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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

On Hockey

Top and bottom are the limit in Judgment Week

Northeastern University –one conspicuous reason as to why, roughly twelve months ago, Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna declared “it’s time” to augment the women league’s playoff partition- sealed the sixth and last passport available on Sunday.

And right now, with two games yet to be played per team, the final rulings in the way of seeding begin with the sixth-place Huskies and end in one cross-channel leap to the regular season champion New Hampshire.

The middle space is infused with a dense stuffing likely of the sweet-and-sour brand to nervous partisan palates, but an exhilarating, good-for-the-game flavor to the tastes of Chieftain Bertagna and any other interested observers. Four petite bourgeoisie programs are raring to assume first- and/or second-hand control of one another’s ultimate assignment. Although, that is assuming they can be sure to help themselves first.

The aforementioned teams happen to be the only conference cohabitants who have fastened the upper hand on their 2008-09 three-game season series with the Friars. Therefore, in the event of a 25, 26, or 27-point knot with either Boston University or Connecticut come about 4 p.m. Sunday, Providence will get dibs on the better seed by virtue of having wrested the majority of the points from those clubs in their season series.

At worst, this means adding a bonus date to their home schedule and hosting either Seed #4 or the Hub Huskies in the preliminary round on either February 28 or March 1.

But, trailing Boston College, 1-0, in terms of head-to-head and by four points in the WHEA points column, a sweep in this weekend’s home-and-home is the Friars’ only means of making the most prodigious pole-vault from the fifth to second slot.

But then, the Terriers and Huskies have to be sure to indulge in no more than two points themselves. Under those facts, Friartownies are obligated to, however reluctantly, root for their two most recent teasers –Northeastern and UNH- who will conduct home-and-home sets with BU and Connecticut, respectively.

Now, of course, we ought to make a point of scattering an essential array of asterisks –the hottest tool in sports journalism today. For the frozen rain spirits only know how many spontaneous three-point packages (aka shootout contests) that there are to be had. And since the Terriers evenly split their season series with UConn, a final knot on the leaderboard would be settled by conference wins, still a go-anywhere part of the database as no more than two Ws pry these four parties apart.

Those cluttered, hypothetical factors aside, the most perceivable profusion of scenarios and requisites for each team looks to read as follows:

In order for the Friars to finish…
2nd- Sweep of BC combined with NU sweep/split with BU AND UNH sweep/split with UConn
3rd- Split with BC combined with either NU sweep of BU AND UNH sweep of UConn
4th- Split with BC combined with either BU sweep of NU OR UConn sweep of UNH
Split with BC combined with either BU split with NU OR UConn split with UNH
5th- Split with BC combined with BU split with NU AND UConn split with UNH
Split with BC combined with BU sweep of NU AND UConn sweep of UNH
Sweep by BC

In order for BC to finish…
2nd- Sweep of PC
Split with PC combined with NU sweep/split of BU AND UNH split with UConn
3rd- Split with PC combined with NU split with BU
4th- Split with BC combined with BU sweep/split with NU AND UNH split with UConn
5th- Sweep by PC combined with BU split with NU AND Connecticut sweep of UNH

In order for BU to finish…
2nd- Sweep of NU combined with PC sweep of BC AND UNH split/sweep of UConn
3rd- Sweep of NU combined with PC split with BC AND UNH split with UConn
Split with NU combined with BC sweep/split with PC AND UNH sweep of UConn
4th- Split with NU combined with BC sweep/split with PC OR UNH sweep of UConn
5th- Split with NU combined with PC sweep/split with BC AND UConn sweep of UNH
Sweep by NU combined with PC split with BC AND UConn split with UNH

In order for UConn to finish…
2nd- Sweep of UNH combined with PC sweep of BC AND NU sweep/split with BU
3rd- Sweep of UNH combined with BC sweep/split of PC AND NU sweep/split with BU
Split with UNH combined BC sweep of PC AND NU sweep of BU
4th- Split with UNH combined with BC split with PC AND NU sweep of BU
5th- Split with UNH combined with PC sweep of BC AND BU sweep of NU
Sweep by UNH combined with PC split with BC AND BU split with NU

Looks like anybody and everybody with a stake in this lottery-ball spin can look at one another and see the conflicting face of Harvey Dent after his discharge from the hospital.

Al Daniel can be reached at hockeyscribe@hotmail.com

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