ECAC East/NESCAC Game Predictions – 1/14-18/2011

Another week of league play and a couple of new winning streaks are on the line. Trinity has picked up two wins in a row and hopes to build on that momentum on the road this weekend. New England College has three wins in a row as they play hosts this week to long time rival Norwich and St. Michael’s.
“Points are rally hard to come by so everyone is pressing to get them every time out,” said Trinity coach Dave Cataruzolo.
This week the match-ups are bringing together a lot of league pairings which are like four point games. This should be a fun weekend – the holiday hangover is over.
Last Week: 11-12-3
Overall Record: 56-56-14 (.500)
Winners in Bold.
Friday, January 14,2011
Amherst@ Conn College – Eddie Effinger, Trip Wray and Mark Colp have picked up the offense but the Lord Jeffs are going as far as Mr. Anderson can carry them. New London isn’t too long a ride – Amherst 4, Conn Coll 2.
Hamilton @ Tufts – The Continentals are coming off a big three point weekend and don’t want to lose momentum against the Jumbos. They don’t – Hamilton 5, Tufts 3.
UMass-Boston@ Castleton – Both teams are hunting Norwich at the top of the standings. This one plays like a playoff game – UMB 3, Castleton 2.
Babson @ Skidmore– Both teams need to get some positive momentum going and the home team has the advantage this week – Skidmore 4, Babson 3.
Southern Maine @Bowdoin– Offense is great but not at the expense of team defense. The Polar Bears can play both- Bowdoin 6, USM 2.
UNE @ Colby – Both teams are mired near the bottom of the standings but not for a lack of effort by either squad. The unofficial Maine tournament favors experience – Colby 4, UNE 2.
Norwich @ NEC – The Pilgrims are on a bit of a roll and the Cadets rebounded strongly last weekend after a couple of lackluster outings. It’s always close between these teams – Norwich 3, NEC 2.
St. Michael’s @ St. Anselm – D-II rivals face-off in what is likely to showcase a lot of goals. Fun for fans, heartburn for coaches – St. A’s 6, St. Mike’s 5.
Trinity @ Middlebury– A 50th anniversary celebration for Midd’s 1961 championship team will be the perfect backdrop to keep the Panthers unbeaten in 2011 – Middlebury 4, Trinity 1.
Wesleyan @ Williams –The brakes got jammed on last weekend for the Ephs who suffered their first losses of the season. Nothing like a little home cooking for Williams – Williams 3, Wesleyan 1.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Amherst@ Tufts – The Lord Jeffs like being at the top of the standings and a clean weekend keeps them on track – Amherst 3, Tufts 2.
Hamilton @ Conn College – The Camels can make some noise in the league but need to win the tough battles. They start now – Conn College 4, Hamilton 3.
UMB@ Skidmore – The Beacons are a very confident bunch and the carryover from Friday is a positive one – UMB 4, Skidmore 2.
Babson @ Castleton –The Spartans have big goals and will want put some distance on an annual rival – Castleton 5, Babson 4.
Norwich @ St. Anselm – The defending national champs have seemingly put it back together. The Hawks don’t have the answers for the Cadets – Norwich 5, St. Anselm 2.
St. Michael’s @ NEC – A hard fought game against Norwich as the Pilgrims that they can make run – NEC 4, St. Mike’s 1.
Southern Maine @ Colby – The White Mules have struggled at home and the Huskies would like to prolong the misery – USM 3, Colby 2.
UNE @Bowdoin –The Nor’easters make their way to “The Sid” for the first time and the Polar Bears are less than welcoming hosts – Bowdoin 7, UNE 3.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Tufts @ Suffolk – Another old ECAC match-up that will show off the Ram’s Jeff Rose. He just can’t stop them all – Tufts 3, Suffolk 2.
Salve Regina @ Conn College– The Seahawks have seen enough of NESCAC teams this season. The Camels make them wish for a Northeast opponent – Conn College 5, Salve Regina 1.
UMass-Dartmouth @ UMass-Boston – These two teams always play spirited games and this one is likely to be a physical one. The Beacons won’t take any opponent lightly – UMB 4, UMD 3.
Lots of action this weekend so go root your team on. With each passing week the games grow fewer and points become more precious.
Despite all the snow, the action is heating up – drop the puck!

176 COMMENTS

  1. What about Ill, Iowa, and Prudue step out of the shadows of club sport and into the big leagues. Even if the Big Ten helps out with loans to get the clubs into Div 1.

  2. Being an alum, and of course a fan of a WCHA school and the league as a whole, I have to admit that I was worried about the WCHA’s future a few years ago. Last year, I saw a high level of play amongst the schools (Well, most of them) and was happy to see old rivalries re-ignited, as well as new one’s forming. This year, I see a league that reminds me of this year’s B1G football… Ignored initially by the “experts”, treated inferior by many fans of other leagues, and yet, often kicking the butts of other leagues in non-conference play. It was fun to watch both Bemidji and Mankato own the Xcel this weekend. Congrats to the most underrated team in college hockey, the Bemidji State Beavers, and congrats to the WCHA as a whole for so quickly proving the critics wrong about your future place in the college hockey landscape.

      • Yes, the Gophs have stunk this year but the Gopher jealously is great by other team’s fans in the state. Where were you clowns when they were winning titles and in the championship last year?
        Bottom line, the NCAA is all about money and the difference besides the Gophers winning titles is that the UM put more fans in the seats than all the other MN schools combined.

        • We were watching… And honestly, being from Minnesota, I was rooting for them too. When they are good, they deserve the high ranking, but when they are not, they don’t. Yes, we are all aware that the student population at the U of M is 10 times that of some of the other schools. 10 times the grads = 10 times the fans. 10 times the money, and all of that is important. But the final 16 are supposed to be the best reps from each conference, followed by the best teams in all of hockey. If the NCAA wanted to be honest and say we need 6 big revenue schools in the tournament each year, followed by the next ten best schools, so be it. But they don’t, and that is why the rest of us complain when big revenue schools are over-rated in the polls and pairwise.

        • Honestly I always got the impression that if the NCAA could it would drop every sport except D1 FBS Football and D1 Men’s Basketball.

    • I am a Tech alum, however watching Bemidji SMOKE (arrogant) Cornell in the NCAA semis a few years ago in Grand Rapids, they have become my adopted second favorite team. I have a soft spot in my heart for small schools in remote freeze-your-a$$ off locations, I guess.

    • I wouldn’t call Bemidji underrated this year. They have earned their unranked position so far. This tourney just showed how much they have wasted their season up to this point. I wouldn’t want to play them in the first round of the conference tournament, though. Heck, my Falcons play them next weekend! Should hopefully be a good series.

      • I agree they have lost too many close games this year. I am referring not to this year so much in general, but year after year. For example, the Gophers have been in a free fall since November, losing to everyone under the sun, yet they were still #17 coming into the North Star Cup? If Bowling Green or BSU were in the same boat, #47 would be more realistic. Getting back to this year, Bemidji started slow, but also played nothing but ranked opponents through November. Now they have won 9 of their last 11, including two decisive wins against top ten teams, and I am sure there will be no considerations in the polls. Happens all the time. Truthfully, I am fine with it. Polls mean very little and it is much more fun to be the underdog when you are clicking!

        • I disagree. The WCHA has three teams in the top 10 and Minnesota State is still #1 in Pairwise despite the loss to an unranked Bemidji team. The league is legit and everyone knows it by now. If Bemidji keeps winning like this they could very quickly move up the ranks. Just so long as they do it after the BG series this weekend. ;)

          • .
            “The league is legit and everyone knows it by now.” I beg to differ… I think other folks are still in denial. And hey, let’s keep it that way…. :)
            .

    • Being from the East, I’m psyched to see the WCHA doing so well. You guys really took it on the chin when the Big10 and the NCHA (and I’m being nice here) formed. With 3 teams in the top 10 (both Poll and Pairwise), I’d say more people are paying attention to the WCHA than some of you think. KUDOS to the league for rising from the ashes to shake things up big time this year… And making it a real battle to get to the sweet 16.

  3. Instead of the goophs getting to be in this tournament every year, which is complete crap, who ever loses two games during the tourney should sit out the next year. Seems a bit more fair that way.

      • I’m just sick of all this goopher BS, they need to be in this every year crap. Was the same at the final five. No matter what place they were in, they always got the night game. I have to take the day off of work to see my team, so you can as well.

        • I was actually really impressed with how well Minnesota State and Bemidji State traveled. Honestly I think that everyone over estimates how important Minnesota is, eventually unless the Big Ten gets better you will start to see people in Minnesota remember that we have 4 other division 1 college hockey programs.

      • Seems stupid that, for example, Bemidji wins it this year, but what if next year is “their year” to sit out? They dont even get a chance to defend their title?

          • But, you know what? If you based entry into this event on merit and returning champs, after losing fans for a bit, eventually fans would turn out to see the best competition. Wouldn’t it be cool for the state of MN to stand for integrity and take a stand on the matter?

    • Dude, you’re trying to be fair and true to the spirit of great hockey. You know better than that.
      It’s about money, and that’s what MN brings.
      Fact is, without MN, the NSCC would not sell enough tickets.
      I agree, it’s not right that MN is automatically in every year. In a better world, every team would sit out equally or the tourney would have five teams.
      But in this world, they need to sell tickets, so there’s not much else they can do.

  4. Okay, anybody else super pumped for the WCHA this year?
    I think it would be awesome for a WCHA school to win the NC!
    I’d love to see Tech get back to the glory days, or Mankato win their first one (any other WCHA school would be fine, too, but that doesn’t seem as likely).
    So since it’s pretty clear MN won’t be in the tourney this year, that’s what I’m pulling for (barring some miracle, of course).

    • It really wouldn’t be a miracle if the Gophers won three games, possibly only two in the Big 10 tourney to get into the national tournament.

  5. There is a reason Minnesota state was number 1, it’s because they are in the cast off league. when 4 of your 11 teams are severely under .500 it makes it pretty easy for mediocre teams to rise to the top. if min st, bgsu, mtech, and ferris state were consistently playing teams from ncho, they would all have under .500 records.

    • Ridiculous statement. Look at SOS for BSU, MSU and WCHA in general. SOS is objective, with no bias or politics. Unlike the bias that you are showing. Also, check last year’s SOS for the WCHA.

      • I’m merely looking at who they beat when they beat them and where the teams they beat are ranked now. It’s the exact same reason ferris state was so highly ranked last year. Wcha is a non competitive league. Bgsu, mtech, ferris state, and min state would all struggle in a different conference. I don’t care what the sos is. It’s a statistic based on if you played every other team once. ONCE! Sincerely a statistician who isn’t a pound moron

  6. Jim. What do u and your college hockey writer colleagues think about having a play in game for conference champs that don’t rank in the top 16 of the pairwise rather than an automatic playoff spot, Wth a one game play-in spot a 16 ranked pair wise team plays a lower ranked team that’s a conference winner. Both participate in playoffs and all conferences get representation just not automatic first round play. For example robert Morris would play UML for the final spot in 16 team first round selection If seas on ended today.
    Basketball has such play in games and would get more colleges involved in playoffs.
    thanks.
    Terry s.

  7. So, bring BC back to Boston as the 9 seed while moving a higher seeded western school 1000 additional miles. If Manchester can’t sell out with Harvard and BU there, then maybe you shouldn’t host a regional in Manchester.

    • How many times have arenas out west been nearly empty for games? Manchester is just fine. Plus, isn’t an 8/9 match up more closely aligned with “bracket integrity?”

      • If the 8/9 game is being played opposite the 1/16 game, then yes. You can have bracket integrity or you can play for attendance.
        There would be a coup attempt if the committee moved a 2 seed Boston school to Minneapolis to play Duluth, SCSU and Minnesota simply for attendance reasons.

      • How many people will be in Providence if UMD and DU are in finals? They will need “fillers” like at the Academy Awards so the place doesn’t look empty. Manchester is fine because they assured an eastern team will be in finals.

        • they have us traveling to Providence to play a 4 seeded Providence and they put Duluth in our bracket when we just swept them in conference playoffs last week. I dont like this bracket at all

          • If I were a DU fan I would like this draw, UMD hasn’t played the greatest hockey of late and Providence is very winnable game even though its a home game. Or are you more upset with the placement and not with the opponents? Cause Minnesota State deserves to be closer to home more the DU does, and I would not want to play BC out east if you were to swap BU and DU. Just my thoughts, things will most likely change again though.

          • I am not a DU fan, so really don’t care much. I just think it’s logically unsound to have a better 1 seed playing a road game than a #1 that could play in the game and bring more fans.
            Ideally, Providence won’t make it and the problem will take care of itself. But it’s pretty stupid having two New England regionals (like every damn year) plus the Frozen Four in Boston anyway. I’d like to know when there’s going to be regionals in Fargo and Minneapolis/St. Paul in the same year. Closest they come is when a regional is in Green Bay. The regions either need restructuring or the NCAA needs to break the rigidity of the regions if the NCHC is this strong. The regions should represent the programs in the tournament, not a bunch of also rans that won’t be in.

          • I agree that there shouldn’t be two regionals out east even though the eastern fans will probably disagree with us. Just seems like every year that the turnout is not the greatest compared to most Western Regionals.

          • Wonder why? haha. Boston U and BC are only two schools that care much there.
            I think there should be just two regions, with 2 sites per region. Then you get the possibility of having Fargo and Cities regionals the same year. But maybe they don’t want that because North Dakota always brings the most fans to the Cities anyway!
            Hell’s Kitchen ran an ad in the Grand Forks Herald this week.

    • Manchester does pretty well on attendance every time a regional is there. Not really sold out, but it holds about 10k so I feel like it’s a bit oversized anyway.
      I mean, I don’t think it’s a great arena, but it’s easy to get to in an area where college hockey is reasonably popular.

    • Indeed, I would hate to see this. Part of the fun of the tournament is the match-ups between teams that haven’t played earlier in the season (let alone three or four times).
      I think this is unlikely though. I believe there will be a lot of movement in the PWR this weekend and I expect BC to end up around 12 or 13. It isn’t going to matter much this year anyway because I don’t think BC wins a game in the tournament. Goals have been rare all year and they only managed one goal in two consecutive games against UVM last weekend.
      That’s kind of a shame because it would be fun to see BC go up against Dean Blais at UNO, just like the old days (BC vs.UND) except for the lack of offense from this BC team.
      I began watching college hockey as a grad student at BC the mid-’90s, so I have some bias, but this year I’m more interested in whether UM-Lowell can play its way into the tournament than whether BC plays in the east.
      I think the hotel-room comment below is irrelevant. This isn’t the Sugar Bowl, where the CoC would rather not see LSU in the game—the NCAA is interested in ticket sales, not hotel reservations. :)

      • My point was that while the NCAA doesn’t care, the city of Manchester needs to see some benefit from hosting or they will not bid in the future. I am guessing that a lack of bids is why they are kicking around campus sites for the first round again

  8. Did you put Denver in the East knowing that they would face # 14 Providence? Technically Manchester is closer to Denver than Providence is.
    And I agree with Joseph- why accommodate the #9 seed at the expense of the #8 seed?

    • Especially when Boston U and Harvard are already there. I’d figure this would be bad for business in Manchester since 3 of the teams and their fans can sleep in their own beds. Not going to sell many hotel rooms to a fan base for one school who is traveling 1500 miles

    • Manchester is closer than Providence is like saying State of Washington is closer to Denver than Alaska. You do realize it is a similar plane ride to either place. Also, strictly speaking, #14 should be in same Regional as #3.

  9. .
    -IF- by chance Michigan Tech is one of the #1 seeds, where would they go? I am assuming either place out East.
    But regardless of where they end up, it would be really nice to avoid North Dakota in Fargo… just saying…
    And understand too that playing in South Bend (which is further) would be much better then Fargo – much bigger fan base closer to SB because of downstate Michigan.
    I wonder what seed/PWR/result-combination would place them in Indiana with MN State.
    .

  10. So much for bracket integrity. I get why all of these changes were made, but this just seems like too much. If a team has to fly anyway, why not keep the seedings and matchups as close to evenly distributed as possible?

  11. I find it hard to believe that the committee would work so hard to get all of the schools back east they would in essence punish the #1 overall seed in UND and make them potentially play the top #2 seed in the second round rather than let it roll as is. If you have to have all of the east schools back east for attendance than let’s just make this an east versus west tournament with the top east school and the top west school playing each year for the national title every year.

    • Boston U gets the most favorable bracket in this scenario. Lowest 1 seed gets the lowest 2 seed, highest 3rd seed and 2nd lowest 4th seed

      • Yeah, I’d take that BU bracket over the West as it is. I can see the committee making some changes for attendance but this would seem extreme.

        • No team should want to be in BU’s bracket except for BU. The same holds true for any of the other five teams that still have ways to be a top seed. I realize UNO has been scuffling, but any bracket with two of the team’s currently fighting for a one band are tough.
          A lot of the four band teams are going to be tough, as well. All it takes is one good game by a goaltender and some poor ice. The four seeds will either be winners of their conference tournaments or teams from the bigger conferences that have not fully realized their talent to date. Providence and Harvard I can speak to, having watched them on TV. They have the pieces needed to win a couple of games in the regionals.

      • Northeast regional set up for BU or BC to make Frozen Four, as usual. Not kind to DU either. If they win first game against Miami they will stay in top band and get rewarding by playing “away” game versus Providence. If they lose to Miami they will move to 2nd band and get to play in Fargo. I know you have to win 4 games anyway but some paths are much easier.

        • Playing Providence in Providence isn’t even close to an “away” game. Did you see their attendances this past weekend, at their actual home rink, against UNH? 1325, 1877, and a whopping 1905 in a winner advances to HE semis game. I realize the students are gone but to not even be able to get an arena that only seats 3030 2/3 full for a big game? Not to mention there was a pretty good group of UNH fans there. Nobody cares about hockey, it’s a basketball school.

          • 2013 was the last time regional was held in Providence. Without Friers playing, drew 6,253 for semi and 5,007 for finals. Had to be a few locals in attendance, since finals were between ECAC teams Union and Quinnipiac. Even when team is not supported in regular season, local fans do purchase regional tickets.

          • Yes, I realize locals buy tickets but your real key words there are “without the Friars there.” First of all, those locals wouldn’t be loud, just there to see a hockey game. You also realize that QU and Yale are only about a 90 minute drive to Providence. As someone who follows HE closely, PC has a very small following.

          • Hopefully, from your mouth to God’s ears. So what you are saying is the place will be empty and pretty quiet, except for maybe Quinnipiac fans? That would really be a joke if DU/UMD were in the finals. Kosmo Kramer would have to be hired as a stand in and move around for television, so the place would not seem totally empty.

          • QU fans would travel there. The building would be maybe half full, but quiet. The locals, as you said, will buy their tickets but are just there because the games are in town. They will do nothing to intimidate an opponent that is coming all the way across the country. if PC is still in the hoops tourney next weekend, they will have even less fans.

          • PC should beat Dayton and will be slight underdog against OU in NCAA BB. If that happens we actually might have as many people rooting for DU/UMD as Quinnipiac. I am planning on going wherever to see DU play. Hopefully, it will be shorter flight to South Bend. If PC doesn’t support their team, why reward them with Regional? Almost better having one at MSG. Even though Army is closest then Union, only a 2 1/2-3 hour ride from Massachusetts, shorter from Connecticut.

          • Agreed on the hoops talk. I think the DD Center is a nice place for a regional, just not for PC. Brown is actually the host there this year anyways. Either way, DU should be fine. Enjoy the games. I’ll be at the NE Regional in Manchester, then FF bound, no matter what.

          • Thanks, same to you. Assume you are either BC or BU fan, feel confident they will meet in final, assuring you will have rooting interest at FF.

          • Actually a UNH fan, they have some work to do because of a disaster of a 1st half. I hit the FF every year anyways and just enjoy the games. If my team is there, that’s fun, but it’s always a great time and 3 games worth going to. Take care.

          • Even when students are on Spring Break, a middling UNH team will still draw half the capacity of the 6501 seat Whit.

          • DU has to travel cross country, Providence gets to sleep in their own beds. As I’ve posted repeatedly Providence should not be playing in Providence.

          • I’m not necessarily disagreeing, I am just saying I think you are making a much bigger deal of it than it is and if it works out that way, you will see. You could play Providence anywhere and their following would be minimal. I also see your argument has changed from fans to sleeping in their own beds…

          • My argument has been clarified to include both fans and “sleeping in their own beds”. As several have mentioned here why should a higher seed have to travel to a lower seeds town to play them? Just because it happens frequently doesn’t make it right. This is something that needs to be addressed when putting together the brackets.

          • Brown would have more fans in the building as the host school, even without their team being in the tournament. Doing hosting duties.

        • If DU wins the NCHC tourney this weekend then maybe they could have a chance to get the 2nd #1 seed and move to south bend. id like that much better

          • As long as Minnesota State stays in top band they will go to South Bend. We have gone around this block before.

      • In this scenario, they play a team that beat them and that they barely beat in OT, possibly followed by a team they have not played at all or their biggest rival, which they split the season series with road wins.
        Perhaps it looks like a cakewalk on paper. Which is why they play them in the ice.

    • I agree with this…there’s too much worry about attendance. It takes away the faith in the Pairwise system.
      However, if the tournament gets split East and West, we’d still be arguing about how the East and West figure out seeding for their respective divisions.
      The NCAA has to change the way they do the host sites. The obvious way to do it, would be to allow the top four teams in the pairwise rankings to host regionals. After regionals, a predetermined neutral site for the frozen four as it is today.

    • Perhaps with the consideration of playoffs being held at host schools some of these issues will go away, since it seems like quite a corruption of the Pairwise system to have higher seeds (especially #1 seeds) traveling to host schools across the country that are 3 or 4 seeds. How does that maintain pairwise integrity? There are almost never any regionals held in Colorado (and it isn’t about attendance concerns, since my recollection of the few that have been held there have done quite well in that department), so I have seen DU travel east so many times as a 1 or 2 seed with the reward of getting to play a host 3 or 4 seed). It is ridiculous to punish 1 or 2 seeds for the benefit of attendance considerations. Just send the sixteen teams to the sites they would be assigned to based on their Pairwise rankings (at least until the system is changed back to home ice)

      • Or perhaps Denver puts in to host at the Pepsi Center (not sure if it’s still the name), they may win the bid and you know you have a regional in Denver.

        • Pepsi Center (still the name) was, and would be, good site. Problem exists with getting Avs and Nuggets to vacate, or schedule around. World Arena did well when they had Regional too. Seems the NCAAA did not mind Olympic rink this time.

          • I was just throwing out an idea. I know it’s tough to get the pro teams out, even to have conference tourneys, like HE has at the TD Garden. I’m not sure if there are 10,000’ish seat arenas not on college campuses in the Denver area, as I am not very familiar with it. I think if they knew a couple years in advance that the Avs and Nuggets would allow them to host, but obviously, I don’t know. And really, the Avs could still play an afternoon game if the final was at night or vice versa… or if it was a Friday/Saturday, for instance, Nuggets can still play Sunday, so it seems feasible.

          • From what I know, they got “permission” from Avs/Nuggets to use arena 3 years in advance. Think both teams were “away” from Thursday to Monday for Regionals and FF. They also had Toby Kieth concert delayed until following weekend. No hockey arenas in Denver or Colorado Springs area seat over 9,000, other then Pepsi Center and World Arena. Budweiser Event Center, in Loveland (Colorado Eagles) is only other venue that holds over 5,000, besides Magness at 6,100.

          • Didn’t Denver travel to Boston to win the 2004 National Championship? Then to Ohio to win the 2005 National Championship? While I do agree with your assessment that Denver’s path may not be a cakewalk, they are good enough to run the table, IMO.

  12. It’s always entertaining to me to see fans of Midwest teams get their panties in a bunch around bracket time every year. You talk all season long about how much better the teams and the quality of hockey are out there, but complain that you have to play eastern teams in the tournament. Didn’t see Yale complain in 2013 when they went out west and beat Minnesota and ND back to back. If you’re the better team, just win the games.

    • Yes, that argument is always valid, you have to win four games to win it all.
      But the point of Pairwise and bracket seeding is to give the teams that played the best hockey during the regular season the best chance to advance in the tournament.
      MSU-Mavericks should NOT have to play the Gophers in the first round of the tournament. Someone will comment below “What? Are you afraid the Mavericks can’t be the Gophers?”
      The answer is, “Yes!”
      MSU should have to play Harvard if the season ends today because Harvard is the No. 15 seed.
      The Mavs have a better chance of winning vs. Harvard than they do against Minnesota.
      People have to understand that for each game an institution participates in during the tournament, those programs receive a ‘cut’ of the earnings from the NCAA.
      The best teams in this tournament should have the best chances at making the most money by advancing in the tournament. That’s the bottom line here. If it is not, then you might as well eliminate Pairwise and split the bracket up according to Geography. East bracket winner plays West bracket winner for the championship.

      • Why worry about it? Harvard loses this weekend, they probably don’t even make the tourney. Minnesota loses, they might drop to 15 anyway. It’s all fluid.

        • MN loses on Friday and I doubt they make it. NC$$ would have to pull some of their typical crap to get them in.

          • You just can’t pass up any chance to rip on the Gophers. If they lose and get knocked out of the top 15 of the PWR, the NCAA will do nothing to get them in. Another typical crap comment from you. Surprise, surprise!

          • You seem to love to just read my post and respond to them. Weird man crush or something?
            And yes, I’ll kick the ugly ground rodents anytime.

          • Yeah if the gophs lose I doubt they would make it in and they would deserve it for not being able to play consistent for this entire year. I don’t know who I would rather play though between the two probably Ohio State, but it doesn’t really matter they should be able to handle both teams (should is a big word). Out of all the teams I think that Mich State has the best chance of winning the BIG 6 outside of minny.

          • Anything is possible. Teams around them could lose and everyone would stay relatively the same. Guess it just depends on how many “upsets” from outside the top 15 there are. Come playoff time, every team is tough.

        • This is true. I’m just making a statement based off of this bracketology. I’m not buying into the concept of shifting teams around to avoid “attendance woes.”
          Also making a statement to folks who always argue that it shouldn’t matter who you play.
          There’s more to this tournament than being a tough guy and wanting to take on the best teams in the early stages of regionals. Each win for these programs on the national stage is, financially, worth a lot of cash. So it’s just not a valid argument to say “my team will beat anyone, anytime.”

      • Actually, the point of the pairwise is to select the best 16 teams. Getting the #1 seeds the “best chance to advance” is not actually the point of it.

    • I’m sure the whining would commence too if a 7th seeded BU or BC had to play in Denver because they wanted to get 10th seeded Colorado College closer to home.
      Then again, if the Eastern schools could figure out how to get 8 teams in, maybe the Western schools wouldn’t have to travel to fill up the slots out East.

      • Show me my posts when BU went out to play Minnesota IN Minnesota three years ago in the regional won by North Dakota. That was a great environment to watch (on ESPN3) a game with three storied programs in a rocking house. Sorry if I forgot who UND faced in their first round match.
        I do not even recall BC fans complaining too much about going to St Louis, when they got blown out by CC or DU. You must be thinking about straw men or trolls. Most teams and most fans are happy to get into the tournament and try to win whatever matchup is presented to them wherever their team will play. We all hope for large crowds and great ice. The images from Grand Rapids a few years ago should be avoided.

        • Couple of quick corrections. First of all, North Dakota did not win that regional, the Gophers did. Second, UND beat Western Michigan in the opening game.
          Completely agree on avoiding the terrible atmospheres that seem to plague the Midwest regionals whether it be Grand Rapids, Toledo, Cincy, etc…

          • Sorry, once BU loses, I just root for good games. Thanks for correcting my mistake and with class. Minnesota was a fun team that year, looks like BU this year, minus having an Eichel.
            I know that the gates at some of the Northeast and East venues may seem smaller than Midwest, but the crowds are lively, as far as I can tell. They were INSANE when I was going to the Centrum, now called the DCU in Worcester.

        • Excellent reference … BC got kicked out west because UNH was a 4-seed, and a host. BC got clobbered by Jaden Schwartz and Colorado (probably Muse’s worst NCAA game, ever!). Yale was #1, ND #2, BC as the #3 was moved from NE to W regional; instead of swapping BC and Yale.

          • The Yale/UNH host combination is a fun one to reconcile when both make the tournament. Funny that Yale won its NCAA when it was not a host and had to go into the proverbial lion’s den.
            As for teams meeting in regional finals, I have seen BU play a lot of Hockey East teams in regional finals before Frozen Fours. Sometimes because BU was host at Worcester, before Holy Cross made DCU change the rules about hosting being limited to a school in the city limits.

    • Out west? I wouldn’t really call going to Michigan going “out west.” And how many times has BC had to fly somewhere in the past 10-15 years? I believe the answer is twice….and what happened both time? First round loss. The NC$$ coddles teams. Especially east coast.

      • I mean “out west” relatively speaking. And I think, to be fair, BC has traveled so little because they’re usually a top seed. But I also watched them get thumped in Providence two years ago (which I thoroughly enjoyed), so sometimes if you’re just not that good, it will all come out in the wash no matter where you play.

        • “relatively speaking” what, you mean anything more then a 10 minute drive from your house is playing “out west” Typical east coast

          • I believe he meant AHA, HE, and ECAC are considered East and Big 10, NCHC, and WCHA are considered West. Typical Gopher or No Name…

          • look at a geographic distribution of Division I hockey schools and tell me Michigan is in the eastern half of that, I dare you.

          • It’s only surprising if you have no idea where the time zone line is.
            It’s also wholly irrelevant in this case.

          • Michigan, MSU, etc. are “Western” schools, just thought it was interesting they played in the same time zone as Eastern schools

          • To follow up, there are 59 D-I schools right now. The longitudinal median of these 59 schools is Penn State (29 are to the west and 29 are to the east). So yes, Michigan schools are in “the west” of college hockey.

  13. I’m not sure if this has been covered in previous bracketology articles but I would think the committee would look to avoid a potential frozen four that occurred in 2005 when 4 teams from the WCHA made up the entire frozen four field. With the brackets here and from the previous week that situation would be possible again with the six teams in the NCHC placed the way they are currently placed.

    • If St. Cloud stays in, they will have no way of avoiding an NCHC team in each regional. Right now there are 3 NCHC teams in 2nd band. Not even NC$$ selection committee can find way to put them in same regionals.

      • Oh they will avoid it at all cost. 3 in one regional (first round intra-conference matchup), 2 in another regional, and the last in a third regional, leaving the 4th with no nchc teams. You could put money on it if the nchc has 6 teams that will get in.

    • I am not sure which it is supposed to be. A possible all NCHC Frozen Four or coddling the eastern schools. So many conspiracy theories.
      The best Hockey East team typically plays in the Northeast regional to get as much attendance as possible. Just think what happens if UNH wins the HE tournament and HAS to be placed in Manchester as a fourth band team. That regional probably has BU as a second band team because they did not win the conference tournament. Followed by howling from the NCHC team’s fans that got placed there. Little do they know how much UNH struggles in Manchester.

  14. What better way to prove your theory of “Hockey east being the SEC of college hockey” then to give them the cupcake regional year after year? I hope your guess at regionals is not considered by the people that place these! Because….what a flippin joke! Make the most difficult region happen to the overall #1 team!

    • Technically, Jayson Moy (author of this article) is not the one who made the SEC of hockey argument, but I get what you’re saying. If this was the final PWR, chances are the regionals would look like this. Moy hasn’t been wrong in a while.
      Personally, I could see the committee making all these switches, but leaving BC in Fargo with hopes of another UND-BC clash in the regional final. Who knows though.

      • I think he could well be wrong this year because of how stupid having Manchester and Providence regionals in the same year is.

        • Completely agree. I will be interested to see if he keeps his streak intact if 6 NCHC teams make it and the imbalance of western schools remain. In years past, it’s been pretty easy to predict what the committee would do. This year there will likely be more decisions on who to move where, which could shake things up a bit.

  15. I do agree that “bracket integrity” is a sham if you’re moving teams around for attendance purposes. But I think people need to detach themselves from the pairwise “rank” a bit. Unless you believe the pairwise is a perfect mathematical formula for ranking teams; the reality is a snapshot is taken from this “algorithm” at one day of the year; every other day this looks different. I’m just saying don’t get so caught up in “why is the lowest 1 seed playing the lowest 2 seed?”
    Just my opinion, but I’d much rather have Michigan Tech in my bracket than Omaha (or BC). Haha, no offense Tech!

    • “Every other day” it does not look different. Pairwise “changes” after each game, due to RPI adjustment. The only thing the committee “has” to abide by is the banding.

    • A #5 ranking for a team that needed three OTs to score one goal against Alabama-Huntsville does seem suspect.
      But as is frequently pointed out and frequently disregarded, the PWR is not a ranking system, it’s an attempt to model the selection process. The system is quite simple: it compares each team against every other team in three categories: RPI, record vs. common opponents, and head-to-head. Teams get one comparison point each for RPI and common opponents wins, and one comparison point for each head-to-head win. The team with the most comparison points gets the PWR point.
      In practice there is little difference between the PWR ranking and RPI, usually only one or two positions. An exception this year is Vermont, 16th in RPI but 19th in PWR (still only a three-place difference), due to losing the head-to-head comparisons with #33 Notre Dame (0-1-1) and #30 Penn State (0-1-0). Wins instead of loses against these teams would have given UVM two more PWR points.

  16. Just move the #3 band… QU goes to E, St. Cloud goes to NE, BG goes to MW. Hilarious… It’s all going to change (and quite drasticly) again anyway.

  17. New Idea: Since bracket integrity is obviously the last criteria, why not just take top 8 from the east and put them on one side of the bracket and do the same with the west. Then the NCAA can get the East west final they want.

  18. I really thought I knew what Jayson would do this week.
    The UM-Harvard swap was obvious. I thought the next move would be very simple;
    move StCloud to NE, move BG to West and BC to East. This would leave Quinn and RM in the west while keeping the UNO out west.
    I completely disagree with the NE bracket as it stands as it seems to bash the very reasoning of a 1-16 ranked playoff system.
    I know it was said earlier, but if the NCAA wants a Eat-West final, they need to reconsider the process. They do not move matchups around in the NCAA Basketball tournament to insure that lower seeds play at home. I know that attendance(atmosphere) is nice, but you are essentially penalizing teams with great seasons to accomodate the atmosphere of lower seeded teams.

  19. You said there was only one intra-conference first-round matchup (SCSU vs UMD), but there was another one in the initial seeding as well (MTU vs BGSU). It’s kind of a moot point because the rejiggering you did broke both of those matchups, though.

    • Thats why the simple solution was to swap StCloud with BG with BC and swapping Harvard and UM. It would have kept most of the bracket in tact while “shifting” 2 east teams back east. I don’t see any need to move Quinn.

      • To me, it makes way more sense to leave BC-UNO in Fargo and make the SCSU, BG, QU moves or to do it exactly how Moy did it. Quinnipiac would draw reasonably well in Prov. and BG would bring more fans to South Bend. BC would bring fans to either eastern regional, but I think Manchester should be just fine with BU and Harvard there. Just my 2 cents though.
        I’m also guessing it was just a coincidence that your suggestions would conveniently leave UND with the lowest seeded teams in the 2, 3, and 4 bands?

        • My suggestion above was only going to change BC with BG. You are already having the lowest 2 abd 4 banded teams,…thats how the system naturally works. I just don’t see the point of moving UNO out east giving BC a “closer to home” advantage over UNO.

  20. Honestly, the only eastern teams in the tournament right now that will help attendance much are BU and BC. Quinnipiac was in Bridgeport a few years ago and the place was half empty. They’re not going to help much in Providence. As for Harvard, they don’t travel well to the Beanpot (most fans rooting for Harvard are actually rooting against their opponent), so they’re not going to come en masse to Providence or Manchester. The key for attendance is getting BC to Providence, and that can’t be done without having an NCHC matchup in the first round.

  21. I’m just happy to be in the dance at this point, considering how poorly my squad played for a long time. I have tons of respect for all the teams in my region but this looks about as good as it could. Bring on the Mavericks!

  22. Maybe they need to worry a little less about attendance and worry a little more about the match-ups the teams have earned. Yeah…I know attendance is important. Revenue is important. Etc., etc… I get it.
    But…
    If the Northeast can’t even sell out a regional final with two teams less than an hour from the arena, what’s the point?
    Last year’s Northeast regional FINAL had Lowell and BC – both less than 60 minutes from Worcester.
    Wikipedia says the DCU Center can hold up to 12,000 for hockey.
    The attendance for the championship game?
    5,474.

    • This is a marketing issue. We go through this every year. Hockey East playoffs do great at TD Garden, where they can sell beer and use the same rink set up as the Bruins. They do not have to take up the ice and remove all the advertising, include the Bruins logo. Five days later, the regionals are played during a lot of spring break. Hockey East and other conference finals are destination games you can plan in December, unless your team collapses or upsets higher ranked schools.
      The Frozen Four is destination, many people make that their annual vacation. Also, the fans have two weeks to make their plans and the event is big, even in cities like Boston or Minneapolis.
      The regionals also face competition from the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, drawing people away, as well as many schools on break. Not every school is North Dakota, with a huge traveling fan section. As a BU alum, I respect how the UND fans come out to support the team. But a lot of schools are small and play in smaller home rinks for a reason.

    • I didn’t go because the ticket prices for Worcester were extremely high, despite being a Lowell alum who lives in Boston. Tickets were over $100 with the “convenience” fees. Get a grip, NCAA.

      • If you think ticket prices were “high” for Worcester you really have no idea how bad it can be. In 2007 we had to buy 4 tickets to the Regional at Pepsi Center just to be “eligible” to buy 2 tickets for the FF there next year. The NC$$ cares nothing about the sport, only how much profit they can consume from the fans.

  23. I say a way to set up the tourney would be to keep the 16 teams but get rid of two week conference tourneys and have the 1 and 2 teams from each conference’s regular season standings have a best of 3 series to decide post season champs, kind of like college football, and at large bids then use the extra week to have each match up in the tourney be a best of 3 series at the higher seeds home rink 1 vs 16 2 vs 15 etc it will keep bracket integrity have 3 best of 3 series each weekend and then have the championship at a neutral nhl rink (Another best of 3 series) …then the best teams will get weeded out, more games to make the nc$$Supper plans? their money and better atmospheres! Everyone wins!

  24. The Denver v. Miami NCHC semifinal loser will probably end up with the better NCAA draw. Being the 3rd highest seeded NCHC team probably keeps them in South Bend and away from a Eastern death draw.

    • Providence, as it now stands, is far from an Eastern death draw. If Afterfurtherreview is correct, and I certainly believe him, the only real fan support will come from Quinnipiac. I realize things will change next week, but if DU loses Jayson has consistently put them in Fargo. IMHO, that would be a very tough regional, or death draw. The only reason they cannot be sent to Fargo now, is that they are in the same “band” as UND.

  25. Jason – with all the 2nd band seeds from the West, why should the 5/6 seeds to go East by default? Wouldn’t they rather stay closer to home vs. face lower seeded second round opponents out East? You could send Miami and Omaha east and reward Duluth and MTU by keeping them home

  26. UND is overrated. They are not better than Mankato State, much less Minnesota. Put Minnesota, UND and Mankato in the same bracket and let them fight it out.

    • Really overrated? How are you getting that? They played a harder schedule than either Mankato State or MN and have as good as (Mankato) and a better record (than MN).
      Hey people named Peter are stupid. See I can just make crap up too. How about coming with something other than your opinion. And I would be fine with that bracket because I know UND is coming out of that one.

  27. It would be garbage if Denver was made to play a road game against Providence in the first round. That should be BU’s game as the lowest #1 seed. Would also help attendance as you don’t need BU and BC in the same regional.

  28. Making Michigan Tech move from the Northeast to the West essentially drops them from being the #5 seed to being the #8 seed. Completely unfair.

  29. bracketology haha.
    get off your high horse. anyone can win. UND loses. Quinnipiac loses. look for St. Lawrence to come out of nowhere with a good offense and a hot goalie to take it all. Watch and enjoy. Even if St. Lawrence loses, too.

  30. Interesting to note that if the KRACH was used, Bowling Green and Lowell would have made it while Yale and Providence would not. Irrelevant, but interesting none the less.

  31. While Moy’s picks weren’t perfect, no one’s are, but Moy’s seem better than what panned out today, at least in the NE and E regionals.
    According to what I can find online, the first games of the NE regionals will be played on Friday at 2 (!) and 5:30EST. Let’s hope the Hockey East fans who traveled to the Garden on last Friday (and missed work to do so) have understanding bosses if they’re heading to ManchVegas…more missed workday, and less than copacetic unless you’re just coming up 93 North. I don’t recall the games being scheduled that early, ever.
    And as epic as the dueling MN battle will be, for attendance purposes–if that even matters anymore–a BU/BC battle would have drawn more bodies…as would the placement of UML, re. Brian’s post. I predict lots of empty seats in Manchester, and can’t blame the fans from out west who are budgeting time and money for the Frozen Four. Seems like even the local fans who want to travel to see live hockey are slowly being pushed out of the experience in favor of expanded TV coverage.

    • Did I miss something or was PC not already IN when the HEA tourney began. Lowell had to play themselves in and didn’t quite get there! Why is PC being IN a problem?

    • It almost smells like the committee tried to spite Moy’s perfect track record of logical selections. Seems to be some inconsistent and erratic placements, and the same swaps that keep coming up make sense to me. I think a lot of fans commenting here know the criteria better than the actual committee, and that’s not a joke. Also, how is the selection commitee selected? Two current/active head coaches? Seems strange

      • For the Record, Moy was never perfect when it comes to picking the actual brackets, he’s been wrong many times before. What he has been perfect at is picking the NCAA field, which basically means he can read the top 16 of the pairwise. It just gets worded in his bio like that’s something we should be impressed by.

        • If that’s the case then everyone would be perfect at picking the field. After Saturday’s games, it was clear cut who was in and who was out.

          • Yes, that’s exactly my point. Moy’s record of perfection is something that everyone can do. He and USCHO just a nice job of using it as a marketing tool, that does fool some people into incorrectly thinking that Moy has been perfect with his bracket predictions.

  32. Jason, your picks made more sense than the committee’s final picks. Many people who read your column appreciate your hard work and spot on analysis. Thank you.

  33. Thank you BU and the team that beat Colgate. 2 seasons ago it took the help of Notre Dame to get Eli in the dance. Can history be realigned by the hockey Gods? Dear Hockey Gods…we thank you for this opportunity, we humbly ask that we may have one more chance at the ugly redish colored team in the National Championship…thanks…and oh..for GOD, for country, and for Yale!

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