As the NCAA season progresses, I’m going to publish weekly rankings in conjunction with the USCHO poll. These rankings will be entirely statistics based with the explanation as to how those stats are developed here. As I prefer to do when compiling rankings, a team’s final ranking will be determined by a summation of their rankings in various statistical categories:
- Overall winning percentage (pct)
- Percentage of shots taken (S%) – (Editor’s Note – This is essentially the best imitator of Corsi %. I’m told that shot attempts (Shots on goal plus missed shots plus shots taken that get blocked) are recorded but that data is not available anywhere.)
- Percentage of shots taken relative to Opponents’ S% (Rel S%)
- S% versus teams with an S% of 50% or more
- Rel S% versus teams with an S% of 50 or more
- Shooting Percentage (Sht%)
- Save Percentage (Sv%)
Boston College finally lost a game, dropping the Beanpot Championship to Harvard in a 3-2 result that was stunning to most. Harvard for the most part kept up with Boston College even though the shots were a somewhat disparate 32-17 in favor of BC and managed to execute slightly better. The Crimson are 12-0-0 at home this season, including the Beanpot which was played at Bright Hockey Center.
UND continued their run through the WCHA’s bottom feeders, dispatching St. Cloud State twice while Minnesota-Duluth dropped two games to Minnesota. North Dakota has Minnesota State in their final series and UMD has Ohio State so they could move even further in opposite directions.
With the top 6 mostly set and the CHA getting an autobid, it seems the big question is: which conference will get three teams in the NCAA tournament, the ECAC or the WCHA? The middle four WCHA teams have done a lot of beating up on one another with North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Ohio State, and Bemidji State crammed together in the standings. It might be difficult to justify pulling one of them ahead of the top three ECAC teams who have largely been very good all year.
And it’s not clear which two ECAC teams would be locks (which I guess makes that a bad word to use). Obviously there’s an auto-bid in there going to the winner of the conference tournament, but it’s a huge question mark beyond that. The murkiest scenario would probably be if Quinnipiac were to win the tournament. Clarkson and Harvard played to a 2-2 draw earlier in the year and have one more match left on the season. If Clarkson wins that game and has an equal showing in the tournament the selection committee will be forced to decide between Harvard’s more impressive out of conference play and Clarkson’s slight edge over Harvard in head to head play.
It kind of irks me that Mercyhurst is ranked this high with my formula but there’s little I can do about it other than tweak my formula arbitrarily. They’re ahead of Boston because Boston’s team save percentage is near the bottom of the NCAA. And they’re ahead of ECAC and WCHA teams because those conferences are so tough. They have the second easiest schedule (behind RIT, based on shot totals) in the NCAA and they’ve made good of it. If you have suggestions for things to add or subtract to my formula, let me know and I’ll look at implementing them for next season.
Northeastern is absolutely mesmerizing. Here’s a list of their greatest hits in terms of shot totals:
- @ Robert Morris: 45-32
- @ Boston University: 39-33
- Vermont: 31-34
- Vermont: 46-38
- Union: 59-24 (I believe this set the NCAA record for most saves in a shutout)
- Connecticut: 45-30
- Boston University: 37-52
- Boston University: 33-49
- @ Maine: 42-42
- Boston University: 32-41 (Beanpot)
- @ Connecticut: 50-44
My goodness… Northeastern is the only team to be averaging over 30 shots for and allowed per game (33.5-32.5) and while they won’t be the only team to crack 1,000 on both sides (Vermont is at 978-919), they will be the first with 1,006 shots for and 976 against.