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Updated Hockey East Tournament Scenarios Following Boston College’s Win at UMass

BC clinches home ice in the Hockey East quarterfinals and moves closer to the #1 seed

John Quackenbos, BC Athletics

Boston College men’s hockey pulled out a gutty 5-2 win at UMass-Amherst last night, coming back from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to score the victory. With the win, BC clinched at least a top-4 Hockey East spot, meaning home ice advantage in the Hockey East quarterfinals, and inched closer to claiming the Hockey East regular season title and #1 seed in the playoffs. First the chart, then the scenario updates:

What changed after last night’s game?

  • BC now can finish no lower than 4th, so they will host a Hockey East quarterfinal series.
  • BC’s magic number to clinch first place is now 4, sorta 3. We had reported it as being 5 before the game, but we were made aware of one scenario by which BC goes 0-0-3 and could theoretically lose out on the tiebreaker for first place if NU runs the table. 3 points would at the minimum clinch a share of the HEA regular season trophy, and one win would drop the magic number to 1 by guaranteeing BC would hold the wins tiebreaker over NU.
  • Maine can no longer win a share of the regular season title even if they win out.
  • UMass can no longer pass Lowell in the standings, so the highest they can finish is 8th.

What’s settled?

  • Not much, beyond BC being clinched into the quarterfinals.
  • BC, Providence, BU and Northeastern are the four teams who can win still the regular season title.
  • UConn, Maine, BU, NU and Providence have all clinched at least home ice in the octofinals round, though all hold hopes of a first round bye

What are the clinching scenarios for the rest of this weekend?

  • BC can clinch first place this weekend with any combination of: a BC win over Maine on Saturday, plus a Providence loss or tie in either game against Lowell, plus a Northeastern loss or tie in either game at Vermont;
  • or a tie on Saturday plus a loss by both PC and NU;
  • or a loss on Saturday plus 0-1-1 or 0-2 marks this weekend by PC and NU and one BU loss or tie against Merrimack
  • There are too many scenarios still to get in to what other teams can do, but a few highlights:
  • Northeastern and PC can clinch a top-4 spot with two wins
  • BU, Maine, Northeastern and PC can all clinch a top-5/first round bye with a win
  • UML and UVM could clinch at least home ice in the Octofinals

What does this all mean for BC?

  • As we laid out earlier, it’s pretty simple for BC at this point - go 1-1-1 in three games against Maine (Saturday at Maine, next Friday/Saturday at home) and they finish first place. Pick up one more win and they’ll finish at least third. Lose out and they could fall to fourth.
  • At #21 in the Pairwise, BC is unlikely to make the NCAAs as an at-large, unless maybe they go on a winning streak between now and the Hockey East final. But the #1 seed in the HEA playoffs gives the Eagles the best chance of progressing through and fighting for an autobid - and also comes with a trophy.
  • Hockey East re-seeds after each round of the playoffs, so BC would be looking at a matchup with the lowest-remaining quarterfinals team if they do lock down #1.

BC has the night off tonight, but keep an eye on BU at UConn (7pm), NU at Vermont (7pm), and UML at Providence (7:15pm), all of which have playoff seeding implications for BC.

And of course, keep visiting BC Interruption for information and updates as BC prepares for their next game on Saturday night at Maine.