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College hockey roundup: Jack Eichel scores twice as BU takes 1-0 series lead over Merrimack 03.13.15 at 10:54 pm ET
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Jack Eichel’€™s first playoff game of his college career was a good one, as he registered two goals and an assist to lead Boston University (22-7-5) to a 6-2 win over Merrimack (16-17-4) in Game 1 of their best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series. Eichel’€™s left wing, Evan Rodrigues, tallied a goal and three assists and his right wing, Danny O’€™Regan, scored as well. The line combined for 16 shots on goal, with Eichel taking nine of them.

Eichel now has 58 points (20 goals, 38 assists) on the season, the most by a BU player since Chris Drury had 62 in 1996-97. Robbie Baillargeon (1 goal, 1 assist) and Brien Diffley (2 assists) also registered multi-point efforts for BU, and the Terriers outshot Merrimack 46-19 on the night.

Penalties were an issue for Merrimack again in this one. The Warriors’€™ penalty kill was great last weekend against Northeastern (and has been very good all season), but they had to kill 15 penalties in two games in that series. On Friday night, they gave BU eight power plays. The Terriers scored on two of them and put up 20 shots on goal on the eight chances.

Game 2 is Saturday at 4 p.m. The Warriors have no chance of getting an NCAA at-large bid, so a loss would end their season. BU is now sixth in the Pairwise and still has a chance to get a one-seed if it keeps winning.

BC, Lowell, UNH take series leads, too

Boston College, UMass-Lowell and New Hampshire all took 1-0 series leads as well. The Eagles (21-11-3) built up a 4-0 lead in the first 25 minutes of the game and held on for a 4-2 win over Vermont (20-14-4). Zach Sanford scored twice, Noah Hanifin had a goal and an assist and Michael Matheson notched three assists.

The Eagles can pretty much lock up an NCAA bid with a win Saturday night, while another loss would end Vermont’€™s hopes of getting an at-large berth. As of 10:30 p.m., the Eagles are ninth in the Pairwise rankings that are used to determine the 16-team NCAA field and the Catamounts are 20th.

Like BC, Lowell (19-10-6) also came out flying Friday night. The River Hawks scored five times in the game’€™s first 23 minutes and cruised to a 5-0 beatdown of Notre Dame (17-18-5). C.J. Smith registered a goal and an assist, while Michael Kapla and Michael Louria each had a pair of assists.

A win Saturday night would be a big boost to the River Hawks’€™ at-large chances, but they might still need to win a game at TD Garden next week as well. They’€™re currently 14th in the Pairwise, just on the good side of the bubble.

The only road team to win in Hockey East Friday night was UNH (18-17-2), who beat Providence (21-12-2) 2-1 in overtime on a Grayson Downing game-winner. Tyler Kelleher scored the tying goal with 1:43 left in regulation and Danny Tirone made 45 saves in the UNH net.

The Friars, who are now 10th in the Pairwise, would still have a decent chance to make NCAAs even if they lose this series, but being on the bubble going into next weekend and not having any games to play would not be a comfortable position to be in. The Wildcats need to win the Hockey East tournament to make NCAAs.

Harvard takes 1-0 series lead over Yale

Jimmy Vesey scored with 2:26 left in regulation to lift Harvard (18-11-3) to a 3-2 win over Yale (17-8-5) in Game 1 of their best-of-three ECAC quarterfinal series. Vesey also had an assist in the game, and linemate Alex Kerfoot had a goal and an assist as well.

Game 2 will be Saturday night at 7 p.m. in New Haven. The Crimson are in a nearly identical position as Lowell, as they currently sit 15th in the Pairwise. Like Lowell, the Crimson could greatly help their at-large chances by winning again Saturday, although they would potentially need another win next weekend as well.

In other ECAC action, Dartmouth (17-11-4) lost to Colgate 3-1. John Lidgett gave Colgate a 2-1 lead early in the third and Darcy Murphy tacked on a late empty-netter. The Big Green need to win the next two nights not only to advance in the ECAC tournament, but also to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. One more loss would end their season.

College hockey roundup: Hockey East quarterfinal matchups set; BU, Harvard women win league titles 03.08.15 at 10:15 pm ET
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It wouldn’t have been a Hockey East playoff night without another overtime game. Seventh-seeded Vermont beat 10th-seeded Maine 3-2 in overtime in Sunday night’s decisive Game 3 to advance to next weekend’s quarterfinals. The winner came 16:05 into the extra session when Anthony Petruzzelli set up Jonathan Turk for a one-timer from the slot.

The Catamounts led 2-0 after two, but the Black Bears came back to force overtime, with leading scorer Devin Shore tying the game with 4:41 left in regulation. Vermont will next head to third-seeded Boston College for a best-of-three series.

With the win, the Catamounts also remain in contention for an NCAA at-large berth. They’re currently 19th in the Pairwise rankings, meaning they’ll also need to beat BC next weekend to have a shot.

In Sunday night’s other Game 3, 12th-seeded UMass saw its season end with a thud, losing 7-0 to fifth-seeded Notre Dame. Things really unraveled in the second period, when the Irish scored five times. But hey, at least the Minutemen can say they won the longest game in college hockey history. Notre Dame will now head to fourth-seeded UMass-Lowell for the quarterfinals next weekend.

Here is the full slate of Hockey East quarterfinal matchups (all series best-of-three):

(11) Merrimack at (1) Boston University
(8) New Hampshire at (2) Providence
(7) Vermont at (3) Boston College
(5) Notre Dame at (4) UMass-Lowell

BU women win fourth straight Hockey East title

On the women’s side, Boston University beat Boston College 4-1 to win its fourth straight Hockey East championship. The game was tied 1-1 going into the third, but Marie-Philip Poulin netted her second goal of the game to make it 2-1, Maddie Elia scored on the power play to make it 3-1 and Sarah Lefort tacked on an empty-netter. Victoria Hanson stopped 32 of the 33 shots she faced.

Poulin, who is most famous for scoring the winning goal in each of the last two Olympic gold medal games, earned tournament MVP honors after racking up six goals and six assists in four tournament games.

It was just the second loss of the season for the Eagles, but both have been big ones. Their other loss was against Harvard in the Beanpot championship game.

BU finished fifth in the Pairwise rankings and will travel to fourth-ranked Wisconsin for the first round of the NCAA tournament next weekend. BC finished second in the Pairwise and will host seventh-ranked Clarkson, the defending national champion.

Harvard women win ECAC title

The Terriers weren’t the only Boston team to win a championship Sunday. Harvard’s women’s team beat Cornell 7-3 to win its first ECAC tournament title since 2008. Cornell actually led 2-1 early in the third, but then the Crimson scored five straight goals in an 11:11 span to put the game out of reach. Mary Parker recorded two goals and two assists, while Sarah Edney also scored twice.

Harvard finished third in the Pairwise and will host sixth-ranked Quinnipiac to open the NCAA tournament. The Crimson are 3-0 against Quinnipiac this season, but all three games were 2-1 decisions and two of them went to overtime, including Saturday’s ECAC semifinal.

College hockey roundup: Merrimack completes sweep of Northeastern with double-overtime win 03.07.15 at 9:55 pm ET
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After winning in overtime Friday night, 11th-seeded Merrimack completed the sweep of sixth-seeded Northeastern with a 2-1 double-overtime win Saturday. Freshman Mathieu Tibbet scored the winner 15:42 into the second overtime on a bad-angle shot that squeaked underneath Northeastern goalie Clay Witt (47 saves) and barely trickled over the goal line.

Rasmus Tirronen made a career-high 63 saves for the Warriors, including 30 in the two overtime periods. He finished the series with 99 saves on 102 shots and now has a .953 save percentage over his last six games.

Merrimack will head to either first-seeded Boston University (if Notre Dame beats UMass Sunday) or second-seeded Providence (if UMass wins) for a best-of-three Hockey East quarterfinal series next weekend.

With the loss, Northeastern’s season is over. The Huskies had a chance to get an NCAA at-large berth if they had won this weekend, but getting swept knocks them down to 24th in the Pairwise rankings, well off the bubble.

UNH sweeps UConn

UConn’s first season in Hockey East ended Saturday with a 2-0 loss and a sweep at the hands of New Hampshire. The eighth-seeded Wildcats dominated all night (final shots on goal were 44-19 in their favor) but couldn’t get one past UConn goalie Rob Nichols until Kyle Smith found the back of the net with 8:58 left in the third period. Grayson Downing sealed the win in the final minute with his third goal of the series. UNH could face Providence, Boston College or UMass-Lowell in next weekend’s quarterfinals depending on what happens tomorrow in the Notre Dame-UMass and Vermont-Maine series.

Harvard, Dartmouth advance in ECAC

After beating Brown 6-2 Friday night, Harvard appeared to be on its way to another easy win Saturday. The sixth-seeded Crimson jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but Brown came back and pulled within one with 8:53 left in the game. Harvard held on for the win and the sweep, though, and will now head to third-seeded Yale for a best-of-three ECAC quarterfinal series next weekend. Jimmy Vesey and Colin Blackwell each scored their third goal of the series in the win.

With the win, the Crimson jumped up to 16th in the Pairwise rankings, meaning they would be the first team out of NCAAs if the season ended today. If they beat Yale next weekend, they would put themselves in pretty good shape when it comes to getting an at-large bid.

Fifth-seeded Dartmouth also completed a sweep Saturday, beating Princeton 2-0. Brad Schierhorn gave the Big Green the lead late in the second and Eric Robinson tacked on a late empty-netter. James Kruger made 17 saves to get the shutout. Dartmouth will travel to fourth-seeded Colgate for the quarterfinals next weekend.

Maine, Notre Dame force Game 3s

Hockey East will have two Game 3s Sunday, as Maine and Notre Dame both staved off elimination Saturday night. Senior Connor Leen scored a pair of goals to lead the 10th-seeded Black Bears to a 4-2 win over seventh-seeded Vermont. Cedric Lacroix had a goal and an assist, while Steven Swavely and Cam Brown each had two assists. Game 3 will be Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. in Burlington, Vermont.

The Catamounts dropped to 19th in the Pairwise with the loss. If they lose Sunday, their season is over. They would most likely need to win their quarterfinal series next weekend as well to give themselves a chance to get an NCAA at-large berth.

One night after losing the longest game in college hockey history, fifth-seeded Notre Dame bounced back with a 5-3 win over 12th-seeded UMass to force a Game 3 Sunday night in South Bend, Indiana. Vince Hinostroza scored twice, while Thomas DiPauli registered three assists. The Irish would head to fourth-seeded UMass-Lowell next weekend if they win Sunday, while the Minutemen would head to top-seeded BU if they win.

College hockey roundup: UMass beats Notre Dame in longest game ever 03.07.15 at 8:50 am ET
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Welcome to playoff hockey. The first night of the Hockey East tournament made history, as 12th-seeded UMass beat fifth-seeded Notre Dame 4-3 in the longest college hockey game ever played.

Junior forward Shane Walsh scored on a shot from the slot 11:42 into the fifth — yes, fifth — overtime to give the Minutemen a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three opening round series. The game ended at 1:24 a.m., and the total game time of 151:42 made it 1:20 longer than the previous record-holder (Quinnipiac over Union in the 2010 ECAC quarterfinals).

Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen made an NCAA-record 87 saves in the games, while UMass’ Steve Mastalerz made 75, tied for the fifth-most ever. Steven Iacobellis scored two goals for the Minutemen. Game 2 is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.

Merrimack, Vermont, UNH take series leads

UMass-Notre Dame wasn’t the only game to go to overtime Friday night, and it wasn’t the only upset either. Eleventh-seeded Merrimack beat sixth-seeded Northeastern on Kyle Singleton’s shorthanded game-winner 2:24 into overtime. It was the senior’s first goal since Jan. 5, 2013.

The Warriors were without leading scorer Brett Seney, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Then to make matters worse, second-leading scorer Hampus Gustafsson was ejected just 58 seconds into the game for a hit from behind.

The Warriors took two more penalties shortly after that and ended up on the kill for 8:13 of the following 8:14, including a 48-second 5-on-3. They ended up killing all of those penalties and then building a 2-0 lead by the end of the second, only to have Northeastern come back in the third and force overtime.

Vermont-Maine nearly went to overtime, but Vermont’s Brendan Bradley scored what proved to be the game-winner with 2:07 left in regulation. Brady Shaw tacked on an empty-netter to seal the 4-2 win for the seventh-seeded Catamounts.

In the only Hockey East game that didn’t go down to the wire, eighth-seeded New Hampshire sprinted out to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 5-2 win over ninth-seeded UConn. Grayson Downing and Tyler Kelleher each scored a pair of goals for the Wildcats.

Harvard runs away from Brown; Dartmouth wins late

In the ECAC, sixth-seeded Harvard took care of business against 11th-seeded Brown, picking up a 6-2 win in Game 1 of their best-of-three series. Colin Blackwell was the feel-good story of the night, as the North Andover native scored his first two goals in more than two years after missing all of last season and most of this season while battling post-concussion symptoms. Jimmy Vesey also scored two goals for the Crimson.

Fifth-seeded Dartmouth had a little more trouble with 12th-seeded Princeton, as the Big Green found themselves locked in a 2-2 tie late in the third period. Leading scorer Eric Neiley found the back of the net with 1:27 left in regulation, though, to give them a 1-0 series lead.

Boston University wins Hockey East regular-season title; Tournament field set 02.28.15 at 10:27 pm ET
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One year after finishing ninth in Hockey East, Boston University is the league’€™s regular-season champion. It took the Terriers longer to wrap up the outright title than they would’€™ve liked — they lost their previous two league games when a single point would’€™ve done the trick — but they ended up clinching it during the first period of their regular-season finale against Northeastern thanks to Notre Dame‘€™s 3-1 win over Boston College, the only team that still had a chance to catch BU.

Winning the title outright in and of itself would’€™ve made Saturday night a good one for the Terriers, but playing well was just as important given how poorly they played in Friday’€™s loss to Northeastern. They did just that, sprinting out to a 3-0 lead and ultimately winning 6-1.

Jack Eichel registered two goals and an assist, extending his point streak to eight games and increasing his nation-leading points total to 55 (18 goals, 37 assists). He also became the first Hockey East player to finish the regular season with two points per game in conference play since New Hampshire’s Jason Krog in 1998-99.

Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk scored his eighth goal in the last 10 games and added two assists in the win, while Ahti Oksanen scored his team-leading 21st and 22nd goals of the season.

BC’€™s loss combined with Providence’€™s 5-2 win over Maine means the Eagles will be the three-seed for the Hockey East tournament, with the Friars winning the tiebreaker and getting the two-seed. The Eagles outshot Notre Dame 56-28 Saturday night, but Irish goalie Cal Petersen made a career-high 55 saves as he stayed hot going into the playoffs (.961 save percentage over his last seven games).

UMass-Lowell wrapped up the fourth and final first-round bye with a 2-2 tie against Vermont, although the River Hawks can’€™t feel too good about posting just 15 shots on goal in the game. A little further down the standings UNH clinched the eight-seed with a 3-0 win over Merrimack, meaning the Wildcats will host UConn in next weekend’€™s opening round.

Here’€™s a look at the full bracket for the Hockey East tournament, which starts with the best-of-three opening round next weekend. The quarterfinals the weekend after are also best-of-three, while the semifinals and championship on March 20 and 21 are single elimination. Every game in the best-of-three series is played on the higher seed’€™s home ice.

Opening round
(5) Notre Dame vs. (12) UMass
(6) Northeastern vs. (11) Merrimack
(7) Vermont vs. (10) Maine
(8) New Hampshire vs. (9) UConn

Quarterfinals
(1) Boston University vs. lowest remaining seed
(2) Providence vs. second-lowest remaining seed
(3) Boston College vs. third-lowest remaining seed
(4) UMass-Lowell vs. highest remaining seed

Harvard, Dartmouth to host first-round series
In the ECAC, Harvard closed out the regular season with a 5-0 win over Princeton and finished as the conference’s six-seed. The Crimson will host 11th-seeded Brown in a best-of-three opening round series next weekend. Dartmouth finished as the five-seed and will host 12th-seeded Princeton after wrapping up the regular season with a pair of wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac.

Pairwise update
The Pairwise rankings are used to determine the 16-team field and the seedings for the NCAA tournament. Here’s a look at where things stand for the New England teams that still have a shot at an at-large berth:
6. Boston University
9. Providence
10. Boston College
12. Quinnipiac
13. Yale
16. UMass-Lowell
19. Vermont
20. Northeastern
22. Harvard
24. Dartmouth

In reality, bubble teams will have to finish at least in the top 15, as the 16th spot needs to go to the Atlantic Hockey tournament champion. Vermont and Northeastern should benefit from playing a first-round series, assuming they can take care of business. They would most likely need to win their quarterfinal series as well, and might have to make it all the way to the Hockey East title game to have a shot at an at-large spot.

Lowell will also need to win its quarterfinal series in two weeks. That might be enough to get the River Hawks in — especially if they sweep — but there’s a chance they, too, would need to to reach the conference title game. Harvard and Dartmouth probably need to win the ECAC tournament to get in, but there might be a small chance of getting an at-large spot if they just get to the championship game.

BU coach David Quinn (briefly) addresses Jack Eichel videos on College Puckcast: ‘We talked about it’ 02.26.15 at 2:37 pm ET
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The Boston University Terriers have a lot to be excited about right now. They just won their first Beanpot since 2009 and they’ve already clinched at least a share of the Hockey East regular-season title. They can clinch it outright with a single point this weekend against Northeastern.

There was a hiccup this week, though. The day after BU’s Beanpot victory, a video surfaced that showed star freshman Jack Eichel bragging about “drinking beer out of the Beanpot” and then taking a gulp.

A player — even an underage one — celebrating this way is not surprising and not really a big deal, but the fact that it was caught on video and posted on a blog and that Eichel is the likely No. 2 pick in this summer’s NHL draft was enough for a couple national media outlets to pick up the story. A second video from earlier in the season that shows Eichel drinking also surfaced.

BU coach David Quinn briefly addressed the situation on WEEI’s College Puckcast on Thursday. Click here to listen to the entire podcast, in which Quinn addresses a number of topics as his team gets ready for the postseason.

“Yeah, we talked about it,” Quinn said.

Quinn was then asked if Eichel would be disciplined at all.

“Any discipline will be done in-house, and that’s between Jack and I,” he said.

While Quinn didn’t elaborate any further on that situation, he had plenty of good things to say about Eichel’s game and how he’s improved throughout the season.

“An underrated part of his game is defensively,” Quinn said. “He’s so strong. He’s aware of his body positioning. When he’s in 1-on-1 situations defensively, he doesn’t lose it. He ends the play. Jack has the athleticism and the strength not only to end the play, but he’ll end up picking the puck up and start your breakout. He backchecks with a vengeance. He understands pressuring the puck. There’s a lot of things that he’s done to improve his game, and that’s why I think he’s going to be an elite player at the next level.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Northeastern coach Jim Madigan suspended 2 games for ‘unsportsmanlike behavior’ 02.26.15 at 10:17 am ET
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Northeastern hockey coach Jim Madigan has been suspended two games by Hockey East for “unsportsmanlike behavior directed at officials,” the league announced in a statement. The incidents leading to the suspension took place in Saturday’s game at Maine and Monday’s Beanpot final against Boston University, both of which were Northeastern losses.

Madigan was previously suspended for the first game of this season after criticizing officials following Northeastern’s final game of last season.

Madigan was visibly upset with the refs Monday night after BU won the game on an overtime power play resulting from a questionable hooking call. In his postgame press conference, he tried to convey his feelings about the call without violating the league’s rule against criticizing officials in the media.

“We can’t answer some of those questions,” Madigan said. “We live in a democratic society here. We can criticize the president of the United States on CNN and Fox and we can do all those things. We can’t criticize officials. We’re censored.

“Yeah, I think we thought we deserved better, but we can’t go there. So don’t ask questions about the officials, the penalty, because I’ve sat out already. We’re censored. We can’t say things against the league or the officials. Referee made a call. We didn’t agree with it. BU won the game on a power play.”

Madigan will now miss the Huskies’ final two regular-season games against BU this Friday and Saturday, with associate head coach Jerry Keefe leading the team in his absence. The Huskies are currently tied for sixth in Hockey East and are just one point out of the top four. The top four teams get a first-round bye and home ice in the Hockey East quarterfinals. Madigan will be eligible to return for Northeastern’s first playoff game.

“Coach Madigan’s actions are not consistent with the expectations we have for our department,” said Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby in a statement. “We hold all members of our department to a high standard, and we expect our representatives to treat others with respect and to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner both on and off the field of competition.”

Here is video of the penalty Madigan took exception to Monday night:

BU beats Northeastern in overtime to win 30th Beanpot title 02.23.15 at 10:19 pm ET
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BU celebrated its 30th Beanpot title Monday night. (WEEI.com)

BU celebrated its 30th Beanpot title Monday night. (WEEI.com)

After going five years without winning the Beanpot — their longest drought in 50 years — the Boston University Terriers are once again Beanpot champions. They beat Northeastern 4-3 in overtime Monday night to capture their tournament-leading 30th title.

Matt Grzelcyk — Charlestown native, BU captain, Bruins prospect and son of a longtime Garden bull gang worker — scored the game-winner 51 seconds into overtime with a power-play goal. After a Jack Eichel centering pass for Danny O’Regan drew a penalty just nine seconds into overtime, the Terriers set up on the man advantage.

Eichel and Ahti Oksanen won a puck battle along the boards and then Evan Rodrigues slid it over to Grzelcyk, who wristed a shot past Clay Witt (30 saves) for his second goal of the game.

With the win, the Terriers improved to 20-6-5 on the season and moved up to sixth in the Pairwise rankings that determine the NCAA tournament field. The Huskies, whose Beanpot drought is now at 27 years, dropped to 15-13-4 and fell to 22nd in the Pairwise, meaning they are now seven spots back of the final NCAA at-large spot.

The Terriers took control of the game in the second period, outshooting the Huskies 12-7 in the frame and outscoring them 2-0. They took a 2-1 lead 5:31 into the period when Cason Hohmann cut to the middle of the ice and threw a low shot on goal, producing a rebound that Robbie Baillargeon buried for his first goal since opening night way back on Oct. 10.

Baillargeon, BU’€™s leading scorer a year ago, has had a trying season, as he missed a month and a half with mono around the middle of the season and has struggled enough recently that he was a healthy scratch Saturday night. Needless to say, scoring in the Beanpot championship game was a great way to respond to being scratched.

Grzelcyk made it 3-1 nine minutes later with a big goal in what he hopes will be his home arena sometime in the future. The junior defenseman stepped into a slapper from the left point and found the back of the net through a Nick Roberto screen for his sixth goal of the season. Read the rest of this entry »

Hockey East postseason outlook with 2 weeks left in regular season 02.17.15 at 9:00 am ET
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With two weeks left in Hockey East’€™s regular season, let’€™s take a look at where each team stands as the postseason approaches. A few reminders before we get going: All 12 teams make the Hockey East tournament now. The top four teams get a first-round bye, with teams five through 12 playing best-of-three series to advance. The quarterfinals are also best-of-three, while the semifinals and championship are each one game. As for NCAAs, 16 teams make it — the six conference tournament champions plus 10 at-large teams. The field and seedings are determined by the Pairwise rankings — an objective, mathematical formula that is explained here.

Boston University (19-5-4, 13-3-2 HEA)
Hockey East: First (28 points)
Pairwise: Third
Despite a surprising loss at UNH on Saturday (one that snapped a seven-game winning streak), the Terriers are in really good shape all around. They can clinch Hockey East’s top seed and an outright regular-season title (their first since 2009) with three more points, or one more win combined with one more BC loss or tie. It’€™s possible they’€™ll enter Monday night’€™s Beanpot final with the regular-season title already locked up. On a national level, the Terriers are in position to grab one of the four one-seeds for the NCAA tournament. If they stay in the top four, they would be guaranteed to play in either Manchester or Providence for regionals. Even if they slip to fifth or sixth in the Pairwise, there would still be a good chance they’€™d be kept east.

Given that they have the best line in the country, a second line that’€™s heating up, a talented (if young) defense and a very good goalie, the Terriers are absolutely a national title contender. Getting to stay east for regionals before potentially playing about three and a half miles from campus for the Frozen Four would be a pretty nice path for them. Either way, one piece of hardware that should end up at BU this year is the Hobey Baker Award. Jack Eichel is the clear favorite to win it right now, as he leads the country with 47 points and 1.74 points per game.

Boston College (18-10-2, 11-6-2 HEA)
Hockey East: Second (24 points)
Pairwise: 11th
It would take a fairly shocking collapse from BU for BC to have a shot at the regular-season title, but the Eagles at least have the inside track for one of the other spots in the top four. They have a four-point lead over the two teams tied for fifth (Northeastern and Notre Dame), although both of them do have a game in hand on BC. The Eagles are a little above the Pairwise bubble right now and therefore in pretty good shape NCAA-wise, but they could still drop out of the top 15 (the Atlantic Hockey champ will take the 16th spot) with a few more losses and/or an early exit in the Hockey East tourney. BC has two big games against NCAA bubble teams coming up in the next week — first against Lowell on Friday night, then against Harvard on Monday in a rare Beanpot consolation game that actually means a lot for both teams.

UMass-Lowell (17-10-4, 10-7-2 HEA)
Hockey East: Third (22 points)
Pairwise: 18th
The River Hawks have gone 3-7-1 since Jan. 10 and played themselves out of the regular-season title race and onto the NCAA bubble in the process. Right now they’€™re on the outside looking in at an NCAA spot, but a strong finish — something they hope Saturday’€™s 7-1 trouncing of UMass was the start of — could get them back in position to earn an at-large bid, especially considering their last three regular-season games are against teams ahead of them in the Pairwise (one against BC and two against Vermont). The flip side is that if they continue to slide, they’€™ll have to win the Hockey East tourney in order to reach NCAAs for a fourth consecutive year. Read the rest of this entry »

Beanpot championship postponed to Feb. 23 02.08.15 at 7:16 pm ET
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Monday’s Beanpot championship game has been postponed to Monday, Feb. 23, due to the snow storm that will be in the area through Monday night, sources have confirmed to WEEI.com.

This marks the second week in a row the Beanpot has been postponed because of snow. Last Monday’s semifinals were pushed back to Tuesday. This week’s championship had to be pushed back even further, though, because the Bruins are at TD Garden Tuesday, the Celtics Wednesday and then Disney on Ice for a week and a half.

Boston University beat Harvard 4-3 in double overtime in last week’s first semifinal and Northeastern beat Boston College 3-2 in the second, ending BC’s quest for a sixth straight Beanpot title in the process.

BU and Northeastern will now meet at 7:30 p.m. in the championship game on Feb. 23. Northeastern hasn’t won the Beanpot since 1988, while BU last won in 2009. BC and Harvard will meet in the consolation game at 4:30 p.m.

This will be the latest the Beanpot final has been played since 1978, when it was pushed back to March 1 because of the Blizzard of ’78.

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