When Boston College captured the Hockey East regular-season title last weekend — with the help of a Bill Belichick pep talk — it ended a six-year drought.
Postseason titles are a different matter for the Eagles. Starting this weekend, the nation’s No. 2 team looks to win its fourth Hockey East tournament title in five years.
The tourney begins this weekend with the best-of-three quarterfinals on campus sites. The winners advance to the Garden next weekend for the semifinals and finals.
The top-seeded Eagles (26-7-1) host No. 8 UMass starting tomorrow at Conte Forum. UMass (6-21-6) earned the final seed with a tie against Maine last Saturday. But the Minutemen’s fortune may have run out. The Eagles, led by Cam Atkinson, the league’s second-leading scorer with 27 goals, swept their three games against UMass this season.
It was a sweep of UNH last weekend that gave BC its first regular-season title since 2005. But the 10th-ranked Wildcats (19-9-6) still enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed, hosting Vermont (8-18-8) in another rematch from last season’s quarterfinals.
No. 3 Boston University (18-10-8) hosts No. 6 Northeastern (12-14-8), which gets coach Greg Cronin back after a six-game suspension while the school investigated allegations of recruiting violations.
And No. 4 Merrimack (22-8-4) will host a playoff series for just the second time in school history when No. 5 Maine (17-10-7) comes to town.