Harvard swept Clarkson out of the ECAC playoffs Saturday with a 6–4 win, setting up a possible tilt with archrival Yale in the quarterfinals.
The Crimson victory, which followed Friday night’s 2–1 decision over Clarkson, means that they will play either Union, Yale, or Dartmouth in the next round.
In the ECAC playoffs, the bottom eight teams in the standings pair off to play best-of-three series. The winners from that first round are then pitted against the top four teams in the conference, according to their seeds. For example, the bottom-ranked team that advances to the quarterfinals plays the conference’s regular season champion. The second-worst team to advance takes on the second-best team in the conference — Yale.
Harvard finished the regular season 10th out of 12 teams in the ECAC. That means that if either the No. 11 or No. 12 team in the conference also earns an upset in this first round of the playoffs — which continue Sunday — Yale and Harvard might meet with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
Those No. 11 and No. 12 teams are St. Lawrence and Colgate, respectively. Both play decisive third games Sunday night.
If both win and advance, Yale will play St. Lawrence next Friday. If only one of those teams wins, Yale will play Harvard. And if both St. Lawrence and Colgate lose, Yale will face Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals.
That potential matchup with the Bobcats might be even more charged than that with the Crimson. Quinnipiac fans are known for making the drive from Hamden and packing Ingalls Rink when the two teams meet.
Complete playoffs results, as of Sunday morning:
No. 1 Union, No. 2 Yale, No. 3 Dartmouth, and No. 4 Cornell all enjoyed a week off before quarterfinals next week.
No. 12 Colgate staved off elimination with a win over No. 5 RPI, evening the two teams’ series at one game apiece. They will meet again Sunday in a win-or-go-home contest.
No. 11 St. Lawrence also forced a deciding third game with a 3–2 Saturday win over No. 6 Princeton.
No. 10 Harvard eliminated No. 7 Clarkson.
No. 9 Brown’s season ended with a loss at the hands of No. 8 Quinnipiac.