Beanpot and the proximity of the first two schools (going back to the early days of pre-league scheduling), it's pretty remarkable that PC would be third on the list. Anyway, lots of memories there. Good times, good times...

----
Regarding the first Home Ice spot:

Part of me (the part that would like to get to sleep earlier) would like to say that it will be a long time until we have to wait until this late in the season before we see such a spectacle - where NO ONE has clinched anything beyond some teams being sure to be in the playoffs somewhere. No one was eliminated and no one clinched Home Ice until the final 24 hours of the penultimate weekend. In fact, since this is Sunday and everyone plays Fri-Sat next weekend, technically, no one clinched Home Ice until the last week of the regular season. That's nuts.

There's another part of me that likes everyone being in play. I certainly am not cruel enough to get my schadenfreude on when teams get knocked out without a chance to have a post-season - well, maybe in one instance I could be convinced... :D. Even in that case though, I'm an empathetic human being (on behalf of the players) and a fan of athletic endeavor for its own sake. Regardless of what colors or logos someone might wear, or the words on their sweater, I feel bad every season for those that don't get to "die with their skates on".

Still a third part of me looks around the league and thinks that this isn't an anomaly, it's a trend. I think the days of the Big Four are done, and, if so, I'm glad for it. It's boring.

More to the point, there is enough talent in the league that is spread among the programs that instead of there being four Haves and six Have-Nots, there are becoming ten How-Much-Do-You-Have-This-Years. Add to that that a lot of the teams - especially teams rising in recent years like UML, MC, and PC - have some young players and newer coaches that are just having the opportunity to get their recruits and their systems in place.

Plus we add Notre Dame next year, and UConn the year after that. The former will probably be competitive at the top of the standings from Jump Street. The latter...? Time will tell.

----
Say what you will, pro or con, about Blaise MacDonald, he was always a solid recruiter - whether an assistant at BU, building Niagara from the ground up to a 30-win season (and an at-large bid and 1st round NCAA victory coming out of the CHA) in four years, or taking over at UML (How does the French Olympic team derail one of the best UML teams in a decade? Recruiting.). On the ice, one bad season finished him at UML, but Bazin still had a good foundation to start his tenure and has come out of the gate with consecutive 20-win seasons. There haven't been consecutive 20-win seasons at UML in almost 20 years (92-93, 93-94). For perspective, they had Dwayne Roloson in net and Bruce Crowder behind the bench when they did it. [Ben Stein]Crowder...? Crowder...?[/Ben Stein]. Paul Tsongas was still alive and the building with his name on it wasn't built yet, let alone named for him. In fact, the team had only become UMass Lowell, and the River Hawks, the year before that pair of seasons (in '91). It's been a while is what I'm saying. But UML is on a roll and may be playing the best hockey in the conference, not just because they have the most points as of this snapshot, but they got there by digging out of a hole. You've seen the run they've been on since Hannukkah, right? A festival of lighting the lamp, predominantly on the end of the ice they're facing.

I know that MC's Dennehy has been around for 8 years now, but he took over an imploding program. Honestly, what wasn't going wrong around the team in North Andover when he got there? In the years before his arrival, they were almost perennially the dead-last pre-season pick and still rarely failed to disappoint. In his first four years, the Warriors managed 30 wins, combined. Two years ago, they had 25 in one season. When that team lost in the NCAAs, many saw it as an upset. Merrimack upset in the NCAAs? Has that happened since they jumped from D-II? Even the thought of that happening? So even though they've skidded a little in the last couple of games, they seem to be on the right track as a program.

Nate Leaman took a moribund Union program and, in his final season before coming over to PC, earned a RS ECAC title on the strength of a 25-7-4 run to the post-season. (Bit of an unexpected halt in the playoffs, both league and NCAA, but that could be chalked up to a lot of factors.) He took over a PC squad that hadn't won their first (non-exhibition) game of calendar year 2011 until the final game of their 2010-11 season and had roughly a 1:2:1 win-loss-tie ratio overall. In the league, a woeful 4-16-7 and missed the playoffs. After his first year (2011-12), they rose to a more respectable 10-14-3 (an eight-point jump) in the league, and became the first 7-seed to ever beat a 2 in the history of Hockey East. I guess he was new and didn't know that that behavior is simply is not done in these parts. This year, PC is already 12-7-6, banking 30 points (a further seven-point jump) with two more games to play. That's at least a fifteen-point improvement in his first two seasons. So that seems like a good hire...

UVM has been to the Frozen Four, and to the Garden enough times that the Big Four is on the verge of being the Big Five.

Northeastern's 08-09 team stood toe-to-toe with the All-Everything BU squad of the same season, whether on the ice (back-to-back ties in February), in the standings (BU chased NU all season until passing them on the final Sunday, which was only possible when - on the heels of NU's Friday-night last-:30 EAG, then OT GWG - BC helped out, keeping NU within reach by beating them Saturday night), or on the post-season awards podium (see HE awards and Hobey Hat Trick).

Finally, as much these five of the six "Have Not" teams have all been improving, they have all missed the playoffs at least once in the last four years. You know who hasn't? The other "Have Not", UMass. In fact, UMass hasn't missed the playoffs in ten years, last doing so in 01-02. (Is it a conspiracy that they keep winning the tie-breakers?) It harkens back to the days of the mid-90's, when UML made it to the Semis six years in a row. Not BU, BC, Maine, PC, ... UML - and they did it coming from the 4, 2, 5, 2, 6, and 5 seeds. Never best. Never worst. Always there.

Fun fact 1: In the first 14 years of HE, UML made the Semis more than any other team, 10 times. They have never been RS champ. In fact, only the Big 4 have.

Fun fact 2: The year that UMA joined the league, HE expanded from the playoff-friendly 8 to what-do-we-do-now 9 teams. So in that first season, HE instituted a play-in game (9 @ 8). Even though UMA trailed BC by "30" points in the standings, they won. (Conspiracy to get UMA into the playoffs?) IIRC, that is the only year that BC did not make the quarterfinals. It was definitely the only year of the play-in. (Conspiracy no longer needed, or was the league in then BC Coach Len Ceglarski's pocket and abolished the play-in so BC didn't risk missing out again?)

Todd
03-03-2013, 11:46 PM
Am I under the correct assumption that BU can no longer lock up the top spot with a UML win this afternoon?Actually, according to the exhaustive (and exhausting) early Sunday morning thread, BU could already not get top seed after Saturday's results.

You can read the section with the three-color grids to see why.

After UML's win Sunday, that remains true. :D

Todd
03-03-2013, 11:53 PM
For those of you following along with the BU 3-goal weirdness:

We left off after the first UVM game this weekend with 11 three-goal leads and 6 three-goal responses (by either team) in the 17 BU games since 12/30/12.

On Saturday, UVM got two quick ones on their first three shots, but BU got their first before UVM got their third. However, with under 2:00 to go in a tight 3-2 game, BU started to pull the goalie when UVM got possession in their own end. BU's Maguire raced back to the crease, but before he could really get set, UVM went five-hole. 4-2. With Maguire on the bench as the clock ticked down, BU held UVM away from the front of the net with the puck, but UVM's Chris McCarthy got a wraparound ENG to make it 5-2 with under :10 left. (Three-goal-lead? Check!). Not the most traditional "empty" net goals you'll see, but they do count on the scoresheet.

New tally: 12 three-goal leads and 6 three-goal responses (by either team) in the 18 BU games since 12/30/12.

I don't know what, if anything, it means. Is it a sad thing? A funny thing? It is at least a thing - and that thing won't... stop... happening.

Chinese water torture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_water_torture) is also a "thing", right?

claver2010
03-04-2013, 07:36 AM
Regarding the first Home Ice spot:

Part of me (the part that would like to get to sleep earlier) would like to say that it will be a long time until we have to wait until this late in the season before we see such a spectacle - where NO ONE has clinched anything beyond some teams being sure to be in the playoffs somewhere. No one was eliminated and no one clinched Home Ice until the final 24 hours of the penultimate weekend. In fact, since this is Sunday and everyone plays Fri-Sat next weekend, technically, no one clinched Home Ice until the last week of the regular season. That's nuts.

There's another part of me that likes everyone being in play. I certainly am not cruel enough to get my schadenfreude on when teams get knocked out without a chance to have a post-season - well, maybe in one instance I could be convinced... :D. Even in that case though, I'm an empathetic human being (on behalf of the players) and a fan of athletic endeavor for its own sake. Regardless of what colors or logos someone might wear, or the words on their sweater, I feel bad every season for those that don't get to "die with their skates on".

Still a third part of me looks around the league and thinks that this isn't an anomaly, it's a trend. I think the days of the Big Four are done, and, if so, I'm glad for it. It's boring.

More to the point, there is enough talent in the league that is spread among the programs that instead of there being four Haves and six Have-Nots, there are becoming ten How-Much-Do-You-Have-This-Years. Add to that that a lot of the teams - especially teams rising in recent years like UML, MC, and PC - have some young players and newer coaches that are just having the opportunity to get their recruits and their systems in place.

Plus we add Notre Dame next year, and UConn the year after that. The former will probably be competitive at the top of the standings from Jump Street. The latter...? Time will tell.


Don't think we see this again for a while, and you hit on the reason why in the last paragraph.

With the addition of teams (and thus changing formats) more teams will get home ice which means lower requirements for home ice and thus earlier clinching.

It was weird going to the BC ticket office LAST weekend and buying my HE QF tickets and only getting a receipt and not actual tickets (cue: BC spoiled fans response, and you'd be right).

UMLFan
03-04-2013, 07:53 AM
So you made it all the way to the end? That's one...
I actually read through! :)

CollegeHockeyRinkReport
03-04-2013, 12:39 PM
Todd does a great job of working with the numbers, but here's another look with some of the same info, some other info, analysis here at http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/2013/3/4/4063448/hockey-east-umass-lowell-boston-college-maine-unh-merrimack-providence-boston-university

unh1982
03-04-2013, 12:44 PM
Todd does a great job of working with the numbers, but here's another look with some of the same info, some other info, analysis here at http://sbn.to/15***OY. need all the letters .

UMLFan
03-04-2013, 12:47 PM
need all the letters .Here it is (http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/2013/3/4/4063448/hockey-east-umass-lowell-boston-college-maine-unh-merrimack-providence-boston-university).

ericredaxe
03-04-2013, 01:10 PM
For what it is worth, I suggest that the last weekend of our regular season, is going to be more exciting to follow than the first round of the playoffs for all of the other conferences.

"Long Live Only The Top 8 Make The Playoffs"!!!!

CollegeHockeyRinkReport
03-04-2013, 01:12 PM
Thanks Monty for fixing the link.

Todd
03-04-2013, 01:34 PM
Todd does a great job of working with the numbers, but here's another look with some of the same info, some other info, analysis here at http://www.westerncollegehockeyblog.com/2013/3/4/4063448/hockey-east-umass-lowell-boston-college-maine-unh-merrimack-providence-boston-university


Kyle Bigos will miss his own senior night game after receiving his third Game Misconduct of the season. Some would say that's an appropriate celebration of Bigos' college career.

Aerman
03-04-2013, 01:55 PM
Some would say that's an appropriate celebration of Bigos' college career.

Oh so true!

Fishhawk
03-04-2013, 02:03 PM
Some would say that's an appropriate celebration of Bigos' college career.

For a meaningless parting shot in a game that was over. Dumb jerk!

FlagDUDE08
03-04-2013, 03:30 PM
For what it is worth, I suggest that the last weekend of our regular season, is going to be more exciting to follow than the first round of the playoffs for all of the other conferences.

"Long Live Only The Top 8 Make The Playoffs"!!!!

The Northeastern Rule? :D

PaulG
03-04-2013, 04:56 PM
I know Merrimack went to Alaska for two "exempt" games, so that explains how they're playing 36 regular season games ... but how is Maine playing 36 and BU is playing 35? Everyone else is playing 34

aznman08
03-04-2013, 05:01 PM
I know Merrimack went to Alaska for two "exempt" games, so that explains how they're playing 36 regular season games ... but how is Maine playing 36 and BU is playing 35? Everyone else is playing 34

didnt maine play in the icebreaker?

Go-UML
03-04-2013, 05:06 PM
I know Merrimack went to Alaska for two "exempt" games, so that explains how they're playing 36 regular season games ... but how is Maine playing 36 and BU is playing 35? Everyone else is playing 34They played in two tournaments this year. You can't do that every year, but I don't know all the nuances on what tournament is allowed when.