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Hockey East Standings: Playoff picture, tournament possibilities and Pairwise outlook

Five points separates second place from a tie for seventh place.

Ross Mauermann and his Providence teammates face the unenviable task of heading to Orono to face Maine in need of points.
Ross Mauermann and his Providence teammates face the unenviable task of heading to Orono to face Maine in need of points.
Matt Dewkett (mrd-photos.com)

Hockey East Standings


Team (Overall Record) GP W-L-T Points Pairwise Remaining
1 Boston College * ^ (25-4-4) 19 16-1-2 34 1 ND
2 UMass Lowell ^ (20-8-4) 18 10-5-3 23 8 @ UVM, @ UVM
3 Northeastern ^ (18-10-4) 18 10-6-2 22 9 @ BU, BU
4 Maine (15-11-4) 18 9-6-3 21 17 PC, PC
5 New Hampshire (18-15-1) 18 10-8-0 20 20 @ MC, @ MC
Providence (17-9-6) 18 9-7-2 20 16 @ Maine, @ Maine
7 Vermont (17-11-3) 18 9-9-0 18 12 UML, UML
Notre Dame (19-12-2) 19 8-9-2 18 15 @ BC
9 Massachusetts (8-21-4) 20 4-13-3 11 44
10 Boston University (8-20-4) 18 3-12-3 9 46 NU, @ NU
11 Merrimack (7-20-3) 18 2-14-2 6 48 UNH, UNH

* Clinched Hockey East regular season championship

^

What we know

  • Boston College will be the one seed and host the lowest remaining seed in the quarterfinals after having a bye in the first round.
  • Massachusetts, Boston University and Merrimack will all be on the road for the first round of the tournament.
  • UMass Lowell has clinched a bye in the first round, and is one point away from clinching home ice in the quarterfinals.
  • Despite being just one point out of second place, there is a possible scenario that would have Northeastern traveling in the quarterfinals. If the Huskies split with BU and UNH and Maine both sweep, NU would be the five seed. NU has assured itself of a bye based on tiebreakers.
  • Merrimack will be the 11 seed and travel to face the six seed unless the Warriors sweep UNH and BU is swept by Northeastern.

Forecasting Possibilities

  • The most likely scenario for first round match-ups appears to be No. 11 Merrimack at No. 6 Providence, No. 10 Boston University at No. 7 Vermont and No. 9 Massachusetts and No. 8 Notre Dame
  • There are quite a few scenarios where New Hampshire and Maine would meet in the Hockey East quarterfinals. That would be a heck of a series between two bitter border rivals.

Pairwise Outlook

  • Boston College is in the top spot in the Pairwise Rankings and looks to inevitably be a top seed in one of the regionals when the NCAA Tournament is announced March 23.
  • Eight Hockey East teams occupy the top 20 of the Pairwise Rankings.
  • If the NCAA tournament started today, Vermont, in a tie for seventh in the league, would be a participant.

Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.