UMass-Lowell won the Hockey East Regular Season Championship with a 4-1 victory at Providence College Saturday night. The River Hawks became the first team outside of Boston College, Boston University, Maine and New Hampshire to win the regular season title.
UMass-Lowell will host Maine in a best-of-three quarterfinal series starting Thursday. The River Hawks went 1-2-0 against Maine in the regular season. The two teams split a series back in November before the Black Bears won in overtime up in Orono in February.
Boston College will host Vermont, a team they just faced this weekend. The Eagles went 2-0-1 against UVM this year, including the tie and win this weekend in Burlington.
Merrimack will travel to Boston University to face the Terriers in the quarterfinals for the second time in four seasons. BU won all three regular season meetings convincingly. In the 2010 tournament, the Terriers prevailed in three games over the Warriors.
Providence will host New Hampshire in the four-five match-up. The Friars went 2-0-1 against UNH in the regular season. It will be the second consecutive season UNH plays on the road in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats got off to such a promising start to the season, but didn't play quite as well in the second half. Providence will have to rebound from losing the game tonight before facing UNH. Nate Leaman inherited a team that had missed the playoffs three consecutive years. Last year, as the seventh seed, Providence upset second seeded UMass-Lowell.
All series except the UMass-Lowell series will start on Friday.
Hockey East Quarterfinal Series
#8 Maine at #1 UMass-Lowell
#7 Vermont at #2 Boston College
#6 Merrimack at #3 Boston University
#5 New Hampshire at #4 Providence
Stay with SBNation and Western College Hockey for continuing coverage of the Hockey East regular season finish and the playoffs. Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.