College Hockey Roundup: Conference Playoff Edition

by Kevin LeBlanc on March 8, 2017
  • Feature Story
  • College Hockey Roundup: Conference Playoff Edition

College hockey conference playoffs will be in full swing this weekend, with many of the top teams in the NCAA looking to pad their resumes for the Frozen Four selection committee. The 2017 Frozen Four selection show will take place on Sunday, March 19th at Noon, with the first round of the Frozen Four regional semifinals starting the weekend of March 24th-26th.

 

USCHO Top 20 – As of Mar. 6th 

1. Denver (48) – 26-4-4

2. Harvard (1) – 22-5-2

3. Minnesota-Duluth (1) – 21-6-7

4. UMass-Lowell – 22-9-3

5. Minnesota – 22-10-2

6. Union – 23-8-3

7. Western Michigan – 20-9-5

8. Boston University – 21-10-3

9. Cornell – 18-6-5

10. Providence – 22-9-5

11. Penn State – 21-9-2

12. Notre Dame – 19-10-5

13. Vermont – 20-11-5

14. North Dakota – 18-14-3

15. Ohio State – 18-10-6

16. Wisconsin – 19-12-1

17. Boston College – 18-14-4

18. Air Force – 22-9-5

19. St. Lawrence – 16-11-7

20. St. Cloud State – 16-17-1

Read more: http://www.uscho.com/rankings/d-i-mens-poll/

 

Big Ten

The Big Ten has their final weekend of games this weekend, with their conference tournament commencing on Thursday, March 16th and culminating with their championship game on Saturday, March 18th. With two conference games remaining for each team, Minnesota leads the conference by three points, with Wisconsin the only team that can catch them for first place. Both teams play at home this weekend, with Minnesota hosting Michigan State and Wisconsin facing off against Ohio State. 

Players to Watch:

Tyler Sheehy (Minnesota – F – UFA) : 20 G, 32 A

Mason Jobst (Ohio State – F – UFA) : 16 G, 31 A

Denis Smirnov (Penn State – F – '17 Eligible) : 17 G, 26 A

Luke Kunin (Wisconsin – F – MIN) : 20 G, 15 A

Trent Frederic (Wisconsin – F – BOS) : 15 G, 17 A

Tanner Laczynski (Ohio State – F – PHI) : 9 G, 21 A

Jake Bischoff (Minnesota – D – NYI) : 4 G, 25 A

 

Hockey East

After a 22-game conference slate, UMass-Lowell, Boston College and Boston University all finished tied atop the Hockey East standings with 29 points. The opening round of the Hockey East playoffs was last weekend, with Northeastern, New Hampshire, Vermont and Providence advancing to join the top four seeds of UMass-Lowell, BC, BU and Notre Dame in the quarterfinal round. Four, best of three series will take place this weekend, with the semifinals and championship final taking place at TD Garden in Boston on March 17th and 18th. 

Quarterfinal Matchups (Best of three)

Vermont at Boston College

Northeastern at Boston University 

New Hampshire at UMass-Lowell

Providence at Notre Dame

Players to Watch: 

Zach Aston-Reese (Northeastern – F – UFA) : 30 G, 32 A

Tyler Kelleher (New Hampshire – F – UFA) : 23 G, 24 A

Anders Bjork (Notre Dame – F – BOS) : 19 G, 25 A

Clayton Keller (Boston U. – F – ARI) : 19 G, 19 A

Brian Pinho (Providence – F – WSH) : 10 G, 28 A

Matthew Gaudreau (Boston College – F – UFA) : 7 G, 24 A

Matias Cleland (New Hampshire – D – UFA) : 2 G, 33 A

Jake Oettinger (Boston U. – G – '17 Eligible) : 18 W, .927 SV%, 2.07 GAA 

 

NCHC

In what was a seesaw battle all season, Denver dominated down the stretch to take home the regular season NCHC title. Minnesota-Duluth, who has been a top three ranked team nearly all season and spent a good majority of the year at number one in the USCHO Top 20 Poll, finished seven points behind Denver for second place. This weekend, the top four seeds from the NCHC will host the bottom four seeds in the conferences quarterfinals, with the winners moving on to the semi-finals of the Frozen Faceoff, March 17th and 18th at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Quarterfinal Matchups (Best of three)

Colorado College at Denver

Miami at Minnesota-Duluth

Omaha at Western Michigan

St. Cloud State at North Dakota

Players to Watch: 

Austin Ortega (Omaha – F – UFA) : 19 G, 26 A

Alex Iafallo (Minnesota-Duluth – F – UFA) : 15 G, 22 A

Henrik Borgstrom (Denver – F – FLA) : 21 G, 15 A

Matheson Iacopelli (Western Michigan – F – CHI) : 20 G, 14 A

Tyson Jost (North Dakota – F – COL) : 14 G, 15 A

Brock Boeser (North Dakota – F – VAN) : 13 G, 15 A

Will Butcher (Denver – D – COL) : 6 G, 28 A

Jack Ahcan (St. Cloud State – D – '17 Eligible) : 5 G, 16 A

Tanner Jaillet (Denver – G – UFA) : 23 W, .929 SV%, 1.87 GAA

Hunter Miska (Minnesota-Duluth – G – UFA) 20 W, 921 SV%, 2.14 GAA

 

ECAC

Harvard and Union finished tied at the top of the ECAC through 22 games with matching 16-4-2 records within the conference. Finishing just behind them in third place was Cornell, who had a 13-4-5 conference mark and trailed the conference leaders by just three points in the standings. Much like in Hockey East, the ECAC opening round took place last weekend, with Yale, Princeton, Clarkson and Quinnipiac advancing to face the top four seeds of the league in Harvard, Union, Cornell and St. Lawrence. 

Quarterfinal Matchups (Best of three)

Quinnipiac at St. Lawrence

Clarkson at Cornell 

Princeton at Union

Yale at Harvard 

Players to Watch: 

Mike Vecchione (Union – F – UFA) : 26 G, 32 A

Spencer Foo (Union – F – UFA) : 22 G, 34 A

Alexander Kerfoot (Harvard – F – NJD) : 14 G, 23 A

Sam Vigneault (Cornell – F – UFA) : 12 G, 24 A

Adam Fox (Harvard – D – CGY) : 5 G, 27 A

John Hayden (Yale – F – CHI) : 20 G, 12 A

Merrick Madsen (Harvard – G – PHI) : 22W, 918 SV%, 2.17 GAA

Kyle Hayton (St. Lawrence – G -UFA) : 15W, .929 SV%, 2.30 GAA

 

 

Give Kevin a follow @kleblanchockey for NHL prospect talk and happenings.     

 

Latest Prospect Updates

Connect with us