The Pilgrim hockey team has surged into a tie for first place in Division II-North thanks to some strong play as of late, but the Pats will put that spot on the line with some important games over the weekend and into next week.
Pilgrim currently has 24 points with an 11-2-1 record, tying it with Coventry, which is 12-1. Cumberland sits in third place with 22 points and a 10-3-2 record.
The Pats' next two games are against those two teams.
First, on Friday, Pilgrim will take on Coventry at the West Warwick Civic Center at 9:30 p.m. After two days off, the Pats will then take on Cumberland in a Monday matinee at 3:15 p.m. at Thayer Arena.
So far this season, Pilgrim's results against their top two divisional contenders have been mixed. The Pats opened the season with Coventry and defeated the Oakers 2-1 in the only meeting between the two teams.
Against Cumberland, Pilgrim fell 2-1 early in the season before beating the Clippers 3-2 on Feb. 3.
After these two upcoming games, Pilgrim only has two regular season league games left before the playoffs start, meaning that these two games could very well decide the difference between first and third place. One of those final two games, the regular season finale, is also against Coventry.
The Oakers and Clippers also have one game remaining against each other, on Feb. 24. That will mark the third meeting of the season between the two, and Coventry has gotten the best of Cumberland in each of the first two meetings.
Cumberland has yet to score a goal on Coventry, while losing 3-0 the first time the teams met and 9-0 the most recent time on Feb. 4.
Coventry is the defending Division II state champion.