March 24, 2003

Red Claims No. 1 Seed in East

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After claiming the ECAC regular season and postseason crowns, the men’s hockey team was given a No. 1 seed in the NCAA East Region.

As the top team in the country entering the tournament, the Red expected to draw the No. 15 or No. 16 team in the first round. Instead, due to the selection committee’s criteria, MSU-Mankato, the 14th-ranked club in the nation, will be obstacle number one.

“We knew that getting to the Frozen Four was going to be a difficult challenge. The first round matchup, I really don’t understand the NCAA’s reasoning,” stunned Cornell head coach Mike Schafer ’86 said. “… It doesn’t make any sense in my mind.

“We’re the No. 1 team in the country and we deserve to play one of those 15th or 16th seeds regardless of what the criteria says,” he continued.

Also in Cornell’s region will be second-seeded Boston College and third-seeded Ohio State, with whom the Red has split two games.

UNH will be the top seed in the Northeast, while Minnesota claims the top spot in the West, with Colorado College the No. 1 in the Midwest.

“I think it’s a lack of respect for our program,” Schafer said. “I really thought we’d be playing Mercyhurst or Wayne State … It didn’t look like they protected the No. 1 seed in this tournament.”

The Red will play MSU-Mankato on Saturday at noon in Providence, R.I.

Archived article by Alex Ip