The new format for the Hockey East playoffs is set to begin in 2022 and will look similar to what fans witnessed earlier this year, which saw Northeastern University (women’s postseason champions) and UMass Amherst (men’s postseason champions) capture their respective tournament.
“This new format for the Hockey East Tournament gives all of our student-athletes the chance to compete for a championship, which is undoubtedly the most exciting part of the season,” Hockey East Commissioner Steve Metcalf said via today’s release from the conference. “Hockey East is the most competitive conference in college hockey, top to bottom, and this new format will highlight the importance of every game during the season for players and fans alike.”
The 2022 Hockey East women’s postseason tournament will feature all 10 teams for the first time in conference history — the tournament will begin next February 23, 2022, with a pair of opening-round contests, which will be hosted by the seventh and eighth seeds. A few weeks later, the men’s league will begin its postseason with a trio of opening-round tilts with the sixth, seventh, and eighth seed teams serving as the hosts.
It is rather gloomy outside our home office, but that won’t stop us from thinking positive thoughts – we are an upbeat, positive media outlet. You know that right?
Alright, let’s get to some news, beginning with yesterday afternoon’s exciting announcement from the Hockey East.
The Hockey East Association plans to drop the puck for the 2020-21 season next Friday, November 20. Games for the opening weekend, as well as the first few weeks will be aired on NESN while other contests will be seen “through its partnership with ViacomCBSDigital.”
Metcalf would continue by adding, “We’ve worked closely with all our member institutions in establishing protocols in an effort to play as safely as possible, while also giving our teams a complete and meaningful season.”
According to Wednesday’s release from the Hockey East, the league’s 11 men’s teams will compete in 20 contests this winter while its 10 women’s programs will skate in 18 games.
Prior to yesterday’s announcement from the Hockey East, Atlantic Hockey shared similar news last month about its ‘return to play‘ with games beginning later this month.
Other New England NCAA D-III conferences have canceled winter sports competition, mainly conference play and championships, but did leave the door open for its various schools to pursue non-conference contests, pending it safe to do so.
According to D3Hoops.com, only a small number of conferences and schools have elected to cancel or “call off” competition for its winter sports teams. And there are a few schools on this list from both Massachusetts and other parts of New England.
While we do like to keep things positive, we do need to share a heartbreaking (and very sad) report: Penn State‘s Journey Brown is retiring from football due to heart condition, which the 21-year-old halfback discovered during “a routine COVID-19 test in early September.”
The news of Brown’s retirement was announced last night by his coach James Franklin, who did tell reporters that the condition is not related to COVID-19.
Like most conferences and leagues that have expressed interest in providing its student-athletes with some competition this upcoming school year, the Hockey East admitted they will confront more challenges as they inch closer to a new season. And as expected, the league – again, like others – plans to put health and safety first, along with physical and mental health, too.
More will be added to this blog post as the day progresses, so please stay tuned!
It’s Wednesday, which means we are inching closer to a brand new weekend – hooray!
Sure, weekends these days are a bit different, but they still are fun (in our opinion!).
As usual, have a wonderful day, be well, stay safe, and keep smiling, everyone!
On This Date in History: April 15th, 2020
1947:Jackie Robinson made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the second African African to play in the major leagues since catcher Moses Fleetwood Walker suited up for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association in 1884. Robinson inked his name on a contract with the Dodgers five days earlier (April 10th), ending his time with the Montreal Royals.
1991:Earvin “Magic” Johnson notched his 9,898th assist, passing Oscar Robertson on the NBA all-time assists leaderboard to become number one. The sellout crowd of 17,505 gave Johnson a standing ovation after he broke the record.
A ceremony was held on this date – April 15, 1997 – prior to the start of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets game at Shea Stadium. Selig announced that Robinson’s number would be “permanently” retired and that all players wearing No. 42 at the time would be allowed to continue to use the number.
2019: Cale Makar, who won the Hobey Baker and was named the Hockey East Player of the Year with UMass, recorded his first career NHL goal with the Colorado Avalanche during his debut one day after signing his name to a three-year, entry-level contract. The goal occurred during Colorado’s third postseason game against the Calgary Flames.
Can you believe this weather? I may call in sick and head to the beach – it is going to be close to 60 degrees today, which makes me pretty happy!
Before you head out to soak in some Vitamin D, enjoy a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – it is the best way to start your day!
Boston heads to Tampa Bay for an important early week match-up
The Boston Bruins return to the ice this evening for an important match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the first of two meetings this week – Tampa Bay will visit Boston on Saturday for an important contest.
Boston currently leads Tampa Bay in the standings by seven points so this would be an ideal night to pick up some more points with a win over a team the Black and Gold will most likely see in the postseason.
The Boston Celtics will attempt to erase the memories of last Saturday’s one-point setback to the Houston Rockets when they entertain the Brooklyn Nets, who enter tonight’s contest with a 26-33 overall record.
Tom Brady may not divorce the New England Patriots
We’re anxiously waiting to find out where Tom Brady will play next season. I think he will return to the New England Patriots. And I also think he is not ready to divorce a team that he has enjoyed so much success with over the past 20 seasons.
Boston College wins its 17th Hockey East regular-season crown
Boston College has won seven-straight contests and one of those wins (against rival Boston University) helped the men’s ice hockey team clinch its 17th Hockey East regular-season title. The Eagles will be at home for the quarterfinals, which begin next weekend.
This weekend, BC will play a home-and-home series with the University of New Hampshire.
The 18th Hockey East Women’s semifinals will take place this weekend
The 18th Hockey East Women’s semifinals will take place this Saturday, March 7th at Merrimack College with Maine and Northeastern University skating in the first game at 12 p.m. followed by New Hampshire vs. Connecticut in the second game at 3:30 p.m.
UMass welcomes Albany to Amherst for an afternoon clash
Fresh off an impressive three-goal (13-10) win over Yale University last Saturday, the UMass men’s lacrosse team will look to continue their momentum this afternoon when they host Albany for a 3 p.m. face-off.
UMass has won three of five contests this season, including two of their last three outings.