The NCAA Division I Hockey Subcommittee wrote Harvard a round-trip ticket to the Dane County Coliseum in Madison. Wis., last night, seeding the Crimson fourth in the East region behind Northeastern, New Hampshire and Clarkson.
The four West region seeds will be decided by telephone conference this afternoon, but WCHA Champion Wisconsin, which beat North Dakota, 2-1. last night at the Winter Sports Center in Grand Forks and won the two-game, total goal championship series, 11-1--including a 9-0 victory Saturday night--is expected to be seeded first in the West.
CCHA Champion Michigan State, which beat Notre Dame, 4-1, in the one-game final last night, has also earned a bid, and the subcommittee is expected to name North Dakota to one of the two at-large sports. The other could be awarded to Notre Dame, or perennial power Minnesota but Bowling Green, which won the CCHA regular season with a 26-11-1 record but lost to the Fighting lrish in the conference semi-final, is the favorite. The winners of the four first-round painings will advance to the NCAA tournament, March 25-27 in the Providence Civic Center.
Harvard which last made the national tournament (then a four-team affair) in 1975, will meet the top seeded Western club in a two-game, total goal series to be played next Saturday and Sunday nights Clarkson which finished the regular season as the top ranked. Eastern squad but lost in ECAC semi-final and consolation action this weekend, will also be on the road, playing at the site of the West's second-seeded school
"We would love to have been named to play on home ice." Harvard Coach Billy Cleary said after learning of the decision last night, "but our overall record beat us "Harvard has a 13-9-2 mark in ECAC play, 13-13-2 overall.
Northeastern, which beat the Crimson, 5-2, to win its first ECAC Championship Saturday night, was the obvious choice for the region's top seed. The Huskies will host the fourth-ranked Western team at Boston Arena Friday and Saturday night.
New Hampshire, which boasts a 17-12-0 overall record and two wins over Clarkson, heat out the Golden Knights for the second seed and home ice. "I thought maybe in spite of [Clarkson's two losses this weekend] they would seed Clarkson second." UNH coach Charlie Holt said last night. "But I don't mind it this way at all."
Holt and Cleary are both members of the Subcommittee, but were replaced by RPI's Mike Addesa and Boston College's Len Ceglarski because their teams were under consideration. The other members include Bowling Green Athletic Director James Lessig and Wisconsin coach Bob Johnson.
Before tournament play started last Tuesday. North Dakota was ranked first in the country by the ESPN/Hockey Magazine Poll, followed by Clarkson, Wisconsin, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Northeastern, Minnesota and UNH. The Fighting Sioux, 31-10-0 in the regular season, are expected to be seeded second in the West behind Wisconsin.