Playoff fields are set in four conferences after last weekend, while two conferences still have a final week left in their regular season. Hosts Jim Connelly and Ed Trefzger look at the results of February 27-29, 2020.
In Hockey East, Boston College has clinched the regular season and UMass has locked up home ice, but four teams are still battling for the last three playoff spots.
In the NCHC, North Dakota has won a share of the regular-season Penrose Cup, but Minnesota Duluth could share that title, while St. Cloud still has a shot at home ice.
Cornell’s highly-anticipated Saturday contest with Clarkson was a bit anticlimactic after the Golden Knights’ tie with Colgate on Friday clinched the Cleary Cup for the Big Red, but the surprise team in ECAC Hockey is Rensselaer, which earned a first-round playoff bye.
With its season completed last week, Penn State had to await the results of the weekend to see whether it would hold onto first place in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions won their first Big Ten regular-season title after Minnesota and Ohio State managed just one point each on the weekend.
In the WCHA, Minnesota State clinched sole possession of first place with a weekend split with Bemidji State, while Alaska’s sweep of Alaska Anchorage gave the Nanooks home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Atlantic Hockey’s repeat regular season champion American International had already clinched the league, but three teams competed over the weekend for the first-round bye, which Niagara won with a sweep of Robert Morris.
And Arizona State’s PairWise position was shored up by the weekend’s results, with the Sun Devils at No. 12.
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About the hosts
Jim Connelly is a senior writer at USCHO.com and has been with the site since 1999. He is based in Boston and regularly covers Hockey East. He began with USCHO.com as the correspondent covering the MAAC, which nowadays is known as Atlantic Hockey. Each week during the season, he co-writes “Tuesday Morning Quarterback.” Jim is the winner of the 2012 Joe Concannon award. He a former color analyst for UMass-Lowell hockey’s radio network and studio analyst for NESN.
Ed Trefzger has been part of USCHO since 1999 and now serves as a senior writer and director of technology. He is the radio play-by-play voice for Rochester Institute of Technology hockey on the RIT Tigers Sports Network, and has been involved with the broadcasts as a producer, studio host, and color commentator since their inception. He is co-owner and president of broadcasting company Genesee Media, and was general manager of the former Rochester, N.Y., sports radio station 97.5 The Team.