UNH, BC, Maine already in HE Tournament
Vermont moved into a tie for fifth place in the Hockey East standings with a win over Boston University on Sunday. On the No. 20 Catamount’s “Senior Day”, it was junior Josh Burrows who scored the game winning goal with three minutes and 42 seconds left in the third period to improve their record to 15-11-6 overall and 9-10-6 in the Hockey East. The game was aired on ESPNU at a sold out Gutterson Fieldhouse in Burlington, Vt.
Seniors Brayden Irwin and Colin Vock both scored power-play goals for the Catamounts. The game entered the third period knotted at 2-2 until Burrows buried the Terriers with a goal assisted by freshman David Pacan with an in-between–the-legs pass. For the seven Vermont seniors that were honored following the game, the win was their 72nd of their Catamount careers.
Sophomore Rob Madore of UVM turned away 25 shots in the victory, while Burrows was named the first-star for the second time in the weekend double-header against BU. The Catamounts terrorized the Terriers on Friday with a 7-3 win, finishing 2-0-1 against BU in the regular season series. Vermont trails fourth-place Massachusetts Lowell by just one point for the final home ice spot in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, as the Catamounts play the River Hawks twice next weekend in Tsongas Arena at UMass Lowell.
With the regular season wrapping up this upcoming weekend, Hockey East has six teams battling for the final five seeds in the Conference Tournament. With two games remaining for each team and valuable points up for grabs, only three teams have secured their spot in the bracket.
New Hampshire, Boston College and Maine are among the top three seeds with a guaranteed berth, with BC and UNH clinching home ice in the quarterfinals. Six teams, UMass-Lowell, BU, Northeastern, UVM, Merrimack and UMass are separated by only three points. All but the Minutemen will be fighting for the third- and fourth-seeds to have home-ice in the quarterfinal round. Providence, while already out of the tournament, will be playing spoiler as they take on the Warriors for a weekend double-header.
The top eight of the 10 Hockey East Conference teams make the tournament, with the four highest seeded schools to host the lower berthed teams in quarterfinal action. If a tie-breaker is necessary due to the same amount of points, there are four different criteria to be considered in primary order: head-to-head record, number of wins in conference play, best record against the top-ranked teams, and if necessary, a coin flip. Quarterfinal action kicks off March 12.
Michael Counos can be reached at email@example.com.