Between Jayson Moy’s What I Believe and Jim Dahl’s CollegeHockeyRanked site, we have a pretty good idea about who’s in, who’s out, who can help themselves, and who’s saying a prayer for an NCAA berth.
With regards to ECAC Hockey, here is the latest breakdown as best we can figure:
• Quinnipiac (tied for 10th in the PairWise Rankings) is a near-lock for an at-large bid if it wins Friday; the Bobcats still have a 70 percent chance of making the national tournament with a semifinal loss, according to Dahl’s apparently exhaustive calculations.
• Harvard (15th) – who plays QU in Friday’s opener – will not necessarily be eliminated with a semifinal loss, but literally every other game would have to break in their favor for the Crimson to skate again. Friday is, in effect, a do-or-die game for Harvard.
• Colgate (tied for 16th) and St. Lawrence (tied for 20th) play what is essentially an elimination game Friday night. The odds are miniscule that the Raiders could play on with a loss, and the Saints would be mathematically eliminated in defeat.
• Yale (18th) has about a one-in-25 shot (four percent) at playing again this season, per Dahl’s site.
So in the end, nobody is safe with a Friday loss, though QU has earned by far the biggest cushion. Should the Bobcats win the Whitelaw Cup over St. Lawrence, it is entirely possible that the league places just one solitary team in the NCAA Tournament… and what a shame that would be. Well, for everyone except the Bobcats, I suppose.