PC Friars sweep Maine and advance to play Northeastern in the Hockey East semifinals
Hockey East news release…
WAKEFIELD, Mass. – The Hockey East Association has announced the pairings and start times for the semifinal round of 2018 Hockey East Tournament at TD Garden in Boston. Top-seeded Boston College renews its rivalry with the No. 4 Boston University Terriers at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 16 while No. 2 Northeastern and three-seeded Providence clash at 8 p.m. Both semifinals and the championship game will be shown live on NESNplus and ESPN3. It marks just the second time since 2013 that the top four seeds have all advanced to the final weekend of the Hockey East Tournament (2017).
No. 1 Boston College (20-13-4, 18-6-0 HEA) advances to the semifinals for the third straight year after claiming its 16th Hockey East regular season title. No. 4 Boston University (19-13-4, 12-8-4 HEA) advances to the TD Garden for the fourth consecutive season, winning its 12th straight quarterfinal game to do so. It is the second year in a row that the Eagles and Terriers will meet in the Hockey East semifinals. In 2017, the Eagles topped the Terriers, 3-2, to advance to their league-record 17th appearance in the championship contest.
Both programs are skating in the Hockey East semifinals for the 24th time, the most of any school in league tournament history. All-time in postseason play, Boston University owns a 9-4 record over Boston College in 10 previous series, including a 3-2 mark in the semifinals. Between the Eagles (11) and Terriers (9), the two programs have claimed 20 of the previous 33 Hockey East Tournament titles. During the regular season, the teams split a pair of Hockey East games, 1-1-0.
No. 2 Northeastern (21-8-5, 15-6-3 HEA) will skate against No. 3 Providence (22-10-4, 13-7-4 HEA) for just the sixth time in the Hockey East Tournament in three previous series. The Friars earned the opportunity by sweeping their series with Maine, capping off a 3 to 2 victory on Saturday night.
The Huskies and Friars have not played against each other in the postseason since a 1994 quarterfinal series. This marks the third time in three seasons that Northeastern has appeared in the Hockey East semifinals and the Huskies are 2-7 in eight all-time semifinal appearances. Providence returns to the TD Garden for the fifth time in the last seven seasons looking to advance to the championship for the first time since 2001. In the 2017-18 regular season, Providence staked a 1-0-1 mark over Northeastern.
The winner of the Hockey East Championship Tournament will earn an automatic berth into the 71st annual NCAA men’s ice hockey championship tournament and have a chance to reach the 2018 NCAA Frozen Four held in St. Paul, Minnesota. The UMass Lowell River Hawks won their third Hockey East Tournament Championship in program history last season, defeating the Boston College Eagles, 4-3.