Northeast Region Preview

Story posted March 29, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McClure

The 2019 Division I Men’s Hockey Championship Tournament is upon us, and the Northeast Region certainly could make some noise. The teams that make up the Northeast region are Massachusetts, Clarkson, Notre Dame and Harvard, who all have had amazing seasons to this point.

The first-round games will be on Friday and the winners of those games will play the Northeast Regional Championship on Saturday at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Massachusetts vs. Harvard, Friday 3 p.m.

UMass is one of the most talented teams in the country coming in with a record of 28-9. The Minutemen are led by one of the best players in college hockey, defenseman Cale Makar. Makar has been unbelievable all year leading the team in points and assists.

UMass has plenty of other weapons as well with forwards Jacob Pritchard, Mitchell Chaffee, and John Leonard all having great years. Chaffee leads the team in goals with 17 with Pritchard and Leonard right behind him. UMass also has a great goaltender in Matt Murray. Murray has played in 27 games this year, has a record of 20-5, and only allows 2.11 goals a game.

After sweeping New Hampshire in the first round of the Hockey East quarterfinal, the Minutemen lost to Boston College 3-0 in the semifinals. It will be interesting to see if UMass will able to bounce back and find momentum in this tournament.

The Harvard Crimson had a great season of their own with a record of 19-10-3. The Crimson have one of the best power play units in the nation and that’s why they can matchup with any team. Defensemen Adam Fox and Reilly Walsh lead the team in points and these guys need to be difference makers in this matchup.

Harvard swept Dartmouth in the ECAC quarterfinal, but fell short to Clarkson in the semifinals. The Crimson are a very young team with an array of underclassmen on the team, so they will need freshmen forwards Casey Dornbach and Jack Drury to step up for them to have a chance.

Prediction: UMass 4, Harvard 2

Clarkson vs. Notre Dame, Friday 6:30 p.m.

Clarkson is coming into the tournament on a hot streak. The Golden Knights have a record of 26-10-2, swept Yale in the ECAC quarterfinal, beat Harvard in the semis and beat Cornell to take the conference championship. Nico Sturm and Heralds Egle have been great this season leading that top offensive line. Sturm has 45 points on the season and Egle has 39 points so look for this duo to have come up big for Golden Knights in this one.

It will be interesting to see if their secondary scoring will come through. Obviously, the Golden Knights have a great top line, but if they for some reason get shut down other guys will have to step up.

Notre Dame is also coming into the tournament with some momentum. Notre Dame won the Big Ten Tournament by beating Penn State in the final 3-2. The Fighting Irish have battled all year long and the play of goaltender Cale Morris has been key for them. Morris in the Big Ten Tournament only allowed three goals. The Fighting Irish will need him to continue his dominance against the Clarkson offensive attack. If Notre Dame gets the goaltending they can be very dangerous in this tournament.

One problem with Notre Dame is the lack of scoring. Cal Burke and Michael Graham lead the team in goals with 12, but other guys will need to put the puck in the net to be successful. Bobby Nardella and Dylan Malmquist lead the team in points and will need big games.

Prediction: Notre Dame 3, Clarkson 2

 

 

Matthew McClure is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email mcm5964@psu.edu.