While readers here have been focused on the race for a bye being run by University at Buffalo's basketball teams there is already a bye in store for Buffalo Bulls sports fans. The bye comes in the first round of this weekend's NECHL championships which, once again, will be UB's last hockey action of the year thanks to the wonderful polls of the ACHA which nudged UB just out of the Nationals picture.
The NECHL championships do not have a fixed bracket instead the top two teams get a bye while the other four qualifiers duke it out in an attempt to reach the semi finals.
The tournament will start with Niagara taking on number six Cortland, and follow with a duel between Canisius and Oswego. After round one the remaining four teams are reseeded and a simple four team bracket ensues.
This year the Niagara Purple Eagles are not one of the top teams in the league but they did split with the Bulls during the regular season and are very dangerous on any given night. It's hard to see Cortland beating Niagara.
So its rather likely Buffalo will face the Niagara in the semi finals. This would be an amazing rematch of last season's long overtime game that saw the Bulls defeat the then-undefeated Purps.
That would send the winner of the Oswego and Canisius game to face off against Syracuse. Should Oswego win the game then Syracuse will face the only NECHL team outside of Buffalo to beat them this season.
Back in October Oswego blanked Syracuse and put up two goals of their own for an early season league win. When the two teams faced off later in the year Syracuse squeaked out a 6-5 win. Outside of the Bulls nobody has had as much success this season against the Orange as the Lakers.
This weekend's schedule
|Friday||28-Feb||5:00pm||#6 Cortland||#3 Niagara||Northtown Center|
|Friday||28-Feb||8:00pm||#5 Canisius||#4 Oswego||Northtown Center|
|Saturday||1-Mar||5:00pm||lowest seed #||#1 Syracuse||Northtown Center|
|Saturday||1-Mar||8:00pm||highest seed #||#2 Buffalo||Northtown Center|