What a difference a game makes

Friday afternoon, we were discussing among the USCHO staff what one game that evening would have the greatest impact on the PairWise Rankings. We zeroed in on Merrimack at New Hampshire.

Why? That contest got the Warriors to 10 games against Teams Under Consideration (TUC) — and that’s the number needed for that criterion to be considered.

Merrimack’s 6-2-2 record against TUC matches favorably against most teams. That was enough to move the Warriors to No. 6 in the PairWise Rankings as of Saturday morning.

But because the TUC does not include head-to-head games against other TUC, that criterion has yet to come into play against Boston College and UNH. Merrimack will need its game against UNH on Saturday and two at Maine in two weeks to have enough TUC games for that to figure into head-to-head comparisons with those two Hockey East foes.

Merrimack currently wins PairWise comparisons with North Dakota and Denver. With a strong regular-season finish and success in the Hockey East playoffs, Merrimack could even end up a No. 1 regional seed.