BOSTON — Hockey East officially announced a new playoff format as part of Tuesday’s annual media day at TD Garden. The league will revert back to a format used in 2014, when UConn was added as the league’s 11th team.
“We return to the format last used in 2014,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “It will create a number of late-season ‘races,’ for first, fourth, fifth and eighth, each with identifiable benefits.”
All 11 teams will once again make the playoff tournament. The five highest seeds will all receive byes into the quarterfinal round, while seeds four and five will be guaranteed to play each other at the higher seed’s arena on the second weekend of the playoffs. Seeds six, seven, and eight will host seeds nine, 10, and 11 in the opening round, March 2-4. The three winning teams will then be reseeded and travel to the top three seeds for quarterfinal match ups, March 9-11.
Hockey East is back to an 11-member league this season with the departure of Notre Dame to the Big Ten.