Weekend wrap: Dec. 11

The weekend saw a few stunning upsets. Here is what we learned.

No. 2 Minnesota at Boston University
On Friday, five different Gophers scored en route to a 5-1 win. Minnesota outshot BU 50-15. Kelly Pannek had three assists. On Saturday, the Terriers jumped out to a 2-0 lead and Minnesota had to score twice in the third period to force overtime. Senior captain Natalie Flynn scored her second of the game to give Boston University the win. They were just her second and third career collegiate goals.

No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth at Minnesota State
On Friday, three different Bulldogs found the back of the net to lead them to a 3-0 win. On Saturday, Megan Hinze scored two third-period power-play goals to give the Mavericks a come-from-behind 2-1 win. Minnesota State goalie Brianna Quade made 39 saves in the win.

No. 4 Clarkson vs. Syracuse
On Friday, Syracuse’s Alysha Burriss tied the game 2-2 with just under two minutes to go after stealing a puck and taking it the length of the ice. On Saturday, Corie Jacobson, Cassidy Vinkle, Cayley Mercer and Jessica Gillham each scored for Clarkson in a 4-1 win.

St. Cloud State at No. 10 North Dakota
On Saturday, UND freshman Alyssa McMillan scored her first collegiate goal in the Fighting Hawks’ 3-2 win. St. Cloud’s Julia Tylke had a goal and an assist. On Sunday, NoDak blanked the Huskies 4-0. Kayla Gardner scored twice for the Fighting Hawks.

Merrimack at Providence
Merrimack had a 2-1 lead early in the third, but two unanswered goals from Providence gave them the 3-2 win. Cassidy Carles had a goal and an assist for Providence

No. 1 Wisconsin at Ohio State
The Badgers used two four-goal second periods to power their sweep of Ohio State. On Friday, Emily Clark had a goal and four assists while Annie Pankowski and Jenny Ryan each scored twice in the 7-0 rout. On Saturday, five different Badgers scored and Clark added two more assist to her weekend total as the Badgers won 5-0.


  1. HE 4, WCHA 5, CCHA 3, ECAC 3 AT 1…………. HE 5, NCHC 5 (INTER CONFERENCE GAME 10 Western Michigan vs. 8 Denver), ECAC 3, B10 1, WCHA 1, AT 1

    • Are you looking for a job in the NCHC? Why does anybody care what it might be if that league existed? We will worry about that next year!

      • i wondered how how seedings would be if it were next year but jayson moy has yet to comment on this. i dont favor the nchc. so i look to the future. while enjoying the present.

        • I have seen you post on the NCHC for all of these Bracketology columns. I am assuming that is why Jayson is not answering, he is already doing a “what if” bracket, why do another?
          We have a lot of good hockey to be played, enjoy the rest of the season.

        • why does he have to comment on your question? perhaps nobody but you cares. considering i have seen nobody BUT you request it, i think it’s a pretty strong possibility.

  2. I just don’t see BU as belonging … they recently lost handily to the worse team in the ECAC. Also, how strong is the CCHA this year? Last year in the tournament they went 3-4 and the ECAC was 3-2. Is Notre Dame going to make the final cut? The ECAC does not have the depth but their core lines are better than they were last year where they almost had 2 into the final 4. No more “EASY” AC.

    • It was a tough season for BU, but the easiest schedule in HE for the last few weeks launched them into 3rd. They’ll have their hands full with a physical Merrimack squad, and even if they sneak past MC they can’t beat BC.

      • I’d have to argue with the easiest schedule in the league the last few weeks. UNH had 2 with Vermont, UMass and Maine and it launched us back to 5th!!! Right now, BU belongs in before UNH, but because of a good first half, UNH holds on to #6. 7-7-5 in the 2nd half is awful. Allowing 8 goals in 2 games to Maine’s horrible offense just shows how many steps back the defense and goaltending have taken! Let’s not even talk about blowing a 3-1 lead on Saturday, which would have still wrapped up home ice.

        • Agreed, but don’t discount an inconsistent Maine team playing for their playoff lives. Thoughts on not pulling the goalie in OT?

          • I agree, Maine was playing for their playoff lives, but I just don’t believe their offense is capable of scoring 8 goals in 2 games, against what is supposedly a good defense, after averaging 2 GPG all year. As for pulling the goalie, that was a tough one. They still had a chance at home ice with a tie and probably not with a loss, so I guess I agree with not pulling him. If Lowell lost, UNH would have been #3 because of a 3-0 season series.

          • Stat flashed on screen Saturday: Maine 32 goals in first 25 games, 39 goals last 13. Including Saturday, that would be 43 in last 14. So offense has been better…..

      • BU “belongs” in part due to the toughest schedule in the country through the beginning of January (which is why they had “the easiest schedule in HE for the last few weeks”) and their only losses on the season to that point were to UNH (with a win in Durham), BC (a home and home split), North Dakota (a split in ND), and Denver.

        Let’s assume that BU “sneaks past” Merrimack, since they have done it 3 times this year (3-1, 4-1, and then 5-2 two weeks ago.)

        Why can’t BU beat BC? Everyone else is doing it! (And how thankful is BC to avoid Maine and get VT, by virtue of league tiebreakers?) Since losing 8-1 in the Mariucci Classic, BC is 8-8-3 and lost to 6 of 9 other HE teams. They didn’t play BU in that span and they tied Vermont. Northeastern beaters, but hardly world beaters.

        • I just think BU plays too undisciplined hockey to go deep in any tournament. Loosing Cisse also hurts this time of year. No question that they are one of the most talented teams in HE and Parker could pull them together, but I just don’t see it happening. You’re right, anyone could beat BC, but I don’t see it happening either until they matchup with PC, UNH, or UML.

    • It makes little sense to argue about the merits of the possible fifteenth and sixteenth seeds in the NCAA tournament. These will always be teams near .500 with either a weak record against TUC or a number of horrific losses to teams with poor records.

      The teams just outside the top sixteen (as of today) are Union, Alaska, Wisconsin, Dartmouth and Robert Morris. I cannot see a compelling case why any of these teams is significantly better or worse than BU/Notre Dame this season.

      If any of these teams earns they autobid, then THAT would be a significant difference. It is possible that BU will drop if it sweeps Merrimack if this means Merrimack is no longer a TUC.

  3. Can we rip on UNH for being 5th in their conference and 6th in the pairwise? Wouldn’t hear the end of it if it was the Gophers in that position.

    • UNH has the most wins against TUC in Hockey East. They had nine losses and seven were against TUC.

      Of their nine losses and seven ties, eight and six respectively came in league play. After twenty-seven league games, Hockey had the top six teams separated by five points and the top five teams separated by two points.

      The third, fourth and fifth place teams all have 32 points and various tiebreakers were required. UNH and Providence are better off playing each other in terms of TUC than playing Merrimack.

      • No question, a BU sweep of Merrimack could actually hurt BU in the NCAA / Pairwise, exposing one of the flaws of the system. It wouldn’t be the first time. In 2005, when Wisconsin defeated Alaska-Anchorage in Game 3 of their WCHA playoff series, it bumped UAA off the TUC Cliff, and Wisconsin suddenly got drastically worse in the Pairwise. From an NCAA standpoint, Wisconsin would have been better off losing the third game of the
        series. With a 3-0 record against Merrimack, knocking MU off the cliff could be devastating to BU’s PWR.

      • I guess when you look at it that way, UNH seems not as bad, but it was no fun watching them the past 2 months. I am glad they drew Providence for PWR reasons and unfortunately it will hurt BU to beat MC. Hope for a 3 game series win and maybe MC will stay just inside that TUC line.

    • technically I’d refer to that as “tied for third in their conference”, as the tiebreakers are only used for seeding purposes.

      (for example, it possible going into last night that there could have been a four-way tie atop the Hockey East standings, and if that happened there would have indeed been four co-champs.)

      • Agreed, but it doesn’t change that they are struggling and have been the entire 2nd half. I am really amazed after watching them all year, that they have under 10 losses.

    • There is no element of the Pairwise that takes league record into account. RPI is comprised of all games played. Looking at the current PWR they are behind BC and Lowell which is perfectly reasonable considering their overall winning percentage is behind those teams. BU is the outlier – tied for third in the HE standings but with a considerably worse overall record due to OOC games.

      edit: And as I recall there were several WCHA fans a few years back that were mocking Yale for their position in the PWR when they finished second in the ECAC. So if anyone did mock Minnesota, you guys would deserve it if only for payback.

      • I just remember at the halfway point when the Gophers were a top 5 teams yet 6th in the WCHA (only because they had played 2 less games than most of the teams above them) fans of other teams wouldn’t give it a rest.

        • I said when Yale finished second and I was referring to 2010-2011 when they finished second to Union by one point. Any reference to Minnesota was a hypothetical as suggested by Rtn2GoldCountry

      • The people mocking Yale were probably doing it because of a perceived weak schedule and not the specific order of finish in the ECACHL. Of course, I imagine most western fans would think the whole ECACHL is terrible and that any of those teams being anywhere in the top sixteen is the result of some sort of pairwise affirmative action program that has so far been undisclosed by the selection committee.

        • Yes, there was the element of ECAC bashing but there were definitely a few people screaming about Yale being a 1 seed when they didn’t win the ECAC regular season. This was the 2010-2011 season. Yale finished in second place to Union by one point, won the league tournament, and had a better overall record hence the higher NCAA seed. Some people just didn’t understand the PWR.

  4. CC will play at Denver next weekend and be out again. Wisconsin is peaking and can do damage in the WCHA playoffs and get back in.

    • Not so fast. As a Pios fan, I want none of CC. Just a few weeks ago it was a tie and then a CC win. Rather play Duluth or especially UNO

  5. Denver win today means that CC will play at Denver next weekend and be out again. Sconnie is playing good and peaking for the tournament.

  6. Usually I think Jayson does a very good job with this, but I’m a bit confused by this bracket. The three big principles of creating the bracket are attendance, bracket integrity, and protecting the overall #1, right? So, how does putting the overall #5 seed in QU’s bracket protect them? He protected them by not switching ND with BU, but then puts BC in the regional for attendance? Why not just switch Yale with Minn St. Yale (#11) would play Denver (#8) in Prov, BC (#5) opens with SCSU (#12) in Toledo, and UNH (#6) takes on Minn St (#9) in Manchester. Takes care of attendance and bracket integrity is better. Seems like the move was made to avoid placing BC out west??

    For what it’s worth (admittedly, not much), my brackets would have been:




    UNH-Minn St

  7. Why does Quinnipiac (#1) get BC (#5) in the second round? Each of the other three #1 seeds is getting a second round opponent weaker than bracket integrity suggests they should. Why not send Yale and North Dakota to Providence and send BC and St. Cloud to Toledo? Is it just because of attendance?

    • The first assumption is that Lowell is the fourth overall seed and should be seeded as close to home as possible. It is a 40 minute drive from Tsongas to Verizon Wireless in Manchester.

      The second assumption is that UNH plays in Manchester. No more Hockey East teams will be placed there unless HE has five or more teams in the tournament.

      The third assumption is that BC will be a tremendous draw in Providence. BC is the seventh overall seed, which protects the overall number one seed, Quinnipiac.

      The fourth assumption is that BU does not go to Manchester because of Lowell/UNH and does not go to Providence to protect Quinnipiac. Providence already has good attendance with BC and Qunnipiac.

    • Nobody wants to hear the Sioux FANS CRY because they have to travel East (remember UNH in Manchester what a choke the Sioux put on with 1 second . ). Quinnipiac will be one and done so BC will take on Notre Dame for a spot in the Frozen Four.

    • BC fan and want them to stay east, but I have to agree with you. I’ve been harping on this for years- If you are a top 2 team in your side of the country, you should not have to move. If not top 2, all bets are off. This leads back to host schools. MAKE CONFERENCES THE HOSTS. BC got hosed going west couple years ago. This year, no complaints if they go west, unless they get to top 2 east. I don’t care about attendance. Bracket integrity should be ONLY consideration. 1-16, 2-15, etc. I’m sure the NCAA doesn’t agree. I hope most of you on this thread DO agree…….

  8. Sorry if this has been asked before or if it’s a stupid question (yes, I think there is such a thing) but I can’t work out how the common opponent factor in PWR is figured. Specifically the comparison between Alaska and WI. cOp record is 5-5-1 for Alaska and 5-4-1 for WI. By winning percentage that is a slim advantage for WI, .550 to .500. But the comparison shows 2.625 for Alaska and 1.750 for WI. Where do these numbers come from???

    • Never mind. Just found the PWR explanation FAQ and see how that number is computed… Why is this considered better than just winning percentage?

        • Yes, the TUC component is stupid. How could a loss to the number 1 team hurt more than a loss to a sub-500 team that is not a TUC? I can’t believe the coaches ever agreed to allow that…

  9. This is the time of year we get to hear the Gopher fans whine about avoiding North Dakota in the regionals and why the Hockey East has it easy and that is why they have won 4 of the last 5 NCAA Titles.

    • And this is the time of year we get to hear the sanctimonious easterners tell Gopher fans all their team has to do is win just like everybody else.

      Except that everybody else isn’t earning a #1 seed only to see their #2 seed arch rival in the same regional more often than not.


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