2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament Preview

2018 NCAA Hockey Tournament Preview

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 22nd, 2018 at 9:15 AM

2018Bracket

Hello Plinko, my old friend death. [uscho.com]

After the Michigan preview, there will be a breakdown of the remaining seven games, starting with the opposite game in Michigan’s Regional. I’ve asked Adam and MGoHockeyReference Anthony Ciatti to give a take as well.

Probabilities. If you’re looking for some game-specific numbers, Ed Feng has released his predictions based upon his new rankings.

The Field

Northeast Regional

(3) Cornell, (8) Michigan, (9) Northeastern (13) Boston University: What a crazy regional for Michigan. Cornell ain’t played nobody never but has only given up 49 goals in 32 games. BU has more NHL talent than the Arizona Coyotes, but might be coached by Also Herm Edwards. Northeastern never has the puck but has two Hobey finalists and an ace freshman legacy goalie. So, they’re Notre Dame with goal-scorers. Oh, and the #3 and #4 seeds are playing in their backyard. What even. Can we do this, please? 

(8) Michigan vs (9) Northeastern

Team

PWR

Corsi Rank

PP%

PK%

Players Drafted

Skaters >.75 PPG

GAA

Save%

Record in last 5 games

Northeastern

9

37

27%

82%

7

6(5)

1.88

.932

4-1

Michigan

8

22

18%

75%

7

3

2.79

.910

4-1

Things Michigan Needs to Do Against Northeastern:

1. Stay Out of The Box. Every week, this is #1. In past weeks, its been a direct reflection of Michigan's penalty kill. While that is still the case, Northeastern has a top-3 power play. Gaudette, Sikura, and Stevens have a combined 35 of their 75 goals for the season on the man advantage. Yikes. Matching penalties can be acceptable, but giving the Huskies more than three power plays could easily mean a short return to the NCAA Tournament for the Wolverines.

2. Wisely Use the Last Change. Being the #2 seed instead of the #3 seed makes Michigan the 'home' team (yes, I am also laughing). Because of that, the Wolverines will get the last change. This could/would mean being able to match-up the Hughes/Cecconi pairing with Northeastern's version of the CCM line: Adam Gaudette, Dylan Sikura, and Nolan Stevens. While this could temper some of Hughes's ability to go forward, tell me two other defensive options that would be preferred on the ice against two Hobey Baker finalists. 

3. Win via Depth. Once you get past the top line for the Huskies, the scoring drops off rather suddenly; their fourth through sixth forwards have five, five, and seven goals on the season. The two post-DMC lines for Michigan aren't exactly explosive, but Slaker and Norris have had a productive second half. Also, the Pastujovs and Becker have turned up their output, as well. Given each team's possession rates, Michigan should be able to control the puck, and getting some depth-scoring will go a long way to offset Northeastern's top line.

Final Thoughts: Man, I don't know. This was the mid-seed that I was hoping to avoid. Northeastern has two Hobey Baker finalists, a top-5 freshman goalie, a wicked-awesome power play, and a ridiculous top line. They also have a poor possession rate, little scoring depth, and a weakish schedule. Michigan might have the more complete team, but Northeastern has higher peaks in key spots and looks like they might be a tough matchup for the Wolverines. If Lavigne plays towards his higher end, though, Michigan has a good chance...assuming they can keep the game at even strength.

Adam’s Take: Things look pretty bleak in some key spots for Michigan, but I think they've got just enough going their way to squeak out a win. As David mentioned, having the last change will help match top pair against top line; this isn't likely to neutralize one of the best top lines in the country, but there's comfort in putting out a solid pairing that features a defenseman who excels at playing keepaway. One caveat to my prediction: they only squeak out said win if they take fewer than three penalties. Michigan can probably kill one or two peanlties and use the second and third lines to make up the difference at even stregth, but more than three penalties and Northeastern creates a chasm Michigan can't bridge.

Anthony’s Take: I watched the Beanpot and came away thinking NU was a good team.  Their high-end talent and goaltending is something I hadn't seen a lot of this season and I did not want Michigan to draw them in the tourney. Northeastern is 16-4-4 since the start of December, so they are equally as hot as Michigan  They had a goal differential in conference of over 1.5 goals per game, and were best in their league in both goals for and against.

Obviously I think UM can win this game as it is a one-game knockout, but I would favor Northeastern. For Michigan to win they will have to avoid bad penalties and high-danger scoring chances. Northeastern has the special teams and goaltending advantage so that worries me. Unfortunately I think UM's achilles heel (PK and Goaltending) will be their demise here.

 

[Predictions for the rest of the field after THE JUMP]

it's the most wonderful time of the year [JD Scott]

Michigan Hockey Rooting Guide: Week 24

Michigan Hockey Rooting Guide: Week 24

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 8th, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Cutler Martin has never shied away from crushing Buckeyes [Bill Rapai]

Corsi Table

 

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Michigan

57(17)

53(19)

43

55

Ohio State

69(25)

57(21)

23

31

Hmmmm. What can we extract from all of this? Michigan is 0-4 against the Buckeyes this season. During the first couple of games, Michigan was in the midst of its defensive crater. As you can see, in the second series in Columbus, Michigan had a much better possession rate. In Game 3, they gave up two power play goals (surprise!) and at least one odd-man-rush goal. The final game was pretty even, but Lavigne had a woofer or two. Also, Michigan has scored on Sean Romeo six times in four games. Eeeeeeck. So, where are we now?

Ohio State Preview

 

PWR

Corsi

PP%

PK%

Players Drafted

Skaters >.75 PPG

GAA

Save%

Michigan

7th

23rd

18%

76%

8

3: Marody, Calderone, Hughes

2.78 (Lavigne)

.910 (Lavigne)

Ohio State

4th

16th

24%

91%

3

4: Jobst, Laczynski, Weis, Joshua

2.08 (Romeo)

.925 (Romeo)

Ohio State is really good. They do not give up goals; they’re 4th overall in goals/game. To pair with that, they’re 11th in scoring goals (Michigan is 7th!). So, they put pucks into the net, they keep pucks out of the net, they convert on the power play, and they do not surrender goals on the penalty kill. Also, Sean Romeo is Cale Morris Lite. What is this, football?

So, what is there to do? I don’t know, man. It’s encouraging that Michigan was able to control play in the last couple of games down there. They’re going to need to play their best, most well-rounded game of the year. Also, as much as I disagree with the single-game semi-final format, hooray that Michigan doesn’t have to beat them twice!

[After THE JUMP: qualifying Michigan's most well-rounded game of the year and a look at PWR and relevant teams around the country]

Michigan Hockey Rooting Guide: Week 23

Michigan Hockey Rooting Guide: Week 23

Submitted by NastyIsland on March 1st, 2018 at 8:00 AM

WHAT? [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Corsi Table

 

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Michigan

58(24)

69(23)

38(14)

52(30)

Wisconsin

45(15)

53(22)

56(18)

34(15)

Michigan has a 1-2-1 record against Wisconsin this year. They’ve dominated a couple of games that they lost due to trailing on the scoreboard and Wisconsin sitting back (Games 1 and 4). They also gave away a point in Game 2 with a goal in the final minute of regulation. Michigan won Game 3 thanks to great (!!) special teams play. So, what does that mean? Well…

Wisconsin Preview

 

PWR

Corsi

PP%

PK%

Players Drafted

Skaters >.75 PPG

GAA

Save%

Michigan

10th

18th

15%

76%

7

2: Marody, Calderone

2.61 (Lavigne)

.912 (Lavigne)

Wisconsin

24th

12th

18%

81%

7

2: Wagner, Frederic

2.89 (Berry); 2.97 (Hayton)

.903 (Berry); .894 (Hayton)

During their first series, Michigan was in the midst of their defensive crisis. They also were rotating goalies. Both of those issues seem to have mostly been sorted out. In their last meeting, Hayden Lavigne had his worst game of 2018, though.

Everything about these teams seems to be relatively even. Michigan's overall offense and defense are statistically slightly better than Wisconsin's. Wisconsin’s Corsi and special teams play are slightly better than Michigan’s. I would give Michigan an edge in net, though, especially since there seems to have been a sharp uptick in quality of play in the second half of the season for Hayden Lavigne; he has a .915 save % since January 5th.

[After THE JUMP: how to beat Wisconsin, a look at the rest of the conference tourney, and ways Michigan can stay in (or get bumped from) the big tourament]

Hockey pairwise update: Selection Sunday Eve edition

Hockey pairwise update: Selection Sunday Eve edition

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on March 17th, 2012 at 10:39 PM

Saturday’s championship (and 3rd place) games caused a couple of changes to the final Pairwise rankings.  Michigan had already locked up the #2 overall seed, but there were still a few spots up for grabs entering play on Saturday, and in a couple instances, teams could have ended up as high as #3 overall, and as low as #10 or #11.  Here are Saturday’s results:

CCHA championship: Western Michigan beat Michigan

CCHA 3rd place: Miami beat BG

Atlantic Hockey championship: Air Force beat RIT

ECAC championship: Union beat Harvard

ECAC 3rd place: Cornell beat Colgate

Hockey East championship: BC beat Maine

WCHA championship: North Dakota beat Denver

As a result of these…er...results, here are the final Pairwise rankings:

  1. Boston College
  2. Michigan
  3. Union
  4. North Dakota
  5. Miami
  6. Ferris State
  7. Minn.-Duluth
  8. Minnesota
  9. Boston University
  10. Maine
  11. Denver
  12. Mass.-Lowell
  13. Cornell
  14. Western Michigan
  15. Michigan State
  16. Air Force

The bracketing starts by placing the top four teams in the closest regional, then doing the #2, #3, and #4 seeds so that there are no intraconference matchups in the first round, and to try and have “bracket integrity,” meaning the first round has 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15, etc. and the second round would have 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc.  The two things that can draw things away from bracket integrity are 1) host schools, which in this case means Minnesota, which must be placed in St. Paul, and 2) attendance considerations, so that a couple of 2 or 3 seeds might be switched to ensure better attendance at regionals, and to prevent things like an Eastern regional from having mostly Western teams.  With that in mind, here is the bracket I have come up with:

Worcester, MA

1. Boston College

16. Air Force

7. Minn.-Duluth

9. Boston University 10. Maine

 

St. Paul, MN

4. North Dakota

14. Western Michigan

8. Minnesota

10. Maine   9. Boston University

 

Green Bay, WI

2. Michigan

13. Cornell

6. Ferris State

11. Denver

 

Bridgeport, CT

3. Union

15. Michigan State

5. Miami

12. Mass.-Lowell

 EDIT: switched BU and Maine to keep the 8-9 and 7-10 matchups in the first round.

This is pretty much the bracket I posted yesterday, but with Western and State switched as a result of Western winning the CCHA.   It is also possible that Michigan (along with Cornell) could get put in St. Paul for better bracket integrity.  That would basically switch the Michigan-Cornell game with the North Dakota-Western game.  I really don’t think this will happen though, since you’d be giving the #2 seed a more distant regional, a more difficult than expected first round game, and a host school in the second round.  That’s a trifecta of screwing that I don’t think even the NCAA selection committee is capable of.  Plus, the attendance setup is probably better with Michigan in Green Bay and North Dakota in St. Paul.   

The Cornell matchup is pretty much a given in the first round.  I mentioned this in comments to another post this morning, but that is a pretty tough matchup.  Cornell has six shutouts on the year (including their game Saturday), and simply don’t give up a lot of goals (only gave up more than three goals six times all year).  They have also had 10 of their last 20 games go to overtime, so be prepared for a close, white-knuckle finish. 

So there is my bracket prediction.  We’ll find out how right I am tomorrow at noon on ESPNU when the brackets are announced.  Go Blue!

Hockey pairwise update: one day to go

Hockey pairwise update: one day to go

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on March 17th, 2012 at 1:36 AM

Michigan's 3-2 win over Bowling Green in the second overtime advances them to the CCHA championship game against Western Michigan.  It also officially secured a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.  In fact, it looks like the second overall seed has been locked up, as just about every game in the country went Michigan's way.  Here's what happened on Friday around college hockey:

CCHA tournament: Besides Michigan over BG, Western Michigan defeated Miami.  That probably drops the RedHawks out of a #1 seed, which is a little unfortunate.

WCHA tournament: Denver beat Duluth, and North Dakota beat Minnesota.  Both results were good for Michigan, and ensure that no WCHA team can pass Michigan after tomorrow's games.  That should lock up the #1 slot in Green Bay for Michigan, as long as the committee doesn't decide to put us in St. Paul to screw us.

Hockey East: BC beat Providence, but BU lost to Maine.  This is also good, because we couldn't pass BC anyway, and now BU can't pass us.

So what does it all mean? Well, a lot can change tomorrow, but Michigan is probably the second overall seed in the tournament, and they should be placed in the closest regional, which is Green Bay.  The opponent depends on other results, most notably the ECAC 3rd place game between Cornell and Colgate.  Should Cornell win or tie,, we will probably face them in the first round.  Should they lose to Colgate, the 13th, 14th, and 15th seeds could all be CCHA teams, in which case we would draw the Atlantic Hockey champ in the first round.  Another scenario is if Harvard beats Union in the ECAC finals, they steal a bid (possibly from MSU), and we could end up matched up with Harvard.

As for the other teams in our region, it all depends on tomorrow's games; I have seen some scenarios that end up with Miami as #3 overall, and some that have Miami as #10, so a lot can change.  I ran a scenario with most of the higher seeds winning, and came up with the bracket below.  Note: should Michigan lose tomorrow, the only change in this bracket would be that MSU and Western would be switched.  Changes in the other results (Maine beating BC, for example) would have much more drastic effects.

Worcester
1. Boston College

16. Atlantic Hockey champ

7. Minn.-Duluth

10. Maine

 

St. Paul

4. North Dakota

14. Michigan State

8. Minnesota

9. Boston University

 

Green Bay

2. Michigan

13. Cornell

6. Ferris State

11. Denver

 

Bridgeport

3. Union

15. Western Michigan

5. Miami

12. Mass.-Lowell

 

The bracket integrity is a little off because Minnesota had to be placed in St. Paul, and first intraconference matchups had to be avoided.  It should get good attendance to each regional, including Bridgeport, as Union and Lowell are reasonably close. 

I’ll have another post up after tomorrow’s games with a final look at the pairwise standings before the actual brackets come out on Sunday.  Go Blue!

College Hockey's Pairwise Predictor Up and Running

College Hockey's Pairwise Predictor Up and Running

Submitted by goblue7612 on March 12th, 2012 at 12:28 AM

USCHO's annual pairwise predictor is up and running now that Denver has beat Wisconsin. It can be found at http://www.uscho.com/rankings/pwp/

The concept is that you can choose who wins each game of each conference tourney's final weekend, and it will spit out what the pairwise rankings will be. Michigan needs to be a top 4 in the pairwise to get a #1 overall seed. I have run one scenario, which I envision to be a worst case scenario for Michigan and can get them down to a three way tie for third, and we lose the threeway tiebreak, as we have the lowest RPI of the three. My scenario is as follows, if anyone is able to get us lower that'd be interesting as well. It'd also be interesting to see how likely it is for both Michigan and Minnesota to be #1 seeds, as well as watching the 3 CCHA teams on the bubble.

Atlantic Hockey

  • Semifinal #2: RIT defeats Niagara
  • Semifinal #1: Air Force defeats Mercyhurst
  • Championship game: Air Force defeats RIT

CCHA

  • Semifinal #2: Western Michigan defeats Miami
  • Semifinal #1: Bowling Green defeats Michigan
  • Championship game: Western Michigan defeats Bowling Green
  • Consolation game: Miami defeats Michigan

ECAC

  • Semifinal #2: Cornell defeats Harvard
  • Semifinal #1: Union defeats Colgate
  • Championship game: Union defeats Cornell
  • Consolation game: Harvard defeats Colgate

Hockey East

  • Semifinal #2: Boston University defeats Maine
  • Semifinal #1: Boston College defeats Providence
  • Championship game: Boston University defeats Boston College

WCHA

  • Play-in #2: Denver defeats Michigan Tech
  • Play-in #1: North Dakota defeats St. Cloud State
  • Semifinal #2: Minnesota-Duluth defeats Denver
  • Semifinal #1: Minnesota defeats North Dakota
  • Championship game: Minnesota defeats Minnesota-Duluth

Hockey pairwise update (through 3/10)

Hockey pairwise update (through 3/10)

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on March 11th, 2012 at 11:34 AM

With a sweep over Notre Dame this weekend, Michigan accomplished two things. First, they ended the Irish's season, but more importantly, they just about locked up a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.  I think it would take Ferris winning today followed by Michigan getting swept at the Joe, and Minnesota beating Duluth in the WCHA tournament final, just to drop Michigan to the top #2 seed.  Michigan currently sits 2nd in the Pairwise, and I think this would be Michigan's bracket if things ended today:

St. Paul:

2. Michigan vs. 16. Atlantic Hockey champ

8. Minnesota vs. 10. Union

Alternatively, Michigan could be sent to Green Bay, with this bracket:

2. Michigan vs. 16 AHA champ

5. Miami vs. 12. Denver

I think the committee goes with the first one, because it provides both better bracket integrity (closer to having 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, etc), and it puts a strong draw (Duluth) in Green Bay.

The good news is that, with two CCHA teams in the top 4, and two in the 13-15 range, the committee will have to match Michigan up with the Atlantic Hockey champ in order to avoid having an intraconference matchup in the first round.  This is why that second overall spot that Michigan currently has is so important, because it gives them a shot at a much easier first round game. 

There are a few games today that could have an effect of the pairwise rankings.  Obviously the Ferris-BG game will have implications, both for the pairwise and to decide who Michigan plays next week at the Joe.  The other game to watch is game 3 of the Harvard-Yale series.  As I mentioned yesterday, we want Yale to be below the "TUC cliff", meaning an RPI of 0.500, in order to assure that we win the comparison against Cornell.  Yale's 2OT loss last night dropped them below that level for the time being.  A Harvard win today will end Yale's season and keep them below the TUC cliff.  A Yale win will cause us to lose the comparison with Cornell and drop us out of the #2 overall slot, at least until next weekend.

Rooting guide: Definitely root for Harvard over Yale.  I'm rooting for Maine over Merrimack to keep both Western and State in the tournament; it's not that I want State in, but their presence gets Michigan an easier first-round opponent, so I'm ok with it.  Finally, although you can make a case the other way, I'm also rooting for Ferris over BG to give Michigan a better chance to earn that #2 overall seed. 

Hockey pairwise update (through 3/9)

Hockey pairwise update (through 3/9)

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on March 10th, 2012 at 7:17 AM

We are now just over a week away from hockey's Selection Sunday, and Michigan sits tied for third place in the pairwise rankings.  So Michigan beat Notre Dame last night  and...dropped?  Here's what happened yesterday that is of any importance:

Michigan beat Notre Dame in 2OT.  BC beat UMass 2-1. BU lost to UNH in OT.  Duluth beat Minnesota State.  Ferris lost to BG in OT.  Yale beat Harvard. Niagara beat Robert Morris.

Two of those don't look like the others.  Why do those last two games matter to Michigan?  With their wins, Yale and Niagara are now the last two teams above the "TUC cliff," meaning their RPI scores are just above 0.500 and so they count as Teams Under Consideration for the tournament.  With record against TUCs counting as a major factor in the pairwise rankings, which teams are actually part of this record can have a big impact. 

It turns out that Cornell is 2-0 against Yale, so they now (for the time being) have two wins against TUCs that they didn't have yesterday.  Also, UMass (whom Cornell lost to earlier in the season) dropped below the TUC cliff, with an RPI of 0.4999.  This puts Cornell's TUC record at 8-3-3 for a winning percentage of 0.679.  Yesterday, it was 6-4-3, for a winning percentage of 0.577.  That improvement in TUC record gives Cornell the overall comparison over Michigan, as they also had a better record against common opponents.  The only ways this can change are by Cornell losing to some TUCs or by changing who the TUCs are.  So in order to win the comparison with Cornell, we are rooting for the following:

1.  Harvard to beat Yale tonight.  This would probably drop Yale below the TUC cliff, or at least make it so that if Yale does advance in the ECAC tournament, they could more easily get knocked below the cliff.  If Yale drops below the TUC cliff, their TUC record drops to 0.625, which Michigan would surpass with a win over ND tonight.

2.  UMass to beat BC tonight.  Umass has a win over Cornell, and currently have an RPI of 0.4999.  A win tonight would ensure that they would be a TUC, and that alone would drop Cornell's TUC record to the point where they would be tied with Michigan, and below us should we beat Notre Dame tonight.  That would give Michigan the overall comparison.

3.  We should also be aware of how Niagara does in their tournament.  Both Michigan and Cornell have a win over Niagara, so a Niagara loss would hurt both (though it hurts Cornell more). EDIT: However, we want Niagara to stay as a TUC.  If we beat ND tonight, we pull ahead of Duluth thanks to overtaking them in TUC record.  If we can't count that win over Niagara, we'd fall back below Duluth.  Since our comparison with Duluth is going to come down to TUC record, we need every win we can get.

4. We want Duluth to lose next weekend.  Their games this weekend don't matter too much, but if both Michigan and Duluth win out, Duluth wins could win the comparison if they play TUCs both times next weekend. 

We'll know a lot more about the pairwise landscape after tonight.  Happy scoreboard watching, and Go Blue!

 

Hockey PWR update

Hockey PWR update

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on March 3rd, 2012 at 11:17 PM

While Michigan had the weekend off, a number of the games that were played have had a pretty big effect on the Pairwise rankings.  Michigan is now in a 3-way tie for second with Lowell and Duluth (and leads that group by virtue of having the best RPI of the three).  Here's how that happened:

Duluth only managed one point in two games against St. Cloud.  This hurt their TUC record and their RPI quite a bit, though they still win the comparison (barely) against Michigan.  However, they now lose comparisons to Lowell and Minnesota.

BC won both of its games and maintains a solid RPI lead over Michigan, which is probably not going to change.  That won't affect where Michigan goes, as BC will most likely end up as the #1 in Worcester, but the top overall seed gets to play the Atlantic Hockey champ in the first round, so that would be nice.  

BU lost to Northeastern on Saturday.  While this didn't have an immediate effect (we were already winning the comparison against BU), it might help down the road.  That comparison was a precarious tie: we were winning RPI, they were winning TUCs, and our record against common opponents was a tie.  The loss to Northeastern broke that tie in our favor.  Also, since they might play BC in the Hockey East tournament, they had the opportunity to win the comparison with a win over BC.  Now, that win won't be enough; basically, unless we suffer an RPI collapse, we have the BU comparison locked up.

At this point, it looks like the top overall seed is pretty much out of reach, but a #1 seed is very likely.  If things ended today, I think we'd be the top seed in St. Paul, facing Cornell, with Minnesota-Miami likely the other regional semi.  We could also get sent to Green Bay, again facing Cornell, and with Ferris-Denver probably the other semi.

Next week: CCHA quarters vs. either Notre Dame or Lake Superior.  Either is a TUC, and an opportunity to improve (or hurt) our pairwise resume.  Go Blue!

Hockey PWR update and rooting guide

Hockey PWR update and rooting guide

Submitted by mfan_in_ohio on February 26th, 2012 at 1:17 AM

Warning: this got longer than I meant for it to get.  Happens a lot.

 Although Michigan suffered an upset at the hands of Bowling Green on Friday night, all was not lost this weekend.  In fact, an oddity about the Pairwise rankings is that losses to bad teams hurt less than losses to good teams, in that Michigan's record against TUCs was unaffected.  Also, Ferris only managed one point this weekend against Western, Lowell took only one point from Merrimack, and Denver split with North Dakota.  So Michigan ends the weekend in 3rd place in the Pairwise, trailing only #1 Duluth and #2 BC. 

Hockey East and the WCHA have one week of games left, while the CCHA starts its playoffs next weekend.  BU plays Northeastern in what is a win-win for Michigan. Northeastern is a common opponent for Michigan and BU (BU beat them once, Michigan lost to them once.  A BU sweep might knock Northeastern out of the TUC ranks, helping Michigan's record against TUCs.  Any loss or tie by BU gives us a big boost as it breaks the current tie against common opponents in our favor.  It doesn't matter now, but could matter if BU plays BC (another common opponent) in the Hockey East playoffs.  BTW, the other common opponent is Notre Dame, a possible quarterfinal opponent in the CCHA playoffs (should either BG or Alaska upset their opponents). Defeating ND in that series would also help us against BU.  So root hard for Northeastern.

Duluth has two games at St. Cloud.  The only way we win the comparison with Duluth is if they fall behind us in their record against TUCs.  That would happen if they somehow get swept by St. Cloud, or at least lose one now and lose again in the WCHA playoffs while Michigan wins out.

The Ferris comparison will be decided by RPI, where we currently have a slight advantage.  We will win the comparison if we do better than Ferris in the CCHA playoffs.

Denver is a close comparison, but their split this weekend hurt their TUC record and they remain just behind us.  Root against them in their games at UNO this weekend.  If they sweep UNO, they, at least temporarily, flip the comparison. 

Lowell took a beating at the hands of Merrimack, and while it didn't really do anything with our comparison against them, it hurt them against other teams and dropped them down to 6th.  They, like BU, are tied with us against common opponents.  Their series against Providence next weekend is pretty meaningless to us, but should they encounter BC in the Hockey East tournament, root for BC.

And speaking of BC, the Eagles are 0.01 ahead of us in RPI, which is actually a lot, and flipping the RPI comparison is the only way to pull ahead of them.  Here's the thing though: it doesn't really matter if we pull ahead of BC, because they're getting sent to the Worcester, MA regional anyway.  So go ahead and root against BC next weekend if you want, but you'll want to root FOR them later on against Lowell or BU. 

Rooting summary: Next weekend, root for Northeastern over BU, St. Cloud over Duluth and UNO over Denver