Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On to the second season

Playoff time is upon us. Three of college hockey’s leagues begin playoffs this weekend while three others have already begun theirs—with some startling upsets in the ECAC. A good place to follow all the action is CHN’s Tourney Watch. Hockey East’s playoff bracket has all four series beginning this Friday. The only game that will be televised is Saturday’s UMass-Northeastern encounters. For those who have been watching BU home games on All-Access, that service is done for the season. However, you can watch any of the HE quarterfinal games (except the NESN game) on B2 Networks at $8/game. We’ll post details later this week.

Sports of Boston.com previews the four quarterfinal series and projects winners for each one. While statistical site PlayoffStatus.com has evaluated the likelihood for each team to win the league crown.

USCHO’s Scott Weighart, who has covered Terrier home games all season, has generously prepared, on two audio files, an assessment of the team and the completed regular season and a look ahead to the playoffs, both of which you can find in the player below (click to select):

While the Terriers must focus their attention on first-round opponent, Maine, BU fans have the luxury of looking down the road to the NCAA tournament where BU is assured of being a top seed. USCHO’s Jim Connelly’s analysis suggests that the Terriers may already have wrapped up the top overall seed. Most people assume that BU will find itself in the Manchester Regional, but Connelly offers one scenario that would put BU in Bridgeport. And, in a comment to the article, THFBlog contributor Todd presents a second possibility.

We have some trailing recaps of Sunday’s win that clinched the regular season Hockey East title. The Daily Free Press, The New York Times and New England Hockey Journal. Meanwhile, NHL Fanhouse.com focuses on Nick Bonino's hot hand of late in its weekly report.

A few items from the Hockey East Online weekly news release:
►The Terriers have five players with 30 points or more this season, placing all of them in the top 10 among Hockey East players.

►BU has one loss since Thanksgiving and is on a 16-game unbeaten streak, its longest since a 17-game stretch (14-0-3) in the 1995-96.

►Co-captain Matt Gilroy and Chris Higgins, both played in their 150th career game this past weekend.

Brandon Yip became the 76th Terrier to reach the 100-point mark on the final goal of his hat trick in Friday’s 8-2 win at Providence. He's tied on the all-time scoring list with Rich Brennan, a defenseman on BU's 1995 national championship team.

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