As the longest regular season in college sports winds down to its final weeks, the meaning of Division 1 hockey games is that much greater. There still are only two points at stake for Hockey East, ECAC and Atlantic Hockey teams over the next three or two weekends, but shrinking is the amount of time left for a team to maximize its potential for the season.
The playoff races are tight as each of the top four Hockey East teams are still in contention to win the regular-season title, while the top seven ECAC teams are separated by six points and a pair of New England teams are fighting to stand atop the Atlantic Hockey race come next week.
This weekend’s Hockey East slate sees New Hampshire host Northeastern for a pair of important games that could change things in the middle of the race, while Maine and Boston College meet in Orono under a similar scenario. Providence and UMass play a single game Saturday night as two of the league’s top three teams. In addition, Boston University visits Vermont and UMass Lowell, which is tied for second, plays a home-and-home with Merrimack.