Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What We Know

Men

There are two weeks left in the regular season. Each team has four games and eight potential points remaining in their schedule.

The Engineers are in 5th place with a record of 9-7-2 for 20 points. They are tied with St. Lawrence for 4th, but lose the tiebreaker by virtue of the Saints' 3 points in head-to-head play. They can finish no lower than 10th.

As mentioned last week, the Engineers have functionally, if not mathematically, clinched home ice for at least the first round of the playoffs, but it will be official after Friday's games with a victory AND a Princeton loss to Union. They do not control their own destiny for the bye, but can change that on Friday with a win AND St. Lawrence loss or tie, OR a tie AND a St. Lawrence loss AND a Colgate loss or tie.

Cornell and Yale are tied for first place with 26 points each. Both have officially clinched at least home ice in the first round and can finish no lower than 7th, but both have functionally clinched a first-round bye. The Engineers have a game remaining against Cornell and must win it to have a chance to win the tiebreaker with the Big Red. The Engineers win the tiebreaker with Yale by virtue of their sweep of the season series.

Union is in 3rd place with 24 points, 4 points ahead of RPI. They have clinched at least home ice for the first round. The Dutchmen win the tiebreaker with RPI by virtue of their sweep of the season series.

Colgate is in 6th place with 19 points, one point behind RPI. The Engineers have a game remaining against the Raiders and must win it to have a chance to win the tiebreaker, but at present would likely lose on the 2nd tiebreaker of ECAC wins.

Quinnipiac is in 7th place with 18 points, two points behind RPI. The Engineers face the Bobcats at home on Friday and would clinch the tiebreaker with a win or a tie.

Harvard is in 8th place with 17 points, three points behind RPI. The Engineers win the tiebreaker against the Crimson by virtue of having earned 3 points in head-to-head play.

The best case scenario for RPI after this weekend would see them tied for third with Union (holding the fourth position after losing the tiebreaker), unable to fall lower than 6th with two games left.

Best case results this weekend:
Friday
RPI over Quinnipiac
Harvard over Cornell
St. Lawrence over Yale
Princeton over Union
Dartmouth over Colgate

Saturday
RPI over Princeton
Dartmouth over Cornell
Clarkson over Yale
Quinnipiac over Union
Brown over St. Lawrence
Harvard over Colgate

Women

There is one week left in the regular season. Each team has two games and four potential points remaining in their schedule.

The Engineers are in 3rd place with a record of 11-5-4 for 26 points. They are tied with Harvard, but win the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of the Crimson. They have clinched a playoff spot and can finish no lower than 7th.

Clarkson and Cornell are tied for first place with 30 points each. The only way for RPI to reach first place is in a tie with these teams, assuming both Clarkson and Cornell are swept this weekend and the Engineers sweep. In this event, the Engineers would win the head-to-head tiebreaker and would earn the regular season title and home-ice throughout the ECAC Playoffs. If Harvard were to sweep their weekend as well, it would create a four-way tie which would also be won by the Engineers. This is the only way for RPI to earn the #1 overall seed. (This is heavily dependent on a highly unlikely Union victory over Cornell on Saturday, so don't get your hopes up - Ed.)

Individually, the Engineers win a tiebreaker with Clarkson for second place by virtue of taking three points from the Golden Knights in the head-to-head matchups, and would win a tiebreaker with Cornell by virtue of having more ECAC wins than the Big Red (not currently true, but it would be true if the teams end up tied, which is dependent on an RPI win over Cornell which would create a season series split).

Quinnipiac is in 5th place, one point behind the Engineers. RPI wins a tiebreaker with Quinnipiac by virtue of having more ECAC wins than the Bobcats, and win a three-way tiebreaker with Quinnipiac and Harvard by virtue of head-to-head points.

Princeton is in 6th place, two points behind the Engineers. The winner of this tiebreaker is unclear at this point, as the teams split the season series with two ties and have the same number of ties in ECAC play to date. The second tiebreaker would depend on how each team came to arrive at the tie - if neither team ties any of their games this weekend, the tiebreaker would move on to the 3rd criteria, record against Top 4 teams, which is also unclear at this point but the Engineers would probably have the advantage.

St. Lawrence is in 7th place, three points behind the Engineers. The Saints win the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of RPI (the only team to accomplish the feat so far this season, although Cornell has the chance to become the second team on Friday).

Multiple tiebreaker situations are as follows.
  • Clarkson-RPI-Harvard: RPI, Clarkson, Harvard (RPI wins head-to-head, Clarkson wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • Cornell-RPI-Harvard: RPI, Cornell, Harvard (RPI wins head-to-head, Cornell wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac: RPI, Harvard, Quinnipiac (RPI wins head-to-head, Harvard wins individual tiebreak with Quinnipiac)
  • RPI-Quinnipiac-Princeton: Princeton, RPI, Quinnipiac (Princeton wins head-to-head, RPI wins individual tiebreak with Quinnipiac)
  • RPI-Quinnipiac-St. Lawrence: Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, RPI (QU/SLU tie in 3-way head-to-head, dropping RPI, QU wins individual tiebreak with SLU)
  • RPI-Harvard-Princeton: RPI, Princeton, Harvard (RPI wins head-to-head, Princeton wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • RPI-Harvard-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI, Harvard (SLU wins head-to-head, RPI wins individual tiebreak with Harvard)
  • RPI-Princeton-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI/Princeton (SLU wins head-to-head, RPI/Princeton tiebreak is ambiguous as noted above)
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac-Princeton: RPI/Princeton, Harvard, Quinnipiac (RPI/PU tie in 4-way head-to-head (ambiguous individual tiebreak), HU wins individual tiebreak with QU)
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac-St. Lawrence: Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, RPI, Harvard
  • RPI-Harvard-Princeton-St. Lawrence: St. Lawrence, RPI, Princeton, Harvard
  • RPI-Quinnipiac-Princeton-St. Lawrence: Princeton/SLU, RPI, Quinnipiac
  • RPI-Harvard-Quinnipiac-Princeton-St. Lawrence: Princeton, Quinnipiac, St. Lawrence, RPI, Harvard
Brown and Union are eliminated. Dartmouth, Yale, and Colgate are still alive for the final playoff spot, the team that gets it will be the #8 seed and will travel to face the regular season champion, either Clarkson, Cornell, or RPI.

The Engineers can clinch home ice on Friday with:
  • A win over Cornell AND a Quinnipiac loss or tie with Yale AND a Princeton loss or tie with Brown.
  • A tie with Cornell AND a Quinnipiac loss to Yale AND a Princeton loss to Brown AND a St. Lawrence tie or loss to Harvard.
A loss on Friday does not eliminate RPI from home ice contention, but they can lose control of their home ice destiny with a loss, a Quinnipiac win, and a Harvard win or tie.

Best case results this weekend:
Friday
RPI over Cornell
Dartmouth over Clarkson

Saturday
RPI over Colgate
Union over Cornell
Harvard over Clarkson

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