I've said it before, I'll say it again: the greatest event that could ever happen in Hockey East history would be a semi-final weekend involving Northeastern, UMASS, UMASS-Lowell, and Providence.
We're 14 days away from making that reality? Of course, all of teams I mentioned are visiting teams and thus, underdogs, but we can dream, can't we? Let's check this out.
UMASS at UNH UNH is advancing. Next.
I'm just kidding, but the Minutemen have been scuffling since January 1st, and the Kitties just experienced an undefeated streak that seemed to last the same length as an Ice Age. It's not a mismatch, but with UMASS having to fight off Maine and Merrimack to even get into the tournament, its tough not to see UNH as having a better positions. Unlike most teams in this league, UMASS has beaten UNH this year so for this series to go 3 games isn't a total shock. Sadly, I don't think UMASS has it in them.
UML at BU For some inscrutable reason, the seventh seed hasn't advanced in this tournament. Only the last Pooley led PC team won so much as a game as a seventh seed. It looks bleak, but I wouldn't be shocked if UML pulled off an upset. The key is goaltending. When the Riverhawks are getting good goaltending, they are a much tougher opponent than their record would indicate. The problem is that UML hasn't gotten much of anything lately and being swept by the worst Maine team in memory doesn't inspire confidence. BU is peaking RIGHT now. Disregarding the two incredibly easy shutouts they got this weekend (sigh), the goaltending is actually getting better and BU's offense can be very scary. I don't like UML's chances, but they aren't in any worse shape than UMASS right now.
NU at UVM This one is odd and probably the best place to put your hopes on an upset because we have no idea what NU team is going to show up. Is Theissen going to be good, or is he going be Sievey McSievepants? Who knows? I doubt Greg Cronin does. If NU comes to play, they'll give UVM fits. The problem is that once UVM does get a lead, they tend to hold onto it. No one in Hockey East can figure out a way around their trap and Fallon is good enough to make most leads stick. If NU get a few past him early, they can get the upset. Depending on the cycle of the moon and the level of the oceans. Husky Hockey! What the hell?!?!?
PC at BC If NU is inscrutable, try figuring these two teams out. BC is having a season ending slump that simply does not happen to Jerry York coached teams. They can't win at home and they've taken 1 lousy point from the Skating Goons. On the other side, we have PC who is much better road team than a home team and just got shut out by two goaltenders that BU fans were trying to elminate for most of the year. I'm as clueless as you. The only conceivable reason to pick BC here is because they're wearing Eagle uniforms and they should be good. Unless Nathan Gerbe can clone himself, the Eagles have no advantage. There's no logical reason to pick against PC except for the fact that it's PC and good things never happen to us. Its toss up, but I never like PC's chances any year and this year is no different.