WAKEFIELD, Mass. — For the second straight year, the Hockey East semifinals and championship game will be carried nationally.
The New England Sports Network and the NBC Sports Network will each cover the three games with NESN providing the New England coverage and NBCSN airing it across the rest of the country.
NBCSN’s coverage will be blacked out in New England, according to Hockey East assistant commissioner for public relations Pete Souris.
The one glitch will be Saturday night’s championship game.
Time Warner Cable subscribers who have standard definition television instead of high definition won’t be able to see it.
That’s because NESN is carrying the NHL game between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
So the Hockey East championship game will be carried exclusively in New England on NESNplus and NESNplus is only available on high definition (Channel 700) in the Time Warner Cable package.
It is available on Comcast Cable (Channel 84-SD, Channel 894-HD), DirecTV (Ch. 629-SD, 629.1-HD) and the the Dish Network (Ch. 442 SD and HD).
“Whenever NESN is carrying a Bruins or Red Sox game, our games move to NESNplus,” explained Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna.
Souris said to have the semifinals and final covered nationally is “huge for us.”
Bertagna agreed, saying national coverage is becoming even more important than local coverage because players are coming from all over North America.
In looking at the opening-day rosters of the four teams in the semifinals (Providence, UMass Lowell, Boston University and Boston College), just 37 players among the 102 were from New England.
Bertagna said the national coverage takes an even more prominent role next season when the University of Notre Dame joins the league. Notre Dame is based in South Bend, Ind. The University of Connecticut will leave Atlantic Hockey and become the league’s 12th team beginning in the 2014-15 season.
Bertagna said it has been a “good year” for the league.
“On the last night of the season, you had a game for first place that didn’t involve the usual teams,” said Bertagna referring to the UMass Lowell-Providence game.
UMass Lowell won the game 4-1 and became the first team other than Boston University, Boston College, New Hampshire or Maine to win the league’s regular season championship since the inception of the league in 1984-85.
Friday’s semifinals at the TD Garden in Boston will pit fourth seed Providence, 17-13-7, against No. 1 UMass Lowell (24-10-2) at 5 p.m. with archrivals Boston University (20-15-2), the third seed, against No. 2 Boston College (22-10-4) at 8 p.m.
Saturday’s championship game will start at 7 p.m.