WAKEFIELD, Mass. - The Hockey East Association announced the pairings for the semifinal round of the 14th annual Women's Hockey East championship Saturday, featuring two rematches of the 2015 tournament semifinals. The semifinal games begin Saturday (March 5) with No. 1 Boston College squaring off with No. 4 UConn at 1:30 p.m. No. 2 Northeastern then faces No. 3 Boston University at 4:30 p.m. The games will be streamed live via Pack Network through the HockeyEastOnline.TV portal.
No. 1 Boston College advanced after downing the No. 8 Maine Black Bears in straight games, 5-2 and 5-1, while No. 4 UConn defeated No. 5 New Hampshire in two games, 3-2 and 4-3. The second victory came in the third overtime period, the second-longest game in Women's Hockey East history. This season, BC toppled UConn in each of the three meetings between the squads. However, UConn was just one of two teams this year to score more than three goals on the Eagles when they found the back of the net four times on Feb. 6 in a 5-4 setback. The Eagles and Huskies meet in the semifinals for the second consecutive year, as top-ranked BC took down then-No. 5 UConn in the 2015 tournament in the first and only meeting between the programs in the postseason. Historically, Boston College has never lost in the semifinal round when they are the No. 1 seed (2-0), while UConn is 0-2 in the semifinals as the No. 4 seed. This is the third straight season Boston College has earned the top seed and the Eagles have advanced to the championship game three out of the last five years. BC won its only league title at the Women's Hockey East Tournament in 2011 while UConn has never claimed a league championship, but has twice appeared in the title game.
No. 2 Northeastern handled No. 7 Providence in two games at Matthews Arena to advance to its seventh semifinal appearance in program history. The Huskies' opponent, No. 3 Boston University, pushed past No. 6 Vermont in the quarterfinal round for the second straight year, taking three games to do so. Northeastern went 2-1-0 against BU in the regular season, suffering one of just four league losses to the Terriers on Feb. 19, 3-2. These two teams also met in last year's semifinals, with BU going on to win its fourth consecutive Women's Hockey East Tournament title. All-time, the Terriers own a 2-1 record against Northeastern in the semifinal round, part of a 4-1 postseason record over the Huskies. The lone win for Northeastern came in the 2011 semifinals, when then-No. 5 NU toppled then-No. 1 BU, 4-2. Boston University has won five tournament titles, the most in league history, while Northeastern aims to finish at the top of the tournament podium for the first time.
For the first time ever, the Women's Hockey East Championship Tournament semifinals and title game will be hosted by Merrimack College at the recently renovated Lawler Rink in the Warriors' first season in WHEA. The semifinals will be at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. The championship game will face-off at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 6. Tickets will be available at the door or at the ticket links at HockeyEastOnline.com/HEAChamps.
2016 Women's Hockey East Championship Schedule
|Sat., March 5||No. 1 Boston College vs. No. 4 UConn||Merrimack's Lawler Rink||1:30 p.m.|
|Sat., March 5||No. 2 Northeastern vs. No. 3 Boston University||Merrimack's Lawler Rink||4:30 p.m.|
|Sun., March 6||WHEA Championship||Merrimack's Lawler Rink||1:30 p.m.|