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%)
- Power play and penalty kill percentage – NEW DATA
- 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%)
I have finally decided to do the extra work so we can include special teams figures. Also I have taken to making all of my spreadsheets available for download here.
This comes before Northeastern’s mid-week loss to Harvard. I think the pollsters got ahead of themselves with the Huskies. They’re good, but they feel better in the 6-8 range. It’s possible that, much like last season, Clarkson, Harvard, and Quinnipiac can all beat one another on any given night.
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.
Wisconsin has once again not played any teams with a shots percentage above 50% (Minnesota-Duluth dropped below) so that accounts for some of the large movement. I’ve added the previous weekend’s results along with each team’s movement from the previous week. Again, eight teams make the NCAA Tournament so let’s run down the top eight:
Wisconsin had two games against Lindenwood which they won handily, as expected. There’s nothing to say about them until they play Minnesota next weekend.
2. Boston College
There’s no matchup on Boston College’s schedule that will justify ranking them ahead of either Wisconsin or Minnesota unless those two teams fall hard. Their win over Northeastern is perhaps the most impressive of the season, but it’s just not enough.
Minnesota had two games against Yale which they won handily, as expected. There’s nothing to say about them until they play Wisconsin next weekend.
The Harvard blueprint is pretty obvious at this point: don’t get completely crushed on possession, make sure the defense is airtight, get a fluky goal or two, and rely on Emerance Maschmeyer to do the rest.
Harvard could make another run to the NCAA finals this year solely because they don’t make any mistakes. But once again they lack the punch to defeat anyone they might come up against in that game unless some really strange things happen.
The Knights played a really solid game against Quinnipiac. It’s just that Taylar Cianfarano scored two preposterous goals and got one lucky bounce.
That said, there are some concerns. The Knights have difficulty scoring against other top opponents. Quinnipiac, Harvard, and even RPI have all had success shutting the Knights down. Even their 3-0 win over Princeton featured two empty-net goals.
Also, Shea Tiley looks a little off. She’s still an extremely solid goaltender, but she hasn’t really played world-beater in the way that Emerance Maschmeyer can.
The Bobcats had as good a weekend as you can, shutting out both Clarkson and St. Lawrence. But we already know they can run through the first half of the season. The big question is: can they keep that up when the stakes raise and all the opponents are good?
The game against Harvard was frustrating for the Huskies. They basically mopped the ice with the Crimson across two periods only to find themselves down 2-0 heading into the third. Harvard came to life in the third and that was that.
The Raiders just won’t go away. This past week they defeated Syracuse and then split a series with Mercyhurst that they probably should have swept. They had 2-0 leads in both games against the Lakers with the first turning into a 4-2 defeat, and the second into a 3-0 victory.
The Best of the Rest
The Terriers schedule has softened a bit, but they’re nevertheless climbing back into contention. They’re 12th in my rankings and 10th in the much more important pairwise. If they can pot a win against BC or Northeastern and if Cornell and Connecticut end up being quality wins, they’ll be in business.
Likewise the Saints are recovering from their rough early schedule. Not only are they now two games above .500 overall, but they’re holding onto the fourth seed, and final home ice seed for the ECAC tournament.
St. Cloud State
St. Cloud Swept Ohio State which, coupled with Minnesota-Duluth’s rough start, has them fifth in the WCHA. They haven’t finished higher than 7th in the conference since the 2009-10 season.