Weekly Release: Stage Is Set For Crucial Final Weekend In League Play
Regular Season Title, Opening Round Byes on the Line For Top Teams
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Warrior Hockey Player of the Week Brian Bowen of Vermont

AROUND HOCKEY EAST: Another Hockey East season will come down to the final days, as entering the last weekend of regular-season play on the conference schedule, the current top four teams are set for crucial weekend series. Four teams can earn a share of the regular-season championship, while fifth-place Providence and sixth-place Vermont remain alive for the chance to earn a bye through the opening round of the Hockey East Tournament ... After skating to a pair of stalemates with Boston College last weekend, the Vermont Catamounts remain alive for a bye thanks in part to four points (3g, 1a) from Littleton, Massachusetts native Brian Bowen. The Eagles, taking the ice on Thursday against UMass Lowell, will have a chance to clinch at least a share of the regular season title with a win over the River Hawks. UMass Lowell, meanwhile, will also have a shot to clinch an opening- round bye with a win against the first-place Eagles and a Providence loss or tie. Norm Bazin's team is still in contention for a share of the regular season title if it is able to sweep Boston College ... Second-place Boston University plays host to Notre Dame, who are currently tied with the Terriers in second place in the league table. The two-game set will have large implications in the playoff picture, as the Terriers could clinch a share of the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed or fall to fourth place. The Fighting Irish are also aiming for a share of the Hockey East crown, needing at least three points to secure a share of the title ... Providence will duel in a pair with UMass, as the Friars come off a 0-1-1 weekend in South Bend against the Fighting Irish. Providence can earn a top-four spot with at least two points and a Boston College sweep of UMass Lowell ... Vermont welcomes red-hot Merrimack to Burlington as the two programs jockey for playoff position, currently seeded sixth and seventh, respectively. The Warriors are 5-0-3 in their last eight games, including two wild, come-from-behind victories over Maine last weekend, using that undefeated streak to retain chances of finishing as high as the fifth seed in the Hockey East Tournament ... Northeastern and Maine square off in the final weekend, with the Black Bears locked into 11th place already and the Huskies seeking a spot as high as sixth ... Ninth-ranked New Hampshire and 10th-ranked UConn prepare for each other, separated but just two points in the standings and within reach of hosting the opening round.