With Northeastern’s 5-4 victory in an OT thriller against Maine, alongside UVM’s 3-1 win against Merrimack and UConn’s 5-3 win over UNH on Friday night, the Northeastern Huskies have clinched home ice in the first round of the Hockey East Playoffs and will host as either the #7 or #8 overall seed next weekend at Matthews Arena. Tomorrow’s games, both in Orono and around the conference, still matter for NU though, as they can still host either UNH or UConn. So let’s break down what we have left to watch.
- NU will clinch the #7 seed with a win or tie on Saturday. If Northeastern loses, they will still clinch the #7 seed with a Merrimack loss or tie. If Merrimack wins and Northeastern loses, the Huskies will be the #8 overall seed.
- UNH and UConn both have 18 points, and both have the exact same scenario. The winner of UConn/UNH will finish as either the #8 or #9 overall seed, while the loser will finish as #10. (If the UConn/UNH game ends in a tie, UConn will finish 9th and UNH 10th. This could potentially lead to an unusual scenario such as UNH pulling their goalie in overtime of a tied game.)
- Merrimack can finish as high as 7th with a win and NU loss, and as low as 9th with a loss and a victor in the UNH/UConn game. Regardless, since a Merrimack loss means NU finishes 7th, NU cannot play the Warriors in round 1.
So, in summary, if NU wins/ties tomorrow, or Merrimack loses, you should root for UNH/UConn to lose their game, depending on which team you would rather play. If NU loses and Merrimack wins, NU would instead play the UConn/UNH winner. UConn “wins” for NU’s purposes if that game ends in a tie.