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College Hockey:
WCHA Picks: Final Five quarterfinals

Minnesota State v Wisconsin:

Matthew: Mike Hastings was richly deserving of his WCHA Coach of the Year honors this season as MSU has been marvelous in their first year under his tutelage. The problem, though, is that the Mavericks are winless all-time in the Final Five and were taken to the three-game limit last week against a Nebraska-Omaha team that floundered down the home stretch of the regular season, while Wisconsin swept Minnesota-Duluth last weekend and is in desperate need of a couple wins in the Final Five if UW is to make it into the NCAA tournament. MSU’s a virtual lock at this point for an NCAA at-large spot, so a loss here to a UW squad that has gone 18-5-5 since Nov. 30 wouldn’t be devastating. UW 3-1.

Tyler: I’m taking Wisconsin for some of the same reasons as Matthew. The Badgers looked solid against UMD in the first round while MSU struggled against a UNO team I expected MSU to sweep. I’ve liked Wisconsin on the small sheet all season because it fits the Badgers style. MSU’s fourth-ranked power play will give it a chance to be successful against Wisconsin’s penalty kill, which is ranked 40th, but I’m still taking the Badgers.

Colorado College v North Dakota:

Matthew: Joe Howe was phenomenal in the CC nets last weekend against arch-rival Denver, and he may well be experiencing a hot streak that sees the Tigers past North Dakota, too. I don’t see it happening, though, because I think this UND team has too many high-powered offensive weapons for CC to handle. Also, the Tigers went 0-for-10 on the power play against DU, and few teams can afford to do that against a club like UND’s which doesn’t give up a whole lot in its own zone. UND 4-1.

Tyler: The Tigers are playing their best hockey right now but UND has been playing more consistently since early February and is a better all-around team. UND will be able to take advantage of its opportunities and be able to get a few past CC, though the Tigers started playing better defensively. UND wins

 

 

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  • Malcolm Chase

    If RPI gets a bid over Dartmouth, that’s a joke. For the record, I’m not a Dartmouth fan.

    RPI played poorly down the stretch, then lost two our of three to Colgate at home.

    It should either be Dartmouth or Cornell IF the final spot gies to an ECAC team.

    Dartmouth had the better record, some big wins (e.g., UNH away), but was 0-2-1 against Cornell. Cornell had a decent second half, but generally had a poor year. They benefitted immensely by landing in fourth spot after a tie in points with Princeton and RPI. They barely scraped by Quinnipiac. I was at the game last night and Cornell was outplayed (shots 40 – 18 in favor of Dartmouth).

    UNO and CC should be in. There really aren’t many teams on the bubble: BU, Maine, RPI, Wisconsin, Minn., and yes, Cornell all deserve to pack their bags.

    Cornell might be able to clutch, grab, cycle the boards enough to keep the game close for awhile tonight, but Yale’s speed and offense will win out, again, for the ninth time in a row (or something like that) against the big red.

    Put Dartmouth in the 16th slot in the NCAA. They are a solid and deserving team.

    • sue

      It’s all a numbers game, and it doesn’t take recent play into account – would you rather have it be subjective like other college sports? People have been complaining ALL YEAR about the subjective polls, so clearly that won’t be any better.

      And read Moy’s post before complaining… UNO and CC are already in! RPI is the only one left on the bubble….

    • Agreed, this sucks

      Yeah, it sucks to be a Dartmouth fan. Have to wait 31 years for an NCAA tourney bid. Then they finish 3d in conference, 3d in tourney, own the PairWise with RPI, who had a worse conference record, far worse record against common opponents, and couldn’t even beat a 12 seed to make the conference tourney’s quarterfinals. Dartmouth has 14th best RPI in nation and 15th best win %age too.

      • Guest

        Union lost to Colgate in the playoffs also…

    • FD8

      RPI shellacked Dartmouth twice this year.

    • Cclark

      As a Yale fan I could not agree more, RPI come on, I hate Cornell but they deserve a bid more than RPI, Cornell is big and slow, send Darmouth they would be represent the ECAC and played better the last half of the season

  • as seen on TV

    I disagree that Cornell was outplayed. I would characterize the game as pretty even with each team having stretches of better play. Shot totals are never the total story in any game. Garman did make some good saves but many of Dartmouth’s shots were from far outside with little chance.

  • Tawasula

    RPI and Dartmouth are a toss-up. Darthmouth could have helped there cause if they did not go 0-2 against RPI…and lose to Colgate down the stretch. Dartmouth’s TUC is weaker than RPI’s (which is very impt in the pairwise rank). No doubt, RPI played poorer down the stretch (they did lose a bunch of OT games)…but that is why you play 29 to 35 games in a season. Overall…go ECAC !!! Maybe this will be your year for a NCAA title. It has been over 20 years since Harvard won !

    • El Hampy

      False. RPI’s TUC record is weaker than Dartmouth’s. That’s part of why Dartmouth owns the PairWise comparison with RPI despite the on-ice record. Dartmouth played a harder schedule, had a better winning record in their harder schedule than RPI’s worse record in its schedule loaded with softies like Alabama-Huntsville twice, Bowling Green, Niagara, Connecticut, RIT, and Bentley. Dartmouth owns a far superior record against common opponents.

      If you’re citing losing to Colgate down the stretch, how about RPI losing three out of four games to Colgate on home ice?

      • bashful

        Let’s look at the facts. RPI’s record against teams under consideration (TUCs) is 7-6-4. Dartmouth’s record against TUCs is 6-8-2. However, when used in the pairwise rankings, the two games that RPI beat Dartmouth are excluded. That’s how to some it might appear that Dartmouth’s record against TUCs was better than RPI’s when, in fact, it was not.

      • Tawasula

        I just checked the pairwise…and it has RPI 7-6-4 against the TUC…and Dartmouth 6-8-2. How was that false ? RPI did play poorly down the stretch…but to help ones cause you need to beat up on the other opponent. I have never been a fan of the pairwise…but it is the system used. Many team benefit from it. If I was on the selecting committiee these 4 teams would be in from the ECAC: Yale, Union, Dartmouth and RPI. Again…let’s go ECAC get a title.

  • bashful

    Actually, Cornell and RPI can both get into the tournament, leaving Colorado College at home.

    Try RIT, Western Michigan, Cornell, BC, and North Dakota winning. Cornell would get the ECAC’s automatic bid. Four teams would be tied in the pairwise rankings – New Hampshire, Nebraska-Omaha, CC, and RPI. Of those four teams, New Hampshire and RPI each won two of the pairwise comparisons against the three tied teams. Thus, they would both be in. Nebraska-Omaha and CC each one one of the three pairwise comparisons between the three teams. But only one of them can get in. My guess is that Nebraska-Omaha would be selected over CC based on a higher ratings percentage index.

    So, that puts CC, RPI, and Cornell all on the bubble.

  • Anonymous

    Hey folks. Cornell did far worse vs. Yale than Colgate. They lost they’re out. Dartmouth lost twice to RPI. Neither team wowed anyone down the stretch. Dartmouth’s win vs. Colgate was less than impressive. I don’t like the PWR but it’s better than the BCS or March Madness selection system. You can have a problem with the system but any system that picks Dartmouth over RPI this season is whacko!

  • Detroit Bronc

    These are tough calls. Looks like at least two deserving teams will stay home.

    Back in the Midwest, Western alumni are encouraged by your tourney selection projections. But we’ve been down so long, we can’t believe that bid until we see it. We’re just waking-up from our long nap in college hockey’s basement. And our Broncos are hungry! All we need is a time, date and place. The Lunatics will travel well.

    Incidentally, it looks like the Big 10 teams are leaving the CCHA. We hope to play many more of your schools out east over the coming years !