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Top four teams will participate in this year’s Isobel Cup playoffs

Connecticut’s Janine Weber (24) brings the puck down the ice during a 6-4 win over Boston earlier this season.

Three quarters of the season is complete and the Premier Hockey Federation has announced how many teams will qualify for the upcoming Isobel Cup playoffs.

Four of the league’s seven teams will qualify for the playoffs. The Connecticut Whale, who play their home games at Simsbury’s International Skating Center of Connecticut, are currently the No. 4 team in the league, seven points ahead of the Montreal Force with seven games remaining.

The top four teams will meet in a best-of-three semifinal series with the two winners advancing to a single game championship contest.

Defending Isobel Cup champion Boston (14-2-1) and second place Toronto (13-3-2) have already clinched playoff berths. They will host the opening round playoff series at Bentley Arena in Boston and the Mattamy Athletic Center – the former home of Maple Leaf Gardens – in Toronto.

The championship game will be played in a neutral location.

“It was imperative that our playoff format underscore the importance of every regular season game and the valuable points awarded in the standings throughout the year to produce a final four that is most deserving of championship contention,” PHF Commission Reagan Carey said.

While Boston and Toronto have secured their playoff spots, the remaining berths are still up for grabs. No team has been eliminated but Buffalo’s (2-12-2, 8 points) seem pretty slim at this point of the season.

Minnesota (10-4-2) is currently the No. 3 seed followed by Connecticut (8-7-2), Montreal (7-10-1), Metropolitan (6-12) and Buffalo.

The Whale will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak this weekend when they invite the Toronto Sixs to the International Skating Center of Connecticut for a pair of PHF contests. The two teams will be play Saturday night at 7 p.m. followed by a matinee game two on Sunday at noon.

The Whale’s final home game of the year will be Sunday, Feb. 26 against Metropolitan at 3 p.m. followed by a two-game series in Buffalo (March 4-5) and Minnesota (March 11-12).

This is the first year that every PHF team will not participate in the Isobel Cup playoffs.

2023 Isobel Cup Playoffs Schedule:

Thursday March 16:
Semifinal Game 1 in Boston

Friday March 17:
Semifinal Game 1 in Toronto

Saturday March 18:
Semifinal Game 2 in Boston
Semifinal Game 2 in Toronto

Sunday March 19:
Semifinal Game 3 in Boston (if necessary)

Monday March 20:
Semifinal Game 3 in Toronto (if necessary)

Sunday March 26:
Championship Final (location TBA)

Game times, broadcast details, and ticket information will be confirmed and announced at a later date.


Standings as of February 16, 2023

Team W-L-OTL Pts RW OTW SOW GF-GA
x-Boston 14-2-1 40 11 3 0 68-32
x-Toronto 13-3-2 39 11 1 1 63-45
Minnesota 10-4-2 32 10 0 0 49-38
Connecticut 8-7-2 26 8 0 0 56-50
Montreal 7-10-1 19 4 1 2 43-53
Metropolitan 6-12-0 16 4 0 2 41-63
Buffalo 2-12-2 8 2 0 0 33-72
Saturday, February 18
Buffalo at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Toronto at Connecticut (Simsbury), 7 p.m.
Montreal at Boston, 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 19
Toronto at Connecticut, noon
Buffalo at Minnesota, 2 p.m.
Montreal at Boston, 3 p.m.
x-Clinched playoff berth
Teams earn 3 points for a win in regulation and 2 points for a win in OT or shootout. Teams earn 1 point for a loss in OT or the shootout.
Top four teams qualify for the plaoyffs

 

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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