Hockey East picks – Jan. 23-27

Even though I had a pretty crappy week picking games, somehow I gained two games on Dave who had an incredibly crappy week. One game behind with as we head down the home stretch of the season.

Jim last week: 7-5-1
Jim to date: 116-59-17
Dave last week: 5-7-1
Dave to date: 117-58-17

Friday, January 23

Massachusetts at Merrimack
Jim’s pick: If this Merrimack team can score goals, there is no reason they can’t sweep this series. Just not sure how big an “if” that is.
MC 3, UMass 1
Dave’s pick: Not to be harsh, but even though Merrimack might struggle to score at times, I don’t think they’ll struggle against UMass’s porous defense.
MC 4, UMass 2

New Hampshire at Maine
Jim’s pick: you can call me crazy, particularly after Maine beat BC last weekend. But I feel like in a rivalry series you can throw out records. Thats why I’m going with UNH in a close one.
UNH 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: I would have gone with UNH, too, as the hot team until the Wildcats could manage only a split last weekend with UMass. Now, I’m going with home ice.
Maine 3, UNH 2

Notre Dame at Northeastern
Jim’s pick: This one is really tough for me. If Notre Dame can keep having some success on the power play, they win. But in reality this will be a split. And I’m going with Northeastern on night one.
NU 4, ND 2
Dave’s pick: I’m also going with Northeastern here as the Huskies go to 6-1-2 in their last nine.
NU 3, ND 2

Providence at UMass Lowell
Jim’s pick: This feels like another split and being a home-and-home, I’m taking the home team in each.
UML 4, PC 2
Dave’s pick: I’m going with a River Hawks sweep. Both teams are great defensively, but Lowell’s offense is far superior.
UML 3, PC 1

Boston University at Vermont
Jim’s pick: Another one of my “ifs.” If the BU team that beat Lowell on Sunday shows up, BU wins. I’m betting on that.
BU 3, UVM 2
Dave’s pick: I’m concerned that the Catamounts are cooling off.
BU 3, UVM 2

Saturday, January 24

Connecticut at Boston College
Jim’s pick: Yes, UConn beat the Eagles once. But that was a very different Eagles team and at home. Things will be different for Mike Cavanaugh when he returns to Conte Forum.
BC 4, UConn 2
Dave’s pick: The Eagles lost at Alfond last weekend, but that’s their lone L since the start of December.
BC 4, UConn 2

Notre Dame at Northeastern
Jim’s pick: Like I said above, I’m going with a split here. Irish have been a better second night team and that continues.
ND 3, NU 2
Dave’s pick: I’m going with the Huskies to sweep. They’ve been the better team since a horrendous start.
NU 3, ND 2

UMass Lowell at Providence
Jim’s pick: Another split here as Providence redeems itself at Schneider.
PC 4, UML 3
Dave’s pick: Nope. As I mentioned earlier, the River Hawks are the more balanced team. (In Hockey East games, Providence ranks as the best defensive team and the worst offense; Lowell is second in both categories.)
UML 2, PC 1

Merrimack at Massachusetts
Jim’s pick: Even though UMass has been good at home, I just think Merrimack is a cut above.
MC 2, UMass 1
Dave’s pick: Agreed. The Warriors are simply the better team.
MC 3, UMass 2

Maine at New Hampshire
Jim’s pick: This is a bit of a long home-and-home so anything can happen here, but I think UNH gets its train headed back in the right direction this weekend.
UNH 3, Maine 2
Dave’s pick: Agreed, again. Home ice is the deciding factor in this series.
UNH 3, Maine 2

Boston University at Vermont
Jim’s pick: I will admit that I’m tempted to pick a BU sweep here, but I think Vermont can salvage the second game.
UVM 3, BU 2
Dave’s pick: I’m not totally off the Catamounta’ bandwagon, but I’m going with a Terriers sweep.
BU 4, UVM 2

Tuesday, January 27

Merrimack at Connecticut
Jim’s pick: This is probably my upset of the week, but I really believe in this UConn team when it plays in Hartford.
UConn 3, MC 1
Dave’s pick: I’m going with the Huskies, too. It’s a tough call, but the Civic Center has been electric for UConn games and I expect that to continue.
UConn, MC 2 (OT)


  1. MN State sweeps #1 team, are rated #1 in RPI and Pairwise and they only move to #7? Ridiculous…
    Meanwhile teams like the gophers lose an exhibition game to high school kids and they move up? Overrated…

    • You want overrated? These polls are what’s overrated. It is way, way too early to care about rankings, especially when they don’t mean anything right now.

      RE: Minnesota – there’s no value in an exhibition WIN, so there shouldn’t be in an exhibition loss either. Way easier for the young kids to get excited about a game like that than it is for a college team to get excited. Just my $.02 cents!

    • Don’t get stuck on the poll business. I my opinion Tech shoulda never been number 1. But we’ll take the exposure for the school and league. Polls are for fans more than anything… and RPI is not far behind.

      The only time they matter is when the season is over. Don’t sweat it… you got a great team. And if you want the truth, I hope neither MSU or Tech climb above 5… ever. GO WCHA, GO TECH GOLD!

  2. Just like when they played “home” games in Manchester and Portland, UNH will win at Orono, and Maine will win at Durham, disappointing both home fan bases. Again!

  3. Boy is UNH putrid and they didn’t even have a Timmay to set the table. Oh wait, Umile hasn’t won anything either. I hope they keep him forever.

  4. Hi Jim, I’m actually a UM fan, but for you to refer to their record of 3-9 at home as being….GOOD is laughable. Their the worst in H.E. at home. And one of those htree wins came against….A.I.C. But you are correct about their defense.. It is unfortunately HORRENDOUS!

  5. UVM has a chance to move to first with a sweep (doubtful) and make a huge move in the national poll. However coming from a UVM fan I think if they get a split this weekend I’ll be happy!

  6. If Northeastern can sweep this weekend, as Dave predicts, that would be an amazing turnaround for the ages. If they stay out of the penalty box, and play that gritty style game, they can win. They have two of the best in the net right now.

  7. Dave’s pick: I’m going with a River Hawks sweep. Both teams are great defensively, but Lowell’s offense is far superior.
    UML 3, PC 1

    FINAL: UML 3, PC 1 UML 3, PC 7
    Oh well, back to the drawing board, as they say…


    Dave’s pick: Nope. As I mentioned earlier, the River Hawks are the more balanced team. (In Hockey East games, Providence ranks as the best defensive team and the worst offense; Lowell is second in both categories.)
    UML 2, PC 1

    FINAL: UML 2, PC 1 UML 1, PC 4
    Oh well, again, back to the drawing board, as they say…

  8. Here we go again . How is St Cloud at one game over .500 in, while Yale, Harvard, and St Lawrence ( who should be ahead of the other 3) . Every year, the West teams overrated, The ncaa loads them up in the tourney, attendance is shot for regionals. I’ll say what I’ve said the last 2 years, Go ahead and underestimate the ECAC and watch Quinnipiac make a run to the frozen four. Also, St Lawrence has the best freshman goalie in college hockey, so don’t count them out either. Yale and Harvard have the talent, but depth is a question .

      • Agreed, most of the time they put the gophers and north dakota in the same regional to spite them. I wish one time they would put them on opposite sides in hoping for a Gopher – Sue final, that would be exciting to watch!

        • Im with you 100%. The gophers should go to South Bend this year so I have a shot at some tickets. Fargo is too small of a venue for a regional.

    • How uneducated is this guy? “the ncaa loads west teams up in the tourney and attendance is shot for regionals”??? The NCAA has nothing to do with who’s in or who’s out. It’s 100% about the Pairwise. If you think more ECAC teams deserve to be in the field, then guess what, WIN MORE NON-CONFERENCE GAMES. It’s that simple.

      • I’m sorry I’m not as educated as you. I only have an A.A.S. …We went through all this the last 2 years and look what happened. Non conference games in OCT, DEC, and Jan. mean 2 things..1. Jack and 2. Squat. Again, I apologize if my lack of education offends you.. The problem is the pairwise ALWAYS overrates the teams from the west. It’s now how you start in oct., it’s how you finish in March. Look at UNO, they’re free falling as we speak. Right now, BC is starting to play. BU is as talented as any westerern team. Quinn is hitting their stride. 2 of the 3 teams i just mentioned will be in the frozen four..

        • Non-conf games in October, December and January mean more than any other game in your season. You still don’t get it. The Pairwise does not overrate anybody – it’s an unbiased, objective way to rank the teams. Q has a 5-6-1 non-conf record this year. That’s why, despite their 15-2-3 conference record, they are just the #11 overall seed. I’ll gladly take that bet that 2 of those 3 teams won’t make the Frozen 4. Maybe 1. Maybe.

        • How else do you propose we measure conferences against each other if not for non-conference games? Should we ask Jerry and he can tell us who should be in the tournament and who shouldn’t be? We can call the new system the ‘Jerry Rankings’. They will not have any bias whatsoever because the ECAC won the last 2 national championships and that’s all you need to know.

        • Quinnipiac is hitting their stride because they are playing other garbage teams from the EZAC. The method for choosing the teams is known before the season. Quit whining like a baby.

        • I would love to have you make us all understand how Pairwise overrates anybody, anywhere, much less “teams from the west”. How can a statistical model show regional bias when where you are (or, in what conference) has no bearing on, nor, is the basis for the stats used in said model.

        • Well, then perhaps all you wise(-ass) fellows should just ignore anything that happened before Feb. 15 and pick “who’s hot” to play in the NCAA tournament.

          Frankly, I think 8 teams is enough for a national tournament with 59 teams in its division. The other 8 can consider themselves lucky to be playing. Those grousing about missing the top 16 should start an NIT.

    • Has nothing to do with the NCAA.. Goes by the Pairwise … Not just about record. So teams that play weaker schedule (Yale,Harvard) don’t get in.. Look at SOS
      SCSU 2
      Yale 45
      Harvard 17
      St Lawrence 37

      Play a decent schedule and not an issue. I’m not even a SCSU fan.. But they deserve to be in with there schedule.. Thats why Yale, ST L, Harvard are out and they should be..

    • with all due respect, in D-1 college hockey, it comes down to a predicable, mathematical formula, a.k.a the Pairwise rankings. While, the pairwise may not be perfect, it rewards those teams that win games against strong opponents.

        • I’m not going to argue against the PWR as I think it usually does a pretty good job of getting the top teams in. But in some cases a team like Yale seems to be getting pulled down a bit by the rest of the conf and how weak it has been overall. I think that maybe the switch that I see making that would be better would be rather than using RPI, which weights SOS in as a factor, use the common opponents as the tie breaker. Because right now Yale and SCSU are 1-1 in the PWR comparison table and I believe the tie breaker is RPI which is higher for SCSU. To me the truer test of the better team is what they have both done against the same opponents. But I am sure that has been debated and there is a good reason not too but again Yale might very well be one of the top 16 teams in the country and if they played SCSU may well beat them. So not everyone is going to be happy all of the time, just wish there was a way to settle it on the ice more than always with stats.

      • Well, it is true that the formula is predictable, and when you set up your schedule, you face the consequence of a weak schedule when you come tournament time. The only thing that might be a built in bias w/r/t the ECAC is half the league has only 7 out non-conference games. The quality wins bonus in the RPI probably rewards quantity of games scheduled. A .500 team that schedules more games is going to get a larger quality wins bonus over a very good Ivy team. This is more or less how St Cloud’s RPI is better than Yale’s, which is how they would be in and Yale out when you dig into their PWR.
        Except for Harvard, which has the Beanpot and additional local games v. BU and BC, Ivies committed to tournaments, especially tournaments with other Ivies, just aren’t going to rack up many quality wins. This in turn weakens the St Lawrences and the QUs in RPI because of the strength of opponents opponents factor.
        I don’t know a better way of weighting results. The dramatic difference in SOS certainly weighs in St Cloud’s favor and, if they do end up with a better PWR at the end of the season, they deserve the tournament shot. That said, there does seem to be a systemic factor in the formula that works against ECAC teams.

        • the QW bonus is total accumulated bonus divided by total # of games played. So just simply playing more games doesn’t help, unless those games include wins over top 20 RPI teams. SCSU has, in addition to league wins vs teams in the RPI top 10, wins over QU and Minny, which are 10th/11th themselves, so that helps too. And Colgate is just 1 spot away from giving SCSU a QW bump as well. Yale has 2 NC wins that are getting them QW bonus bumps as well, but they’re only ranked 16th and 18th. The only ECAC league team in the top 15 besides Yale is Quinny, but those 2 ties aren’t going to give QW a bump there.

          the systemic factor working against the ECAC is the fact that they went .481 non-conf while NCHC went .671. that diff is gonna build up a lot of RPIs

          • thanks. I have not checked lately, but Yale went something like 4-0-2 against teams that were ranked in the top 20 at the time they were played. 2 QU ties, 2 wins over harvard when ranked, a win over VT, and I think a win over Colgate when ranked.

    • Clearly, your understanding of Pairwise is zero. You just make yourself look like a buffoon by making a comment like this. The reason we have Pairwise in college hockey is so that the process does not get bogged down by the complete (and, false) subjectivity that you espouse in your post.

      Pairwise does not exist to reward or penalize any particular team or any particular conference. The ECAC is currently 46-50-9, out of conference, and is an appalling 6-13-2 against NCHC teams. The only conference the ECAC has a winning record against is AHA, Wow, that’s a big accomplishment. So, too, does EVERY other conference. And, you can’t figure out why the ECAC is suffering in Pairwise and currently only has one team in the field as things stand today? It’s because they’ve stunk relative to almost everyone else this season, that’s why.

      And, what went on in prior seasons has to do with this season, I have absolutely no idea.

      • I’m looking at who the top NCHC teams played out-of-conference this season, and it’s not like they’re playing many of the top teams in other conferences. Furthermore, for the most part (Duluth being a notable exception), NCHC teams’ non-conf schedule seem to be home-heavy.

        With that in mind, I don’t put a ton of stock in those conference-wide W-L records. Not enough of a sample size, and the sample size you do have isn’t evenly distributed.

        • -Duluth played Minnesota 4 times, Mankato twice, and Michigan Tech twice. They had an even split of 4 NC home games, 4 NC road games, and 4 neutral-site NC games.

          -SCSU: Minnesota twice, Quinnipiac twice. Even split of 5-5 home/road NC games.

          -Miami played Bowling Green twice, and St. Lawrence twice. Even split of 4 NC home games, 4 NC road games, and 2 neutral site NC games.

          -Omaha played Mankato twice, @ Cornell twice, and had 6 home NC games and 4 NC road games.

          -CC played @ BC and Providence, and played 3 NC home games and 6 NC road games.

          -Western played a balanced home/road/neutral schedule (3/3/4), including games against Colgate and Notre Dame.

          -Denver played 6 NC home games, 3 NC road games, and 1 neutral site game (home heavy, but barely). They also played BC twice and @ Cornell.

          -UND had the most unbalanced home/road NC schedule (8-3), and the NC schedule was pretty light, but they did play Providence twice.

          So in all, 39 NC home games versus 32 NC road games, and 11 neutral site NC games. Certainly not as “home heavy” as Hockey East and ECAC teams who tend to bulk up their schedule with home games vs AHA teams. (The NCHC played a grand total of 7 games against that conference, against a combined 40 games between the ECAC and HE).

          But keep telling yourself that the NCHC is a fraud because they play a “home-heavy” non-conference schedule against teams not considered “top teams in other conferences.”

          • I’ll weigh-in here with the fact that UNO was unbeaten in non-conference road games this season and “only” 3-2-1 at home against non-conference opponents. The home ice argument certainly does not apply in their case.

          • Wow you care way too much to take the time to look up all the stats like that. I just do not have that kind of time I’m jealous of the amount of free time you have. But I do have 3 kids in hockey so I gotta go.

  9. If six NCHC teams do make the NCAA tournament field there may be some first round matchups between those teams to prevent the possibility of having four teams from the same conference in the Frozen Four. I think the selection committee wants to avoid a recurrence of the 2005 Frozen Four when Denver, Colorado College, Minnesota and North Dakota [all WCHA teams at that time] advanced.

      • I agree that “not one team was there by accident.” In fact, my alma mater–Denver–won the second of its two consecutive titles that year. My point is that I think the selection committee will take steps to see that no conference is permitted to advance four teams to the Frozen Four. I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a repeat of the 2005 Frozen Four scenario again with one conference having all four semi-finalists.

      • The four best teams SHOULD make the Frozen Four. My point is, in the aftermath of the 2005 Frozen Four when all four teams were from the WCHA, the selection committee has adopted the mindset that having all teams in the Frozen Four from the same conference is somehow “bad” for college hockey. Since the 2005 Frozen Four if four or more teams from one conference HAVE made the field the selection committee has placed them in such a manner to ensure all the teams advancing to the Frozen Four would NOT represent the same conference. In short, the selection committee wants a some diversity in the Frozen Four. .

  10. Moy, I disagree. they will protect the 1 seed over the NCHC 1st round matchup. as a perfect 1-16 bracket, why wouldn’t Miami and BGSU be in South Bend (along with Tech an Providence). are they not within driving distance?

    • Because MN State is the top overall seed so they get placed into the bracket that is closest to them and then Miami gets placed after that and that spot is already taken. So they have to travel as the lower of the #1 seeds.

  11. Has nothing to do with the NCAA.. Goes by the Pairwise … Not just about record. So teams that play weaker schedule (Yale,Harvard) don’t get in.. Look at SOS
    SCSU 2
    Yale 45
    Harvard 17
    St Lawrence 37

    Play a decent schedule and not an issue. I’m not even a SCSU fan.. But they deserve to be in with there schedule.. Thats why Yale, ST L, Harvard are out and they should be..

    • Not sure that a team that has a record just one game over .500 deserves to be in, I don’t care how hard a schedule they play. If the SOS is that much of a factor to me that is an issue. You penalize every team in a weaker conf (this year like the ECAC) with that kind of PWR formula because the conf is weak overall. Not sure that the SOS should be the deciding factor in this but it appears to be as Yale and SCSU for instance are 1-1 in the PWR comparison chart. Yale is actually better against common opponents but loses because of their RPI and RPI is the tie-breaker if there is a tie in the comparison. So yes while Yale could have played a few tougher games, they only play 7 non-conf games because of their schedule. Basically my point is that the deck is stacked against the teams in the ECAC and other conferences because if SCSU had played a terrible out of conf schedule they still would have played against the NCHC in conf.

      Not saying it shouldn’t count at all but maybe the weight on it is a little bit much. Again if you look at the comparison given the fact that Yale and SCSU haven’t played one another what would you rather see as the best indicator of who the better team is? RPI (a mathematical formula) or how they did against common opponents?

      • The ECAC is being penalized as a weaker conference because they didn’t do too great in their non-conf schedule, only 46-50-9 (.481). Meanwhlie, NCHC is a strong conf b/c they absolutely crushed their non-conf sked this season, going 53-25-4 (.671). You have that much success in non-conf, you’re going to get an RPI/PWR bump when playing teams in your own conf b/c they all did well non-conf as well, which means better RPIs for everybody. And the only reason Yale is beating SCSU in common opponents is b/c we went 1-1 vs Colgate while Yale went 1-0, but that will get evened out this weekend when Yale/Colgate play each other.

        • The NCAA tournament isn’t conf versus conf it is team versus team. So my point is pretty simple. Yale who it looks like had a 5-1-1 record outside of conf games is being penalized because the rest of their conf is weak. How does that make any sense? I understand what you are saying that by having more wins in non conf games the teams would all have higher RPI’s but Yale can’t control that. They can only beat the teams in front of them. So while I get that you and I will likely never agree on this it seems that the formula could be tweaked to put maybe less overall emphasis on SOS. It certainly should be part of the conversation but in this specific case it seems to be unfairly weighted. Just my two cents.

          And don’t get me wrong, I could care less about Yale, I am a UND fan who probably hates Yale a little bit still for what happened a few years ago.

          • Vs teams in top 25 of RPI:
            Yale: 2-1 (1 home win, 1 neutral win, 1 road loss)
            SCSU: 4-4 (3-2 home, 1-2 road)

            vs teams in Bottom 20 of RPI (40-59):
            Yale: 3-0-1
            SCSU:…. didn’t play any.

            It looks nice on the overall record going 5-1-1 non-conference, but when most of that was against low-ranking teams, it’s not going to help your case in the RPI much (including a neutral ice tie vs #56, ouch). That, combined with the down year for the conference, is costing them right now.

          • Bottom line is Yale can play it s way in by preforming this week and in the conf. tourney. None of us Yale fans complained when it took ND to beat Mich. for us to get in 2013. This season every ECAC team must rely on itself every night it laces up due to the conf; deserved rating this season. I think that’s a good formula’ rely on yourself…So, if we get it done the rest of the way. we’ll (Yale) will get in.

          • Again we keep talking about a down year for the conf. My point is that Yale could be the best team in the nation (I don’t believe they are) but might not make the tournament because their conf is having a down year. Again tell me how that is fair to a team that might be very talented that their entire conf should weigh them down that much. Again I am not saying that the system is so broken that it needs to be totally changed but shouldn’t it be more about each team and not each conf?

          • If a team “could be the best in the nation”, they wouldn’t be sitting on the bubble right now. You have to win a good chunk of your games and have them be vs quality opponents. This is why we get teams in the NCAA Basketball tournament like last year’s NC Central: went 28-5, but was a 14 seed, because they crushed their weak conference and had maaybe 1 decent non-conf win. Apples to oranges I know, but just b/c their W-L record is good doesn’t necessarily make them a good team. Otherwise we’d all just play American International every season lol

          • You kinda just keep making my point for me Dunkel. With the whole ECAC having a down year and only 7 non conf games to schedule, Yale has not shot in the current system. The system is a bit rigged for the bigger better conf to have the top spots. And that is fine but do we really think that the current system tells us if Yale is a better team than SCSU? All of this will play out in the next few weeks so I am probably going to stop soon but the idea that a team like Yale would be left out this year leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I just want the top teams in the tourney and the conf tourney winners. Now if Yale were left out because bunch of upsets happen at the conf tourneys then so be it but if it comes down to SCSU versus Yale and SCSU gets in because of the conf they play in then that seems like an issue. That’s all I’m saying.

          • I think we just keep proving each other here haha, darn circular logic. the thing is, if either Yale/SCSU was a truly elite team, then they wouldn’t be sitting on the bubble where a single game could push them in or keep them out. Yale can easily play their way in with a strong finish down the stretch. Just was stating that if we had to choose RIGHT NOW if Yale or SCSU was better, and if Yale loses to Colgate tonight their Common Opponents record will be identical, the only thing left you have to judge them on is the strength of the teams they played. Just the way the system works. SCSU’s ranking is going to swing wildly with playing NoDak this weekend, so lace ’em up b/c here we go!!

        • That is a fair point. Probably not as I didn’t say Yale deserved it because of their winning percentage. I don’t know exactly how the PWR works, my guess is that almost no one truly understands all of the intricacies of the formula. My only question is this. Is it better or worse for college hockey if a team, like Yale, makes or doesn’t make the tournament and a big part of that appears to be due to what the rest of the teams in that conf did or don’t do?

          • While I think there are flaws with the PWR and RPI (and even KRACH, though I do prefer it), I think it’s the best available option. With every conference playing different schedules based on number of teams, league games, etc., and scheduling non-conference games is left up to the respective coaches, there’s just no way that things are going to be consistent across every conference unless you use an objective, mathematical approach. Robert Morris’s 21 wins aren’t exactly the same as Mankato’s 23, or BU’s 20, or even Harvard’s 14.

            Your suggestion below of using record vs. common opponents is more flawed, I believe, because home/road splits will never be equal, and it’s possible for a comparison to be lost if for instance, team A goes 3-1 against common opponent X (and plays them twice at home and twice on the road) and team B goes 1-0 against them in a one-off home game against common opponent X. Such a scenario would give the edge to team B (1.000 winning percentage is better than .750), but I think we can agree that that’s not exactly fair.

          • It’s not that difficult to figure out. It’s all about head to head matchups. you get a point for winning a matchup against each team. you get 0 for being equal. right now north dakota is hurting because of bemidji.

          • What? The whole PWR is about comparisons of a number of elements. head to head is just one. And UND isn’t losing to MN St right now because they have a better record against one team. They also have a better RPI which is also the tie breaker so if we can pass MN St in the RPI category, which I think we can, then UND will be on top of the PWR even though MN St will likely still have the better record against common opponents. Not sure I am understanding your comment. So please feel free to elaborate if you can.

    • Yale fan here. No excuses about the low strength of schedule. It was a risk going into the year. With 7 games, one committed to Harvard at MSG and two committed to a weak Liberty tournament co-hosted with Princeton, you are down to 4 other non-conference games. Those were 2 AHA and 2 HE. One of those was kind of committed to RIT due to Stu Wilson’s father coaching there, but RIT is often a good AHA program. The loss at Northeastern hurt rankings RPI. Low margin of error with this schedule, and Yale may pay for it.
      Going forward, the Liberty tournament needs to be strengthened or dropped, and one of those AHA games has to be against a non-Eastern conference. That, and you have to hope the HE teams you schedule have good runs in their league. Only so much strength you can add to your schedule when you have 4 or 5 non-conference opponents.

  12. I think most North Dakota and Minnesota fans would like to see those teams play in the Frozen Four, but it seems every week they send Minnesota to Fargo? Personally, I’m still hoping for the MN State vs St Cloud St, MN Duluth vs Minnesota in South Bend.

    • The last two weeks was because of switching teams in the bracket. At least this week Minnesota falls into the Fargo regional.

      • The last two weeks they had the gophers in fargo… I’d rather see them in a different regional, I don’t think North Dakota would want to see them either. The gophers are playing a lot better since they got healthy again and the gophers have had North Dakota’s number the last couple times they have met in the tourney.

    • If Minnesota played better hockey this year, the committee probably would give “those fans” a chance to see UND and Minn. in the Frozen Four.
      As of today at a 10 seed, I don’t see they them really deserving any other region besides Fargo.

  13. In both your pairwise lists, you list Miami twice and miss BU

    1 Minnesota State
    2 North Dakota
    3 Minnesota-Duluth
    4 Miami
    5 Michigan Tech
    6 Miami
    7 Denver

  14. There is NO WAY the committee will flip Robert Morris and St. Cloud State. The procedure manual states very clearly that:

    “If five or more teams from one conference are selected to the championship, then the integrity of the bracket will be protected (i.e., maintaining the pairing process according to seed will take priority over avoidance of first-round conference matchups).”

    Funny how Jason always seems to favor one piece of the manual over the rest of it week in and week out.

  15. What an embarrassing attempt at making the bracket this week! There is no way the committee destroys bracket integrity like that and makes the 1 seed play the 14. I am at a loss. How was this published?

    • Completely agree. At the risk of being overly dramatic, it’d be a travesty if this was the bracket. We all know bracket integrity often goes out the window, but to deny the overall #1 seed the chance to play the lowest seed in the opening round simply to avoid an intra-conference matchup is absurd.

  16. Being a big Hockey east fan I have to admit that the NCHC is a great league. I think HE is strong from 1-6, but NCHC is a little better. That being said, I did not believe in the ECAC and then they win the last 2 Championships. Tough to argue that fact. One thing is for sure, an underdog will probably win it all. I hope that it is Lowell, but i doubt it.
    Go Riverhawks!

  17. Awright, enough already with this weekly Magic 8-Ball garbage. It’s time to bring that Bracketology Predictifying Machine outta storage so we can determine once and for all which teams really will make the NCAA tournament field and with what seeding.

  18. I am an ECAC fan but we should not be surprised that we have only one team. If you want to play in the NCAA tournament, you need to schedule some tough non-conference teams and win some. That is exactly what SCSU did. We treated non-conference games like they were exhibition games. We have a losing NC record against ever other league except the AHA. Don’t count on Quinnipiac sweeping to the National Championship either. Their record against mediocre HE teams is a dismal 3-5-1. No, we did this to ourselves. The ECAC has no one to blame but ourselves. The Ivy’s have only 7 non-conference so there is not a lot of opportunity to build a resume. Scheduling conference opponents as non-conference games does not get it either. Last year Colgate made it because they went our west and kicked some butt. Same with Vermont. Its a shame because the Tournament is in Boston this year and I doubt that the ECAC will be represented.

    • The other thing to remember is that this is not the final list. Look at all ECAC teams that are on the in bubble and slight below. Without knowing the schedule, teams getting hot or cold over the next few weeks could easily move teams in and out of the last spots. Coupled with potential for teams winning that the conference tourney and getting an automatic bid that wouldn’t make the tourney without winning it, and the field could look very different than it does now.

      But whether you agree or not, the forumla is the formula — there is no judgement involved. And, as you stated, teams need to make sure their non-conference schedule has some beef to improve their odds of getting in.

      • St. Lawrence hearkens back to the Yale team of two years ago. Good, well-rounded team, no superstars, and a damn good goalie.

  19. My God, when are we going to stop having teams being “host”, and start having the conferences be the host. Teams like UNH have benefited from getting to stay home as a lower tiered seed, for years, as does Providence this year. ENOUGH ALREADY! Bottom line…low seeds should travel, and higher seeds stay closer to home !

    • Except that Brown is the host at Providence, so Providence College doesn’t automatically get to stay there this year. In this weeks bracketology, they aren’t even being moved for cost/attendance, they are there because that’s where they should be based on their ranking.

      • I remember when Michigan would put in to host a regional, would get the regional, and then win it on its home ice–packed house, but people were PO’d

  20. Everyone who has a beef here with Jayson about him switching the #1 overall seed to play the #14 seed in order to avoid the inter-conference matchup need only to look at history…

    In 2003, the precedent was set as 5 teams from the WCHA made the tournament field, thus having the chance that a team from the same conference could play each other as CC, Minnesota, UND, Mankato, and St. Cloud all made the tournament field.

    In this year, CC (#2 overall) and Minnesota (#4 overall) were the 1 seeds and Mankato and St. Cloud were awarded 4 seeds. Cornell (#1 overall) was then switched in order to avoid this inter-conference matchup. Minnesota wound up playing the auto-bid MAAC champion, Mercyhurst, while #1 Cornell was forced to face off against Mankato.

    I hope this sheds some light and is informative for everyone and confirms what Jayson has stated in this post. Thanks

    • Well stated. Mr. Moy does a nice job of getting in the heads of the committee as they apply the rules.

      Question. If the compressor at the Fargo regional dies and can’t be repaired, would the regional move to Grand Forks? [Where we could actually fit all the fans that want to attend the western regional!?!]

      • Even in GF you can’t fit all of the fans that want to be at the West Regional. They could have sold out an NHL rink I think for that one especially if both UND and MN are in it as it is right now.

  21. If you’re a #1 seed and your fans are yipping because you might have to play the #14 rather than the #16, you might be a candidate for hormone therapy. Enough said.

    The fact is you have to win 4 straight. Get in, win and shut-up. Fifteen teams are going home losers.

    • Relax Bro! Your statement is based on emotion. Kentucky in basketball is not going to play the fourth or fifth worst team in the first round of the tournament, they’re going to play THEE worst team in the first round of the tournament.
      If you finished with the best PWR in the nation, then you deserve to play the team in the tournament with the worst PWR in the first round. Plain and simple.
      Every time these schools win a game in the tournament, their institution is awarded another game to play and a certain percentage of each games’ profits goes to the participants in each game. There’s a business aspect here too my friend and as of today, Minnesota State deserves the best odds to win their first game of the tournament over any other school right now.

      • I correct myself, UND deserves the best odds right now b/c they have a great PWR team and it just so happens to be the year where they host!

        • Give us Mankato, BU or Miami in the first round. I don’t care. You have to win 4 to be the national champion. If you live your life trying to avoid a challenge, then does victory taste as sweet?

          Apparently, PurpleRain is a yipper in need of hormone therapy.

          • I think you’ll be the one taking those estrogen pills after your underachieving sioux teams lose yet again in the tourney. I’ll take any of three (wait, four) teams from MN over ND this year.

          • Just so everyone is clear, siouxinminny is saying that it wouldn’t bother him for his team to play the top-ranked teams in the tournament on a regional stage because it is more challenging and sweet tasting.
            I think you can ask the players on your UND squad and they would tell you to stop cheering for them.
            Your ‘tough-guy’ approach to seeding an NCAA hockey tournament is for lack of a better word, stupid.
            The only ‘sweet-tasting victory’ I would want as a player and a fan would be the one in the Frozen Four Championship, on a national stage versus one of the other top-rated teams in the nation.
            Thus, the PWR puts in to form seeds #1 through #16 to give us the best odds of having two teams in the championship game that played the regular season like championship-caliber teams!!

  22. I still don’t believe a lower seed like Providence should get to host a higher seed at home. I too am also tired of seeing Minnesota and North Dakota in the same regional.

  23. This is easy. The Pairwise works off of non-conference games first. If a team has a good non-conference record, then that helps. What really works is other teams in that same conference having good non-conference records. The NCHC has the best non-conference record…

  24. Wow!
    Almost 100 comments this story, and only one mention of the KRACH!
    Has the world turned topsy-turvy?
    Is the mercury dropping in that land of eternal flames?
    Have the Cubs won the Series?
    What’s going on?!!

  25. All those western teams is right. It’s almost like there shouldn’t be two east regionals every year…. maybe rotate that fourth regional (east, midwest, west) instead of giving the east two regionals that always bomb in attendance. Time for the NCAA to recognize there’s just as much talent in college hockey out west as there is out east.

  26. Stop having games in cities without collage teams, they don’t go to the games. Cities with teams will go to any game. Also teams that have to travel should have played better during the season and they might not have to. The NCAA (SUCKS) if they don’t want another all conference final four just make it east vs west final with the top 2 teams go. I think that idea sucks too so just stop moving teams and let 1 play 16 2 play 15. NCAA stop thinking your not very good at it.

    • My spelling and grammer is bad. I’m sure most COLLEGE educated people would’nt give spelling lession until 4 or 5 days after rotator cuff surgery. I thank you for having the courage for doing sooner.


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