The Telegram & Gazette's Jim Wilson writes today on potential changes to the Central Mass. hockey format.
The State Hockey Committee approved a proposal from the District E Committee yesterday that will split the Central Mass. postseason into Division 3 and Division 3A and create a new playoff system with Western Mass. to crown a Central/Western champion.
The plan calls for the four leagues to be split into two divisions. The leagues, which are already aligned according to factors like strength of program and size, will have the Roy and Quinn conferences play in the Division 3 bracket, while the Coughlin and Russell conferences compete in Division 3A.
“I think it’s going to be a great thing for those two bottom-division teams,” said Auburn High athletic director Bill Garneau, one of the heads of District E hockey. “It will give them an opportunity to play for a championship and actually have a legitimate shot at winning something.”
The plan will go to the Tournament Management Committee for final approval, which could happen as soon as next month but definitely by the end of the school year.
The Division 3 teams will still play Western Mass. in the state semifinals and move on to face Eastern Mass. in the state final. The Division 3A teams will play the Western Mass. Division 3A champion for the Central/West championship.
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