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)
- Goal differential (+/-)
- 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%)
The quality of competition statistics require all teams to have played multiple games against top competition (teams with a shots percentage over 50%). Wisconsin is the only team that has yet to do this. Everyone shame Wisconsin. Also I have taken to making all of my spreadsheets available for download here.
We’ve reached the ‘yeah we’ve got it pretty much figured out’ part of the season. Barring something shocking, the top four should remain the same for the rest of the season, though the order will probably shuffle.
The PairWise ranking is important because the NCAA tournament field’s at-large bids are generally populated by the highest ranked teams that didn’t secure an auto-bid by winning their conference tournament. A breakdown of how the ranking is determined can be found here.
I’ve added the previous weekend’s results along with each team’s movement from the previous week although it’s still early enough in the season to produce some weird results. Again, eight teams make the NCAA Tournament so let’s run down the top eight:
Wisconsin was idle this past weekend. My instinct is to criticize the WCHA for ducking a weekend with key players out, and there is a certain savviness to that, but I think they actually have it right. International play is important, and I don’t think it’s a big deal for the NCAA to take a break for something like the Four Nations Cup.
2. Boston College
Boston College shellacked rival Boston University with a 8-1 win on Saturday before winning a close 4-3 overtime victory last night. They get their biggest test of the season November 20th when they host #7 Northeastern.
The Gophers were also idle. Still counting down to December 3rd and 4th versus Wisconsin.
In years past the Union/RPI weekends have been pretty reliable for a sweep by the Golden Knights (their last non-sweep was 2011-12, the last RPI win was 2010). But the Engineers are solid this season and can’t be taken lightly. Clarkson found that out Saturday as a parade to the penalty box saw a 1-0 lead turn into a 2-1 loss.
The Golden Knights came out angry versus Syracuse last night and buried a good Orange team 5-1.
Another dominating weekend statistically for the Bobcats and another weekend falling short of two wins. This time their roadblock was the Colgate Raiders. The Bobcats outshot Colgate 44-22, but goaltenders Sydney Rossman and Ashlynne Rando played to a scoreless draw.
No Coyne, no problem for the Huskies, who defeated Maine 3-1 in their only game of the weekend. Coyne’s absence was felt though as the Huskies were outshot 34-22 by the Black Bears. The 9 shots per game Coyne averages would have certainly helped.
The Tigers are probably still kicking themselves for their Friday loss to Cornell. The Big Red’s Taylor Woods tied the game shorthanded with just 1:16 left on the clock. She then won it for Cornell with a second goal 55 seconds later. It was backup netminder Alysia DaSilva’s first collegiate loss in five games played.
Colgate maintains their grip on the 8th spot despite a winless weekend. Quinnipiac and Princeton are both quality opponents and the Raiders continue to play well. I didn’t expect Cornell to struggle quite as much as they have. Their fall, coupled with Yale’s rough start could see the Raiders joining the Engineers as new ECAC playoff teams.
The Best of the Rest
Kudos to Bemidji State for not taking the weekend off despite losing Stephanie Anderson to the Four Nations up. Their sweep of Ohio State wasn’t very impressive but I think I can forgive that with Anderson out, much like Northeastern and Coyne.
The Saints are back to .500 after a schedule that saw them play eight games against the then #2, #5, #8, and #10 teams (BC, Clarkson, Harvard, Dartmouth) and the current #7 (Northeastern). The brutal part of their schedule isn’t over yet though. Current #10 Princeton and #8 Quinnipiac next week.
The Orange had a solid showing against a talented Lindenwood team, notching three points on the weekend. Tiebreakers have them in second in the CHA but they’re putting up better numbers than the first-place Lakers. Orange shots are 34.4-19.6 per game to Mercyhurst’s 31.5-19.8.
The Colonials are flying high, averaging almost four goals per game in CHA play. Brittany Howard leads the team with a 6-10-16 line and sits tied for 12th in the NCAA in scoring. The Colonials are also the only CHA team considered in the PairWise rankings.