ALBANY, N.Y. - The eight-team playoff field is set, but there is still a lot up for grabs in the final weekend of the season, as four teams continue to chase the elusive regular season title.
No. 6 Princeton is in control of its own destiny this weekend, as three points will secure the top seed in the ECAC Hockey playoffs. They’ll have a tough test standing in their way, however, with defending national champion and No. 5/4-ranked Clarkson on Friday night at Cheel Arena.
No. 4/5 Cornell will be rooting for the Golden Knights on Friday, as two wins and a loss by Princeton would give the Big Red the outright regular-season title and top seed. Those two wins will have to come on the road, as they travel to the Capital District this weekend for games against RPI and Union.
Clarkson still has an outside chance to earn the top seed, but will need to not only win out, but get some help from either RPI or Union, as well as St. Lawrence. Two wins would put the Golden Knights at 34 league points, meaning they’d need Princeton to either lose or tie against the Saints on Saturday, and Cornell to drop one of their two games.
Colgate could theoretically end up in four-way tie for the regular-season title, though a lot would have to fall their way in order to get to that point. The Raiders would need to start with a pair of wins at Union and RPI, and hope that a number of other scenarios play themselves out. They have, however, clinched home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
RPI, St. Lawrence, Harvard, and Quinnipiac have all clinched playoff berths as well, and currently sit in that order in the standings. With just one league point separating the four, however, there is still a lot up in the air as far as seeding is concerned.
If the season ended today, the matchups would be as follows:
8. Quinnipiac at 1. Princeton
7. Harvard at 2. Cornell
6. St. Lawrence at 3. Clarkson
5. RPI at 4. Colgate
We still have two games to play, though, so as results come in on Friday, the playoff picture will start to become more clear. You can stay in tune with every scenario by following @ecachockey on twitter.
The full preview below features more extensive matchup notes, national polls, standings, and updated weekly and monthly award winners.