Hockey East picks: Oct. 24-25

Jim beat me by a game in week one and then by another in week two.  Apparently by the start of the playoffs, he’ll be ahead of me by 21 games.

Dave last week: 12-4-1
Jim last week: 13-3-1
Dave’s record-to-date: 19-10-2
Jim’s record-to-date: 21-8-2

Here are this week’s picks:

Friday, Oct. 24

Colorado College at Boston College 
Dave’s pick: Not all .500 clubs are created equal. Give me the Eagles.
BC 4, CC2
Jim’s pick: Colorado College is in a true rebuilding year. And the Eagles are licking their collective chops.
BC 5, CC 1

Alaska-Anchorage at Maine
Dave’s pick: It’s revenge time for the Maine-iacs. At home they’ll fare much better than on their trip to the frozen tundra.
UM 4 UAA 2
Jim’s pick: The Alaska teams enter this weekend a combined 7-0-1. I know the road can cause havoc, but after picking Maine to open last weekend, I think I’ll go with the Seawolves here.
UAA 3, UM 2

Merrimack at Mercyhurst
Dave’s pick: I may be a Hockey East snob and Merrimack is undefeated, but I think the Warriors are in for a tough time on Mercyhurst ice.
MU 3 MC 2
Jim’s pick: I may be as big of a Mercyhurst and Rick Gotkin fan as there is outside of Atlantic Hockey, but I think Merrimack has enough fire power to win these road games.
MC 3, MU 2

Michigan at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: When it comes to the River Hawks, cue up The Monkees and “I’m A Believer.”  (Young ‘uns can Google that reference.)
UML 3 UM 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I am a believer, too. And though I think Friday is a tough matchup, if Lowell gets good goaltending, they win on home ice.
UML 4, UM 2

Michigan State at Boston University 
Dave’s pick: In his only league game, phenom freshman Jack Eichel scored twice and assisted on two others. In two exhibitions, he’s averaged four points. I’m picking Eichel himself to outscore Michigan State.
BU 4 (and Eichel 2), MSU 1
Jim’s pick: I like BU here but think this game may be a lot closer than Dave believes.
BU 4, MSU 3

Niagara at Notre Dame 
Dave’s pick: This is game five in Notre Dame’s opening slate of eight, count ’em, eight home games. But regardless of the venue, I’d take the Irish over winless Niagara, which has been outscored 22-6.
UND 6, NU 2
Jim’s pick: Agree with Dave. On paper this is an easy weekend for Notre Dame. Let’s hope it translates to the ice.
UND 5, NU 2

Providence at North Dakota
Dave’s pick: This battle of heavyweights — the fifth-ranked Friars against third-ranked North Dakota — comes down to home cooking.
UND 3, PC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: What a tough game to pick early in the season. I, too, go with home ice in this one.
UND 4, PC 3

Massachusetts at Northeastern 
Dave’s pick: The Huskies get off the schneid and prove they’re a better team than what they’ve shown so far.
NU 3, UMass 2
Jim’s pick: I’m with Dave on this one.
NU 3, UMass 2 

Saturday, Oct. 25

Connecticut at Vermont 
Dave’s pick: Considering UConn’s upset of Quinnipiac, this will be a closer game than expected, but the Catamounts will maintain their unsullied record.
UVM 4, UConn 2
Jim’s pick: Vermont is a better team than most still give them credit for being.
UVM 5, UConn 2

Massachusetts at Boston College
Dave’s pick: This one ain’t gonna be pretty.
BC 5, UMass 1
Jim’s pick: I actually bet on this one being close. But BC will still win.
BC 3, UMass 1

Michigan at Boston University
Dave’s pick: On neutral ice, I’d definitely go with the Wolverines. And I’m this close to picking them at Agganis as well. But I’m going with the home ice advantage.
BU 4, UM 3 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Sorry, Dave. It’s hard to believe that Michigan will leave this trip without a win.
UM 3, BU 2

Alaska-Anchorage at Maine
Dave’s pick: The Black Bears avoid early-season panic in the streets with an Alfond sweep.
UM 3 UAA 2
Jim’s pick: This weekend should be a split. But Maine needs to prove something to me before I pick them again, even at home.
UAA 3, UM 2

Merrimack at Mercyhurst 
Dave’s pick: The percentage play is to pick a split, and I suspect Jim will and, just like last week, he’ll call it the right way. But I think the venue proves decisive.
MU 3 MC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: Dave is incorrect. I’m going with a Merrimack sweep. 5-0 for the Warriors, even if the opposition isn’t PairWise boosting.
MC 4, MU 2

Niagara at Notre Dame 
Dave’s pick: Niagara won’t get off the schneid this weekend.
UND 4, NU 1
Jim’s pick: Again, this should be the easiest series of the weekend to pick. Let’s hope I’m right.
UND 5, NU 2

Michigan State at Massachusetts-Lowell
Dave’s pick: The River Hawks remain undefeated.
UML 5, MSU 2
Jim’s pick: Lowell’s offense keeps chugging along and the record at the end of the weekend will warrant significant attention.
UML 4, MSU 2

Colorado College at New Hampshire
Dave’s pick: In their first home game, the Wildcats get back to .500.
UNH 4, CC2
Jim’s pick: Tough weekend out east for the Tigers. UNH cruises at home.
UNH 6, CC 2

Providence at North Dakota
Dave’s pick: Call me a Hockey East traitor, but I just think home ice prevails. On neutral ice, it would be a different story.
UND 3, PC 2 (OT)
Jim’s pick: I don’t like picking against Hockey East this much, but I just have some concerns about facing North Dakota this early in the year.
UND 2, PC 1

 

225 COMMENTS

  1. Last year Michigan didn’t take the broncos seriously and they lost 5-2. I can only hope Miami does the same. Much as I’d like to see BG do well, I don’t want to see them get the AQ bid since that would likely boot WMU or MSU from the tourney. (I don’t see Northern making it either way, sorry.)

    GO BRONCOS!!!

    • WMU blows by miami, and Michigan squeaks by Bowling Green. Not to discredit Bowling green at all, but the final might be a more interesting game than you think.  

      • It might be interesting, but I doubt it will be better. 2 OT’s is a heck of a game. BG and Michigan are both going to be tired today though. 3 MAC schools and one Big Ten school in the CCHA Finals with 2 Big Ten schools not making it. Maybe the MAC needs to start their own hockey conference?

  2. Congrats to Western, heck of a game.  And oh how I love to see Miami eat crow.  Looking forward to a great final tomorrow!

  3. The Broncos had their lineup ready tonight…once again as I suggested ..containing Smith was the key…just what ..one goal…too many WMU players can score..I expect a closer game tomorrow…probably within a goal or two.. but getting that Miami monkey/redhawk off their back must feel awfullly good going into the game on Saturday…

    Go Broncos..time to clinch the CCHA and get ready for the tournament

  4. Please send out a all police bulletin.MIAMIU2010 is missing.He is probably in hiding,but please let’s find him.OHIO TEAMS,DONE.

  5. Why is it taking you so long to acknowledge Western Michigan’s impressive postseason run Paula? I’m sure if Michigan had won, you would’ve written a lengthy blog entry by now.

  6. Brian, I don’t get the comment like it or not. You also kind of seemed to forget that they’ll play again so it’s not like this is the end. I also think there’s something bigger than the Cleary Cup at stake. Yale represents Quinnipiac’s chance to beat a team that has done well against some of the highest-ranked teams at the time Yale played them. Quinnipiac represents Yale’s last chance of the year to beat a very highly ranked team in the RPI. What it means is this. Quinnipiac is already on the way to an NCAA berth. Yale, with a win tonight, probably gets into the NCAAs on the basis of RPI and PWR. That’s what’s at stake. Moreover, Yale will have to do this without Jeff Malcolm, one of the hottest goalies in the country. Whether or not Andrew Ammon intended to run Malcolm is up in the air, but it is clear that the hit by a mediocre, low-scoring Princeton forward made it necessary for Yale to win one of two games against Quinnipiac if Yale is going to get to the NCAAs.

    • Excellent comments all around. The “like it or not” comment was in reference to Yale’s – or at least head coach Keith Allain’s – general reluctance to admit that the program’s relationship with QU qualifies as a rivalry.

      • Brian, thanks. Didn’t know Allain said anything like that. He doesn’t say very much that’s visible to the average fan. He never seems happy. I think he should welcome the rivalry for a couple of reasons. Pecknold is a good coach and they have a fun team, and a strong rivalry town will attract kids to New Haven. Personally, I can’t understand why a kid will choose Harvard anymore over Yale. Maybe it’s not having things like the Beanpot. Stank for Yale last night to lose Malcolm. You could see the defense last night wasn’t effective at all. There wasn’t a single good first pass by a Yale defenseman and I can’t imagine that they weren’t all affected by Maricic’s play, but there’s no crying in hockey! Trevor, I think Quinnipiac might be that school, and definitely might be those fans, but there’s no local kid on the team except #19 from Windsor, who was awesome. That is an unlikely team — they have kids from Holland, Arizona,

    • Quinny can piece together a better hockey team than Yale,
      but they will never be rivals of Yale. Quinny has lower admissions standards – much easier to recruit four
      lines in that environment. Yale’s rivals will always be Harvard and Cornell, regardless of whether Quinny has a better
      team. Quinny does not belong in the ECAC. Perhaps the Hockey East. Quinny used to be a school for gearheads and
      burnouts from Hamden and greater New Haven.

    • Leggs, I don’t remember Union. Oh yeah, the preseason favorite that went about 0-10 against weak teams to become irrelevant in hockey. And compared to the Ivies, well, we know where they stand academically. You still the bouncer at Shenanigans?

      • No Sleepy, I OWN Shenanigans.
        At least we don’t have students who murder people with their keg filled truck and then get sentenced to “community service”. Ha, what a joke. Daddy pull some strings?

        • Dude you sound like Iran and their space monkey. Just fighting for some airtime and attention. let the other big boys take care of things, okay? And pretty soon things will be back to normal and you’ll be losing to the Engineers every game. And Colgate will be better. And Cornell and St. Lawrence and Clarkson. And RIT and pretty soon after that every team in New York. Guaranteeing two losses on the road this weekend. Enjoy Potsdam. sorry I didn’t tip your wife at Nitemoves

          • A “guarantee” from a guy who gets Golden Showers? Yeah, right.
            And hey, YOUR wife wasn’t so good last night.

          • dude you got smacked around and humiliated. Tech will beat Onion next weekend. Take a look at the movie Friday and Chris Tucker’s line. You got knocked . . . .

    • Hey pal, no comments? Told you we would win and you guys can lose again tonight. Bwahahahahaha. Anybody decommitting for next year?

  7. Uhhhhhhh how does CC or the Badgers not get in…do they both lose tomorrow in the same game or what. seems like WMU is out

  8. western is out of the tourney at 15 in PW, upsets abound, Union may need to win to get in, BU still alive, and we havn’t even started the CCHA yet. It is still possible for 5 bubble busters to get in

  9. I guess we just switch the WCHA for WMU, but c’mon that’s not exactly rocket science probably shouldn’t have been missed. the rest looks good though

  10. WMU is out. Great example of why you need to take care of business when you have the opportunity. Western still had a pretty decent shot heading into today and every single game they needed went the other way. Huge thanks to our seniors, they had a tremendous impact on the program and will be missed. I wish them all the best! Go Broncos!

    • sorry my friend, my beloved gophers, seemed to not care about tonight’s game, I don’t know if Western can still climb in PW, but if they stay 15, they’re out.. 14 and 13 in jeopardy as well

  11. Let’s face it guys, all these teams that are all of a sudden on the bubble (ie: St Cloud, Niagara, WMU, Minnesota St., etc.) blew it. They all played themselves out one way or another during the last two weeks. Case in point, Western Michigan pulled a royal choke job against a Michigan team that was horrible all year. And RPI lost two at home to lower-seeded Brown. If your team didn’t do well against the TUC’s and out of conference, you have no gripe. The problem isn’t the Pairwise, the problem (especially this year) is teams winning an automatic bid that wouldn’t make the tournament otherwise. This year, we could have 2 or 3.

    Crowley here sites the next logical move, especially with another (BigTen) conference auto-bid on the way… Expand to 20 teams, adding a 4-5 play-in to each region.

    It all comes down to numbers to the NCAA. Unless the sport continues to expand… more tournament slots will not be added. Remember how long it took us to get from 12 to 16?. So don’t hold your breath.

    • Fair enough.
      Mankato and SCSU could both have won at least one more game at the end, and a few more games earlier in the season.

    • Try that argument with the NCAA and see how far it gets you. With their rules as regards number of teams competing and post-season slots, DI hockey is closer to having the championship contract than expand.

      And the powers that be would laugh there heads off with the argument of “with another (BigTen) conference auto-bid on the way”. When they get done laughing, they will remind you that the CCHA auto-bid goes away with the conference.

      • No argument with your NCAA analysis Joe, but there is an additional autobid next year: losing the CCHA but adding BTHC and NCHC

      • Don’t understand what your questioning? I said his logic made sense… I didn’t say the NCAA would approve of it! 27% of the sport is already in the tournament. Unless another 8-10 teams jump into the mix, that percentage won’t hold.

  12. As a St. Cloud fan, I think our clearest path in is if CC wins. Every scenario I tried with CC winning had us high enough to be safe. Ridiculous. I think the auto bids need to be fixed. Just think, Miami, Qunin, Minny could all tank their tournaments on purpose to rest their players, and let weeker teams get their auto bid to water down the field.

    • Ha! At first glance, I thought your username was Rylan Schwartz.

      But, in reply to your comment, no team would ever intentionally “tank” its tournament just to rest for an extra day or two.

      Unintentional tanking, though, a la Minny, Quinny, and BC certainly does make it hard for the teams in the middle of the pack.

      • Plus they only play 2 games a week, and if they’re a higher seed, they’ve just spent the better part of the last month at home. How much rest do they really need?

        Just sounds like sour grapes to me.

      • BC tanking does absolutely nothing for BU. BU must still win to get in. I would also remind you of how close hockey east was this year. The top 4 teams have shown they can all beat each other.

    • If you really think this is the thought process of any NCAA coach, I’ve got some swapland in Florida that’s just itching for a buyer.

      • You think Quinny and Minny both getting shut out for the first time all season to unranked teams in their conference tourneys with #1 seeds wrapped up sounds right to you? I’m not saying its the coach, I’m saying its the players just going through the motions not caring about the conference tourney that means nothing to them. Also, please name another sport where a division/conference champion doesn’t get a shot at the title? It worked out in the end, but shouldn’t have been a question the minute SCSU won the WCHA regular season.

        • Well as for Quinny, i can’t really talk about their semifinal, but yesterday they beat Yale 3-0 in a THIRD PLACE GAME. If any game meant nothing to Quinny, it would be the third place game of their conference tournament. They’d already locked up the #1 overall seed, and Yale had something to play for. And Quinny beat them 3-0. Given I didn’t see the game, but based on the scoreline, that doesn’t sound like a team that’s quitting. As for Minnesota, they didn’t play their greatest against CC, but they also ran into an extremely hot goalie. Howe is a very streaky goalie, and he tends to get hot during the postseason. Again, I only listened to this game, but it sounded like Minnesota would have easily won if Howe hadn’t stood on his head. I don’t think any player wants to purposefully lose, and every team wants to go into the NCAA’s on a winning streak.

    • Are you kidding me? BC tanked it’s game last night so BU could get in as a fourth conference bid? Likewise, Minn. vs CC? Or Miami vs Michigan in conference that won’t exist anymore? Don’t think so!

      • No way any of the top teams tank the tournament. #1 seed is so important. The only team I could see tanking is Niagara to get a 2nd AHA team in.

      • No I’m not kidding you. Quinny and Minny both get shut out for the first time all season to unranked teams in their conference tourneys with #1 seeds wrapped up. You gotta be shitting me that they played the conference tourney like it meant something.

  13. It’s obvious a lot of people don’t understand the Pairwise system. It’s not official but it’s an historically VERY accurate predictor for who will make the NCAA tournament and at what seed. It’s weaknesses have been particularly exposed this year – look no further than Quinnipiac at No. 1 overall. Same overall record as the Rodents (that’s Minnesota for the uneducated) yet plays in the universally agreed weakest conference (AHA) as opposed to a much stronger conference (WCHA). We’ll see what happens in the tournament but no objective person can really believe Quinnipiac is better than Minnesota. Athought what’s really turning out to wreak havoc this year is the Auto Bid rule. It’s still possible at this writing for five Top-16 teams to be knocked out by non-Top-16 Auto Bids.

      • Quinnipiac also won something like 15 games in a row at one point. Regardless of conference, that’s very impressive, and their loss to Brown shouldn’t really put a damper on what’s been an incredible season. They’re a pretty solid #1 by any metric.

    • Uhhhhh, Sue- Q is in the ECAC, 2nd weakest conference. And they looked pretty good yesterd……..uhhhhhh……..never mind….

    • Doesn’t really matter how good you think the WCHA is because the only thing that really matters is non-conference record. The WCHA was .580 and the ECAC was .565. In most years the WCHA or Hockey East would be much stronger and hold all/most of the cards.

  14. If anyone can explain how yesterday’s results led to this morning’s rankings and do it with a straight face, more power to you. This system is asinine.

      • The Pairwise is miles ahead of the BCS and is pretty accurate for the most part except for a few occasional outliers (Niagara)

      • Agreed. So what system is better? Being subjective and allowing personal goals and favoritism to pick and decide teams between the 6-8 teams on the bubble? The conferences and their media have too many homers to be subjective. And the WCHA homer just below supports my point exactly.

    • EVERY game has consequences in the PWR. They all effect strength of schedule, results vs. common opponents, and wins/loses vs. ranked/unranked opponents. That is how teams rise and fall without playing. Pairwise can be criticized for a lot of things but it does not change and treats everyone equally, the same can’t be said for the committee that places teams in the Regionals.

  15. If Michigan or Ohio State wins the CCHA Tournament and BU wins the Hockey East Tournament, all 5 autobids will likely be outside the top 16. That’s crazy.

    • It is crazy! But let’s hope not… No more would-not-be’s please… Although BU wouldn’t be so much of an upset since they spent most of in the year in the top ten.

  16. St. Cloud should get in! Playing in the best conference and winning it and they don’t get in? Yes I said the best conference all you HE fans. Look at who you expect year in and year out to be in the top 20 rankings. MN, WI, North Dakota, Denver, CC, often times Duluth (WCHA), Michigan, michigan state and sometimes Notre Dame and Miami, BC, BU, sometimes New Hampshire. I know that it rubs people the wrong way when “their” conference is seen as inferior, but it is plain to see the wcha is stacked with talent. Since 2000 the WCHA has had 5 teams as National champs and 2 as repeat champs. Only BC, BU and Michigan State have won since that time. Oh and yes, as a BC hater, I will agree that they have been one of the best teams in the past 15 years, but that doesn’t make your conference the best.

    • Whatever conference you’re in hardly matters if you get bounced in the first round of the tournament and play a pisspoor OOC schedule.

      Here’s a novel thought: beat the teams you’re supposed to and it won’t be an issue.

      • Hey idiot – learn to read. I did not argue that. They have been the best, but it doesn’t make their conference the best. Next time read the post before you comment!

    • I, too, am a BC hater. But to describe them as anything but clearly the best team of the past 15 years would be delusional at best.

    • Facts are facts… Consistency-wise, BC has been the best team… then UND, and yes, Michigan. No one else is close in wins, # tournament, # of FF’s, etc. As for the best conference, yes, the WCHA has had more teams in the tournament and put more players in the NHL (that will change next year with the new Big Ten and NCHC ). BUT… We don’t celebrate a D1 Conference National Championship, so who really cares? Only those who feel the need to have something to brag about, I guess…???

    • Really Hockey Head. You then resort to name calling. Wow. And you left UMaine out of the HEA discussion. I love College Hockey. I am an HEA alum but truly enjoy how the WCHA plays hockey. Why is it we can not enjoy that fact without calling someone an idiot. And 4/5 don’t lie in Nat Championships. Minn got their asses handed to them in Tampa last year. I was there like I am every year. Ferris State and Union were both better defensive teams than Minn. So come tourney time defense plays a larger role in the game. I also love UMD from WCHA. They get disrespected by that conference and state but they put it together and win the only WCHA Nat Champ in last 7 years. Trust me – We HEA fans cheered for Daluth that year. We like Jack C. b/c they played tough/gritty hockey that it takes to win. And keep putting down ECAC. Union and Quinipiac have size, experience, and great goaltending. Do these formulas start to sound similar. I absolutely love the talent in WCHA. But the weakness of the conference is tight D and great goaltending. It’s a league of skill players and puck moving and great skating defenseman. It’s surely fun to watch but NCAA hockey is about tight checking, 3 zones and the best goaltenders. That is clearly HEA, CCHA and lesser extent ECAC and until proven differently that us why we have braging rights. I digress…..b/c I am not shitting on the WCHA. The talent is clearly the best and probably a more entertaining brand of hockey to watch during cold weekends in Feb. You just can’t ignore facts either.

  17. As a SCSU fan…that attended yesterdays game…my fear was that we NEEDED to win this to get into NCAA. It sure doesn’t seem fair given the fact that we beat Denver 3xs, NoDak 2xs, MSM 2xs, and split with the Gophs…..all teams that will get into the NCAA, (I’m assuming MSM will make it ahead of us)
    Kudos to CC for their great run they have going (a team we also beat 3xs), but to give priority via auto bids to a Tourney winner, as opposed to a Conference winner, seems a bit messed up.
    I would gladly take the #16 spot and play Quinni, than to have our season come to an end right now!!!

    • If SCSU get in it will be as a 13-14 seed. Your fate depends on how the HE, ECAC and CCHA tourneys are decided. All you had to do was win Friday’s game to cement your bid. Any team that goes 3-5 out of conference, with 2 wins vs. Alabama-Huntsville should not complain about how the are ranked in Pairwise. With SCSU playing 6 of their non-conference games at home, having that lousy record is inexusable. I can see losing 2x to UNH , but going 1-4 against RPI and Northern Michigan (all at home) is less than inspiring. I root for all WCHA teams and agree that CC deserves credit, expecially Joe Howe’s play.

    • This is like the perfect storm. Having a team as good as SCSU potentially not make the tourney is crazy. I honestly don’t know how to fix it or make the PWR system better… because the dialogue on here has made a lot of good points on how hard it is to make it better and still be objective… but to have 3-5 non-conf schedule overrule such a great conference record… man, that would be a bitter pill to swallow for SCSU fans

      • The KRACH used to be championed as a replacement and I don’t know why that stopped. Maybe just too much pain from beating our heads against the wall that is the NCAA? A much better system as the rankings are calculated directly from the win-loss records. At least if you win you hold place or move up and if you lose you hold place or move down. Can’t say that for the PWR.

        I think KRACH would be even more accurate as a national measure if there was more interconference play. Hoping that is a consequence of smaller conferences next year, BTHC should only have 20 league games so more opportunities for non-conference games. NCHC with only eight teams should be similar.

        USCHO doesn’t link the KRACH directly from the ‘Rankings’ tab anymore but the link is on the right side when you’re viewing PWR. Somewhere near the bottom I believe there is a link to the explanation for those who don’t know about KRACH…

        • That is pretty interesting, I hadn’t really read up or understood this one. “… KRACH, unlike many ratings (including RPI) cannot easily be distorted by teams with strong records against weak opposition”
          Good call Jeff

    • Things might turn out good for SCSU, which I am rooting for. Like I said, I would love to see as many WCHA teams get in. Watching the Notre Dame/OSU game, looks good for ND winning 2-1 with 3 minutes left, and outplaying OSU. If that holds up and Miami beats Michigan it would bode extremely well for St. Cloud.

    • Sorry but you have to win to get in the tournament. Your team may get in but if they do not it will be because they should have won at least 1 more game.

  18. Happy to see BU and CC can punch their ticket with wins tonight. Both have great coaches who get the most out of their players. While the pairwise is not always “fair”, it doesn’t mean much if you can find a way to win your conference tourney. I’m not a BU fan but with the way they came back and beat BC last night, only a fool would bet against them.

    • No doubt. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Michigan take the CCHA tourney and sneak into the NCAAs the way they’re playing right now.

  19. This recent craziness shoes me 2 things: 1) get rid of the automatic qualification for conference tourney winners. It’s unfair to have a team do nothing all year then get hot for 4 games and get in, squeezing out other teams that have been consistent all year. Mercyhurst, Canisius, CC, Brown, even Michigan?? Come on, now.
    Why use the pairwise rankings all year just to throw them out when it matters most, at selection time, allowing conf. tourney winning teams with a sub-par pairwise rankings to get in? If you’re going to allow this, the NCAA field has to been expanded.
    2) Enough of teams from bad conferences getting bids, automatic or otherwise (see AHA). These teams wouldn’t win 10 games in Hockey East, WCHA, or CCHA. Things need to be changed. ND to Hockey East next year will just make it worse, squeezing out good teams playing in a better conference for teams in lesser conferences come tourney time.

    • First, they do not “just throw out” the PWR rankings. I guess you are to say when it “matters most”. Pairwise is use through the last game of the conference playoffs. If you didn’t have the automatic qualifiers there would be no need for conference tournaments, that would be great for college hockey, wouldn’t it?? Second, I quess YOU would also determine what conferences are “bad” and what teams deserve to get in. I vote for you as commissioner of the “Total College Hockey World”…

    • This year’s results have just been more of an anomaly that previous years’. It stinks but what can you do? My team would likely be in had the Q and Niagara won their tournament, but they didn’t. I look back at a few games and realize why we are a bubble. We lost some games we should have won. It is that simple. Now we must win to get in.

  20. It’s almost comical that Saint Cloud State, playing in perhaps the strongest conference in all of college hockey, wins a share of the conference championship but might not qualify for the NCAA tournament. Only when the Huskies are involved do things get so convoluted. :)

  21. Damn it we need a hockey nit! Most years other are at least 16 teams with non losing records that don’t make the NCAA’s. Play it at MSG too!
    O

  22. I think the best solution is for the regular season champ and the playoff champ for each league both be automatic qualifiers. The rest be at large. If regular season and playoff champ are the same, then that league only gets one automatic.

    • The leagues each get ONE automatic qualifier in almost every sport. They must meet NCAA rules to field enough teams and play enough games to get the AQ. Beyond that, the leagues have the freedom to chose who gets the AQ. Some, like the Ivy League in basketball, prefer regular season champion. Most prefer a league tournament of one to many games to include two-to-all league members as they see fit.

      This year Hockey East had eight of ten in its tournament, next year, they will have all eleven teams, as posted on their web page. Commissioner Bertagna has been kind enough to come on this site and explain why HE prefers it tournament champion to regular season champion being the AQ. He also explained some mechanics. It was possible for Merrimack to have been regular season champion in Hockey East this year and not have enough In Pairwise to get an at large bid. This is how it is set up. The leagues know it and seem to like it.

  23. Okay, maybe part of what is so irksome about the PWR is not that it’s unfair or unrealistic.
    Maybe it’s just that it gives all games the same weight, from that first day out to the conference semi-final (clearly, the league championship game carries more importance than any other game).

    It seems like late-season play should carry a little more weight than games in early October.
    But, of course, it would be pretty tough to come to consensus on how to implement a system of weighting games according to when they were played.

    • Sorry, PWR counts ALL games including the league championship games. Why do you think it only goes through the semi-finals??

      • I know that all the games count equally.
        And I understand that the NCAA auto-bids are not related to the PWR. Ergo, winning the league tourney gets you in the NCAAs, but doesn’t change your PWR status any more than any other game.

        I was just making the point that you could lose every game the entire regular season, then, by some miracle, win your league tourney, and you’d make the NCAAs. Yes, you’d have to win the other league playoff games, but without that last one, you wouldn’t make the NCAAs.
        So that one last game counts for more than the entire season.

        • I think it is a great leap of faith, and reality, to think a team in any league could lose every game and win their playoffs. Even though, I concede anything is possible, it is more than unlikely. Also, your statement the “one last game counts for more than the entire season” pertains to every team that makes the NCAA tournament. Only ONE team in the tournament wins their last game, the Champion. Would you suggest that all leagues do away with their end-of-year tournaments, or have them count for nothing? That is really the only solution to your problem with the auto-bids.

    • If that were the case (later season games counting more) it would always come down to pretty much JUST your conference play. The majority of the non-conference games are played early (up until Christmas tournaments). There is a lot to be said for scheduling and winning a tough non-conference schedule.

  24. I don’t think any team intentionally loses during their conference tourney’s for some ulterior motive. However, I am very glad the Sioux lost to CC. They are not as talented, not as big and do not have the goaltending to win the Broadmoar….. AND…. have a chance to go anywhere in the national tourney. There have been years (1998 for example) where I thought they were the best team in the country. I watched them play BC (who were far more rested) and it was very, very clear BC had a full step on the Sioux. If the Sioux do anything this year….and this is a big IF…..their losing to CC is the best thing that could have happened. Just saying, sometimes winning your designated conference tourney does not necessarily help in the NT.

  25. Why is ND allowed to get away with scheduling 8 straight home games to start the year, and against cupcakes like Lake Superior and Niagara? Is it because of the “brutal” travel schedule they have to endure since joining HEA? That was their choice. If you want to talk about brutal travel schedules, try doing what the Alaskas or UAB do, with no other school within hundreds of miles, and not having the financial backing that ND does, they struggle to get teams to come play against them.

  26. It appears BU played some tough defense this weekend, along with strong goaltending. It also helps not to get outshot 2-1 like last year.

  27. Minny Duluth missing Standler and Mrazova, Northeastern missing Krizlova, Clarkson missing Pezjlova, Yale missing Staenz and RPI missing Hansen due to Olympic qualifying could effect the outcome of all these weekend games.

    Having to play #1 Wisconsin and get a victory is hard enough with Standler and Mrazova, without them is going to be impossible.

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