First and second place in Hockey East are mostly decided with Boston College clinching the top spot and Northeastern well ahead for second place. Beyond that…oy.
All of the teams from third to seventh have clinched a tournament spot (indicated by the x) but the order could change substantially between now and the start of the Hockey East tournament. Three teams sit tied with 20 points with Boston University winning on tiebreakers. The Terriers sport a 3-0-1 record against New Hampshire and Providence and New Hampshire is 2-1-0 against the Friars themselves.
To determine who might have the edge heading into the final stretch of the season, let’s look at the standings if we only include games played among these five teams.
Well…that kind of throws a wrench into the works, doesn’t it? Connecticut wins the tiebreaker over Vermont on wins and Vermont wins the tiebreaker over Boston University via their 1-0-2 record against the Terriers. And here are the teams in order of easiest to weakest schedule.
Hmmm. Could it be that at the end of the day everything comes up UConn? The Huskies have wins over both of their final two opponents, a 2-1 overtime win over New Hampshire and a 5-3 win over Maine where they raced out to a 4-0 lead and didn’t really look back.
Providence has also fared well against their remaining opponents with a 3-1-1 record that comes largely on two wins over Merrimack. Both Vermont and New Hampshire have zero wins over their remaining opponents and BU stands a pedestrian 2-3-0 in that category.
If you pick games solely based on who is higher ranked in the PairWise Rankings (BU, Vermont, Connecticut, Providence, New Hampshire) the standings go as follows:
- Vermont – 28
- BU – 26 (Tiebreaker 2-1-0 vs. UConn)
- Connecticut – 26
- Providence – 22
- New Hampshire – 20
Of course there’s a reason they play the games. Vermont could very well upset Boston College and go 4-0-0. They could also fall flat on their faces as they’ve done many times this season.