M. HOCKEY | It’s playoff time

For now, it’s wait and see time for the men’s hockey team.

As the No. 1 seed, the No. 11 Bulldogs (20-7-2, 15-5-2 ECAC) — along with Cornell, Princeton and St. Lawrence — have a first-round bye in the conference tournament this weekend, while the eight other teams in the ECAC play best-of-three series for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.

Yale will face the advancing team with the lowest seed in another best-of-three game series from March 13 to March 15 at Ingalls Rink. The Bulldogs are a combined 12-3-1 against the eight potential teams they have faced, having lost only to Colgate, Union, and Clarkson once each.

After Yale’s loss to Colgate in its final regular-season game on Sunday, head coach Keith Allain said his team would use the extra week both to get some needed rest and to bulk up.

“We’re going to get some days off, and get some heavy lifts in,” he said. “We’re going to try to build strength during this time, and be smart about how we use it.”

Right winger Sean Backman ’10 also noted that the first-round bye will give the team time to rest some of its injured players in hopes that they get healthier before the quarterfinals.

If the Elis advance, they will travel to Albany, N.Y., for the 48th annual ECAC Hockey Championship Tournament on March 20-21.

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