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.