With the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament a little over a month away, it’s getting to that point of the college hockey season where teams start pouring over the all-important Pairwise Rankings and contemplating their postseason future.
While there is still a month for things to change, the NCAA Tournament picture is starting to look bleak for New England teams. If the tournament started today, only four teams from New England would make the field of 16. Having 25 percent of the teams in the tournament might not seem so bad, but it’s been a rough year for the three predominantly eastern conference teams.
Why has it been a down year for Hockey East and ECAC Hockey? Let’s start with the fact that eight ECAC Hockey teams didn’t compete in 2020-21, so there was that to overcome. As a result of that, a number of players bolted from those eight programs for greener pastures elsewhere. It impacted recruiting, as well.