Hockey East approves new playoff format for 12-team league

Last modified: Friday, October 03, 2014
The first two rounds of the playoffs will now be best of three. It's possible that the league champ could have to win eight games to win the Hockey East Tournament.

From the league's press release:

Hockey East Approves Expanded Men’s Playoff Format for 2015Format Includes First 12-School Field and Two “Best-of-Three” RoundsHockey East directors approved an expansion of its playoff format during their recent league meetings in Naples, Florida. With the University of Connecticut joining the conference for the start of the 2014-15 season, the directors voted to include all 12 institutions in the post-season tournament. On a second vote, the direc- tors voted to utilize a “Best-of-Three” format in both the opening round of play as well as the quarterfinal round. Those rounds, played at campus sites, precede the Hockey East championship weekend that will again be hosted by the TD Garden in Boston next year. “The directors heard from the coaches that the best time of the year for the athletes is playoff time and the coaches made a strong argument for increasing those playing opportunities for the students,” said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. “The inclusion of a fifth-place team in the opening round may also have been a factor.” This past season, as Hockey East welcomed the University of Notre Dame as its 11th member institution, the conference directed an 11-school tournament, with teams #6 through #11 paired off in a single game open- ing round format. The three winners joined the teams seeded #1 through #5 to make up an 8-team quarterfinal field. In 2015, the Hockey East post-season will look like this:2015 Hockey East Men’s TournamentFriday - Sunday, March 6-8: Best-of-Three Opening Round Play on Campus (5 hosts #12, #6 hosts #11, #7 hosts #10, #8 hosts #9)Friday - Sunday, March 13-15: Best-of-Three Quarterfinal Round Play on Campus (Schools #1 - #4 host four opening round winners, highest vs. lowest, etc.)

Friday, March 20 at TD Garden: Semifinal Games

Saturday, March 21 at TD Garden: Championship Final