The ECAC Northeast isn’t necessarily being turned upside down in the final two weeks of the regular season, but with two games remaining on the schedule for each team, the season-long marathon will most likely come down to a sprint for the top five teams in the conference.
After the weekend, Curry remains in first place with 20 points, one point ahead of Wentworth, which has helped its own cause with a six-game winning streak entering Thursday’s game against Curry, a game in which first place in the ECAC Northeast will be up for grabs.
Curry is ahead of Wentworth by one point in the conference standings (20-19), while Wentworth is three points ahead of Johnson and Wales and Nichols, which are tied for third with 16 points.
However, Curry’s 3-2 loss Saturday to Nichols helped Wentworth, even at a time when teams are focusing on getting their own wins and not relying on other teams for help.
In Saturday’s 3-2 win over Curry, Nichols freshman Louie Educate scored two goals to bring his Division III-best total to 23. The Bison have won seven of their last eight games, and close the regular season this week with games Wednesday at Johnson and Wales and Saturday at Western New England.
The top six teams in the league qualify for the ECAC Northeast playoffs.
Salem State will take another crack at getting head coach Bill O’Neill his 500th career win this week when the Vikings play Thursday at Westfield State.
In Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Plymouth State, the Vikings squandered a 3-1 lead, as the Panthers scored three goals in less than five minutes — a stretch in which Kyle Greco had a goal and two assists to help the Panthers stay in first place in the MASCAC, with a one-point lead over Salem State (21 points).
Nine conference games remain for the MASCAC teams before the league tournament, which begins February 25 with the league’s top six teams; this year’s tournament champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament.
Of note: in a pair of ties this weekend, Westfield State had a pair of MASCAC honorees this week. Steve Evans scored four goals and an assist in Thursday’s 5-5 tie at Framingham State and a 1-1 tie against Massachusetts-Dartmouth to earn the league’s co-player of the week honor (joining Plymouth State’s Phil Arnone). Westfield State goalie Eddie Davey stopped 48 shots in a 1-1 tie Saturday at Massachusetts-Dartmouth to earn the league’s goalie of the week honor.