The Hockey East Association will implement a new playoff format starting with the 2013-2014 season.
According to a report in College Hockey News, conference athletics directors this week voted to approve a playoff format under which each Hockey East team will qualify for postseason play.
The league tournament will consist of four rounds. Next season, the top five teams in the regular-season standings will be awarded a bye for the first round.
The remaining six seeds will be paired with No. 6 playing No. 11, No. 7 facing No. 10 and No. 8 meeting No. 9 in one-game series. The winners advance to the quarterfinals, which will consist of best-of-three series on the home ice of the top four seeds.
The winners of the quarterfinal series move on to the single-elimination semifinals, and then the title game, at TD Garden in Boston.
Notre Dame will become the 11th member of Hockey East next season, with Connecticut scheduled to join the league’s ranks for the 2014-15 campaign.