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Hockey East Bracketology, Looking at Merrimack’s first playoff outlook

Marcus Antonelli – Sports Editor

Merrimack has quite the interesting playoff outlook heading into this year’s postseason.

Tyler Murray, the Play by Play commentator for the Hockey East revealed the first “If the Playoffs Started Today” for the conference. In MC’s case, the outlook is a lot different from last year. 

If the season ended today, the Warriors would be heading back into Matthews Arena to play the Northeastern Huskies. 

RECAPPING RECENT HAPPENINGS

MC is slightly trending upwards in recent competition, winning two of their last three games. They beat UNH at home and split this past weekend with Vermont up at the Gut. 

This past stretch puts them at 18 points in the conference, still five behind Vermont, with UMass Lowell on their tail at 16 points.

SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE?

For a home playoff game? Yes, but it’s very low.

This week is the team’s bye week, considering they have played the most games of any team in the conference with 21.

Merrimack has three games left, a two game series against No. 12 Providence and a home game against No. 1 Boston College. 

So a playoff game at Lawler may not come to fruition. According to PlayoffStatus, these are Merrimack’s current odds of where they could finish in the standings, (opponents are based on the bracket above).

8th seed: 1% / @ Vermont

9th seed: 5% / @ UConn

10th seed: 45% / @ Northeastern

11th seed: 49% / @ UNH

(UMass Lowell, currently in 11th, is the other 51%).

For a Lawler playoff game to even be considered a possibility, MC would have to win all three remaining games. Even then the chances are still slim, considering the games in hand that every other team has, the Warriors can’t control their own destiny.

Based on what happens this weekend, could maybe help Merrimack in their favor. If you want a chance to move up to 9th next week, you would need the following outcomes.

Boston University sweeps UCONN

Boston College sweeps Vermont

(Maybe there are more outcomes that can help but I’m a Liberal Arts Major so I’m not doing all that math, you get the idea)

HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING…

Going back to the playoff starting today, if Merrimack made it past the opening round, along with any higher seeded team, they’d have to face Boston College. 

In any case of advancement to the quarterfinals, Merrimack would have to play a team they have yet to beat this year. They went 0/2 against UMaine, 0/3 against BU and are 0/2 against BC. 

Obviously no one reading this expected that we’d be talking about 10th or 11th place at this point for the Warriors. Considering all the adversity the team has endured, along with how much stronger the conference got this year, it’s unfortunate how we’re in this position.

Many, including myself, had this healthy MC squad finishing top 3 in the conference this year. 

But hey, stranger things happen, especially in March. 

The Warriors play their next game on February 29th down in Providence where they’ll take on the Friars. That will be a 7:00 p.m. puck drop for those who look to tune in. 

For more coverage on Merrimack Men’s Hockey follow Marcus (@antonelli7jr) on Twitter (X) for all things Warriors Hockey. Don’t forget to check out the Beacon Newspaper website for articles on games, players, and more!

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