Men's Hockey Earns Top Seed in East Regional of NCAA Tournament

Published by Spencer R. Morris on March 20, 2017 at 1:40AM
Another One

Merrick Madsen hoists the Whitelaw Cup.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The morning after claiming the ECAC playoff title with a 4-1 victory over No. 9/10 Cornell, the No. 2/2 Harvard hockey team has drawn the first seed in the East Regional of this year’s NCAA Tournament. On Friday, the Crimson (26-5-2, 16-4-2 ECAC) will travel to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. to face off against No. 12/12 Providence College, as released by the NCAA on Sunday. The puck will drop at 4:00 p.m. EST and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

After the Crimson’s bout with Providence (22-11-5, 12-7-3 Hockey East), No. 8/8 Western Michigan will battle No. 17 Air Force at 7:30 p.m. for the other spot in the following evening’s East Regional final (8:30 p.m. on ESPNU). The last club standing in Providence on Saturday night will punch its ticket to the Frozen Four in Chicago.

Outside the East Regional, the field’s top seed, Denver, will represent the Midwest when it kicks off its tournament run against Michigan Tech, while No. 3/3 Minnesota Duluth and No. 4/5 Minnesota round out the top seeds, competing in the West and Northeast brackets, respectively.

Harvard enters the NCAA tournament on a 14-game win streak and remains unbeaten in its past 16 contests. In the 16-team field, the Crimson is joined by two fellow ECAC squads, No. 6/6 Union and the Big Red. This year marks Harvard’s 24th tournament appearance and the third consecutive season in which it has vied for the NCAA crown.

The Crimson will be lacing up the skates with the Friars for the first time since Jan. 12, 1984, a matchup Harvard won, 2-0. With a win at Providence’s expense on Friday evening, the Crimson would tie a program record with 15 consecutive victories, a milestone set by the 1988-1989 team that won the national championship.

—Staff writer Spencer R. Morris can be reached at spencer.morris@thecrimson.com.