Weekend preview: ECAC playoffs for Cornell men at Lynah and women on the road

March 6, 2015 by Mark H. Anbinder

Both men's and women's Big Red hockey teams are in action this weekend in the ECAC playoffs. The men host a best-of-three first-round series against Union College, while the women, who knocked off St. Lawrence in their first round last weekend, are in Potsdam for the ECAC semifinals.

For the men, the regular season ended on a disappointing note, with a tie at Brown and a loss at Yale last Friday and Saturday nights. The team, which had gone into the weekend with the possibility of ending the season in third or fourth place in the standings and earning a first-round bye, instead ended in seventh place. Their record is 11-12-6 on the season, 9-9-4 in league contests.

That still leaves Cornell with a home ice advantage, and they'll face a Union College squad they've already beaten twice this season. The defending national champion Skating Dutchmen have struggled this season, but won both games last weekend to snap a five-game losing streak and finish the regular season 16-16-2, with an 8-13-1 mark in ECAC play. The teams will face off at Lynah Rink at 7pm Friday and Saturday nights. If the best-of-three series is tied after two games, a third game will be played Sunday at 7pm. The winners will advance to a quarterfinal round at the site of one of the top-four seeds, all of whom have a first-round bye this weekend.

Tickets are readily available for the playoff games, which are not sold out. The games will also be carried with free audio on the Ivy League Digital Network, and video is available for a fee from the ECAC Hockey site. (Ivy League Digital Network season subscriptions do not include playoff games.) All fans at Friday night's game will receive a coupon good for a free Big Red Burger and fries at the BoatYard Grill.

Cornell's women, fresh from a sweep of St. Lawrence in their ECAC quarterfinal round, are in Potsdam this weekend for the semifinal round that begins Saturday afternoon at 1. It's a familiar setting for the women, who bested the Golden Knights in last year's ECAC championship game, as well as beating them at Cheel this season.

The women, too, had a shaky end to their season, with three Ivy League losses in a row, including a pair of losses to on senior weekend. The regular season ended with a pair of wins at RPI and Union on the road before the home-ice victories over the Saints in the quarterfinals. Cornell had to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win Saturday's second quarterfinal game, staving off a third game in the series.

The winner of Saturday afternoon's 1pm semifinal will face the winner of the 4pm semifinal between Quinnipiac and Harvard on Sunday afternoon. Cornell split their season against Quinnipiac, and lost both games to the Crimson this season. All three games at Cheel Arena will be available live on ESPN3 using the WatchESPN app or ESPN3.com.

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