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Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Yet another must-win scenario for men's hockey team
“It was something we were hoping for and it really kind of fell in our laps after we got our win on Saturday and a couple of wins and losses by other teams,” said senior defenseman and captain Eric Knodel.
How well they run with it will determine how far they can take it and how long this season lasts.
The Wildcats, who are 19-16-1 on the season, face No. 5 seed Northeastern, 18-12-4, in their best-of-three series beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Whittemore Center. The teams play again on Saturday, likely again at 7, and on Sunday, if necessary, at 4 p.m.
UNH’s season is over if it loses the Northeastern series.
The Huskies are pretty much in the same boat.
UNH needs to at least get past Northeastern and to Boston to have a shot at making the tournament. The Wildcats may well need to get to the championship game.
The Wildcats hope playing on their larger-than-average ice surface will let them use their speed to their advantage against the Huskies.
The teams tied for fourth in the standings and UNH got the No. 4 seed because it swept the season series with a 3-0 win at Northeastern and 4-1 win at home.
That fact stands out in the Hockey East quarterfinals.
The other three matchups, oddly enough, are repeats of series that ended the regular season just over a week ago.
The Fighting Irish won a 2-1 game in overtime at BC nine days ago, Vermont and Lowell split in Burlington and Providence took pair of games at Maine.
9) are in pretty good shape no matter what happens this weekend.
Vermont and Providence (tied at No. 11) would feel a lot more comfortable about things if they make it to Boston.
The Wildcats have been on the road for the Hockey East quarterfinals each of the last two seasons and have not made it to the TD Garden since this year’s seniors were freshmen in the 2010-11 season.
GOOD NEWS out of the UNH football program the other day: Defensive end Cody Muller of Telford, Pa., has been granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA.
Muller missed what would have been his sophomore year because of surgery for a stomach problem. He had been slowed by the same ailment during his redshirt freshman year.
“He was really, really excited,” said coach Sean McDonnell on Sunday.
“It’s huge for us. We’ve got a kid who has three years of experience and has played an awful lot of football. He was getting better and better last season. And the biggest thing is his leadership. He’s been through a lot with us and he understand how we do things.”
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