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ECWHL Playoffs Canceled

UMass' Mullins Center was set to be the hosting venue for playoffs



The 2018 ECWHL playoffs, which had been scheduled for February 16th through 18th at the Mullins Center in Amherst, MA, have been canceled by mutual agreement of the conference membership and ECWHL Commissioner Bill Wright.

With the departures of Vermont and Northeastern (both of whom dropped to ACHA Division 2) this season and no new teams added, the ECWHL now just stands at three teams: Penn State, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, which has won the last three playoff titles. With that in mind, the consensus was that the event would be both superfluous and difficult to schedule.

Now that the playoffs are wiped off the board, the overall conference title will be awarded to the regular season champion after all teams complete four games each against the other two. The first two of those 12 total contests took place this past weekend, with URI sweeping the Lady Ice Lions in central Pennsylvania.

The ECWHL champion does not receive an automatic bid to the ACHA National Tournament, as league autobids require a conference membership of at least six, so this alteration mostly involves a trophy, a line in the record books, and bragging rights.

While Penn State no longer has the chance to win the first ECWHL playoff title in program history, one silver lining from the development is that the team will now be home for the weekend of Penn State's IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. In the past, playoffs have generally been held at the same time as THON, but a scheduling oddity last year combined with this news now means that the Lady Ice Lions will be able to see the payoff event for the centerpiece of their community service efforts for the second year in a row.

PSU returns to action this weekend, coincidentally at UMass, with game times against the Minutewomen set for 7:50 p.m. on Friday and 9:20 a.m. on Saturday.

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