Here’s the quick, 12:25am rundown (EDIT: now 1:22am, upon completion) on the playoff potentialities facing ECAC Hockey following Friday’s results and entering Saturday’s final regular-season contests. Here are this second’s standings.
EDIT: Upon further, well-rested review, the SLU/Harvard/Colgate situation has been amended. Tip of the cap to @WHRBSports for pointing out my error.
1. Union – If the Dutchmen win, they take the regular-season crown and the top seed. Lose, and they might lose both. If they tie and Yale wins, or if they lose and Yale ties – giving the Bulldogs and Dutchmen identical records – they share the title and Yale takes the No. 1 seed by virtue of record-vs-top-four.
2. Yale – The Bulldogs can wrest first place at the tape by winning, combined with a Union loss. Anything short of that, and the best they can hope for is a co-championship and perhaps a No. 1 seed… see the Union post for those breakdowns.
3. Dartmouth – Cornell holds the potential tiebreaker over the Big Green, but Dartmouth has Princeton, and a two-point lead on each. Should Princeton tie Dartmouth, the Green hold the No. 3 spot regardless… but should Cornell catch them, Dartmouth falls to fourth. In the case of a three-way tie, Dartmouth falls to fourth, but retains a first-round bye. Any way you slice it, it appears the Big Green have earned a week’s respite.
4. Cornell – The Big Red split the season series with Princeton, but will take the tiebreaker (if necessary) with a stronger record against the top four teams in the league. Read Dartmouth’s rundown for that matchup… the long and short of it is, if Cornell wins, they’ll earn a week off.
5. Princeton – The Tigers can’t climb higher than fourth, and they’ll need a little help to get that far (see above). They can fall as far as sixth, if they finish with the same record as RPI (or worse, of course). To get that coveted bye week, Princeton will need to finish ahead of Cornell and Rensselaer.
6. Rensselaer – The Engineers still have an outside shot at the bye, believe it or not: If they can catch or pass Princeton (they can) and pass Cornell (also possible), they’ll have some unexpected free time next week. Should RPI, Cornell and Princeton tie at 24 points (with idential 11-9-2 records), Cornell finishes fourth, followed by the ‘Tute and Princeton because the Red finished with the best head-to-head record within the trio, then RPI has the top-four tiebreaker over Princeton.
7. Quinnipiac – The Bobcats can’t improve on their current position, but they could definitely tumble: Current ninth-placer Brown holds the tiebreaker (there has to be an unambiguous synonym for that, right? This is killing me…) over QU, as does eighth-place Clarkson. If the Bobcats win, they’ll hold seventh. If Clarkson catches them, they fall to eighth; same if Brown wins, QU and Clarkson lose – Brown finishes seventh, QU eighth, Clarkson ninth. In the case of a three-way draw at 18 points, Clarkson gets the bump to seventh, Brown takes the home-ice spot, and Quinny falls into the road-trippin’ quartet at the bottom.
8. Clarkson – Currently eighth, the Golden Knights could finish a spot higher or lower. See the Quinnipiac analysis for that breakdown.
9. Brown – See Quinnipiac’s breakdown. Bruno could finish as high as seventh, and can finish no lower than their current nine-spot.
10. Harvard – Tied in 10th with St. Lawrence, Harvard has the edge with their first-semester road win in Canton. The sides play Saturday night, and all the Crimson needs is a tie to finish 10th. A loss will land the Crimson in 11th, but they can fall no further than that.
11. St. Lawrence – Simple: Beat Harvard, finish 10th. Lose or tie, 11th.
12. Colgate – The Raiders can not climb out of the basement. Colgate loses tiebreakers with SLU and Harvard, and has no hope of passing either team. The Raiders are finishing last.