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Eph72
02-03-2012, 08:24 PM
Here's an idea for a New York State D-1 hockey cup, which I'll call the "Empire Cup". It would have three divisions and would be competed for annually on the European relegation model, making every game matter.

There are 10 D-1 teams in New York: Army, Canisius, Clarkson, Colgate, Cornell, Niagara, RIT, RPI, St Lawrence, and Union.

In the first year the 10 teams would be seeded 1 through 10 in 2 four team divisions and 1 two team division. (Teams would not have to be seeded after the first year as tier placement would depend on prior year's results).

The top four teams would play in the Championship Tier for the Cup in a four game series (similar to the Beanpot). The winner would win the Empire Cup and the last place finisher in the Championship Tier (loser of the consolation game) would be relegated to Tier 2 for the next year.

The next four teams would play in Tier 2 for the right to be promoted to the Championship Tier for the next year. The loser of the Tier 2 tournament would be relegated to Tier 3 for the next year.

Tier 3 would consist of two teams who would play one game for the right to be promoted to Tier 2 the following year.

The whole tournament would take only 2 days to play and could be played, for example on two consecutive Mondays, like the Beanpot. Alternatively the whole Cup could be played on a two day weekend mid-season.

The result would be a "champion" D-1 college hockey team of New York. Unlike the Beanpot, the top four teams would change by one (one team relegated, one team promoted) each year. Over time every team in New York would have the chance to move up and compete for the Cup.

It could be a fun addition to the ECAC and Atlantic Hockey regular season and playoff championships.