The first game of the 2014 Hockey East Tournament took place on Friday night in Burlington, and the #15 Vermont Catamounts defeated the Massachusetts Minutemen, 2-1.
Vermont will now take on either Providence or UMass-Lowell in the quarterfinals; the team set to face the Boston College Eagles next weekend is still yet to be determined.
With just over a minute to go in regulation, Vermont’s Connor Brickley scored the game-winning goal, coming back to win a game that they trailed late in the second period.
For Vermont, not only does this extend their Hockey East season, but it keeps them afloat in the larger NCAA Tournament picture. A loss tonight might have dashed their at-large chances as they are near the PairWise cut-off line at present.
The result is not a surprise as the Minutemen rack up their 22nd loss of the season, having lost all three games they played against Vermont this year. Likewise, tomorrow’s game between Maine and Merrimack looks to be a mismatch in favor of the Black Bears, while Notre Dame is assumed to be favored over Boston University. If the favorites win on Saturday, the Eagles will face the Irish next weekend.