The New England Division regular season battle was one of the most exciting and it will culminate this weekend as the top four faceoff for two spots at the Premier National Championship tournament.
The New Hampshire Monarchs and South Shore Kings moved through their respective first round sets and will face the Northern Cyclones and Boston Bandits this weekend.
Monarchs @ Cyclones
Friday, March 1, 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 2, 2 p.m.
Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m. (if necessary)
All games to be played at the Cyclones Arena, Hudson, N.H.
While the Cyclones enjoyed a weekend off, the Monarchs engaged in a hard-fought opening round series, going the three-game distance with the Islanders Hockey Club.
The Cyclones are hot entering the postseason with nine wins in their final 10 games while the Monarchs were 6-4 through their final 10 and won its final three before engaging in this battle with the Islanders.
Head-to-head battles were mostly close, the Cyclones capturing three of four, two by a single goal and one in a shootout. The Monarchs won the first meeting of the season in early October in overtime.
Kings @ Bandits
Thursday, Feb. 28, 12:30 p.m.
Friday, March 1, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 3, 6:10 p.m. (if necessary)
All games to be played at Bridgewater Ice Arena, Bridgewater, Mass.
The Bandits missed out on top spot by one win, despite finishing the season with four straight wins and going 7-1-2 in its final 10.
Both the Bandits and Cyclones earned the first round bye, though, while the South Shore Kings who captured wins in nine of its final 10 regular season games added two more, eliminating the Twin City Thunder in two straight last weekend.
The Kings and Bandits met four times this season, the first two going to the South Shore squad with the Bandits bouncing back with wins in the two meetings after Christmas.