Friday, February 18, 2011

Women's Hockey - Mid-Weekend Update

The Engineers fell 2-1 to Clarkson this evening in a hard fought game at Houston Field House. Unfortunately, the loss, when coupled with the other results across the league, put RPI in a 3-way tie for the 8th and final playoff spot with Colgate and Yale. The Engineers trail 7th place St. Lawrence (who they play tomorrow) by 2 points, but are out of reach of any higher position. Brown and Union are both far removed from the playoff race in 11th and 12th and will not factor into the scenarios (except for one particular scenario where Brown can influence a tiebreak by keeping Quinnipiac out of the top 4).

With tomorrow marking the last game of the regular season for all 12 ECAC teams, let’s take a minute to take a look at the possible outcomes of tomorrow’s games as they relate to RPI’s playoff aspirations.

A. If RPI defeats St. Lawrence, RPI would move to 20 points on the season and would be tied with St. Lawrence who currently stands at 20. Colgate and Yale would also be involved in potential tiebreakers based on the results of their games tomorrow. The tiebreakers are all detailed below, but all combinations based on this RPI/SLU result end up with RPI in 7th traveling to Harvard, and SLU in 8th traveling to Cornell.

  1. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Yale defeats Princeton: RPI, Yale, SLU, and Colgate would be in a 4-way tie for 7th. Based on head-to-head records among tied teams, RPI would win the 7th spot with a 4-1-1 record (SLU 4-2, Colgate 2-4, Yale 1-4-1). The remaining three teams would tie for 8th place and the tiebreaker would be applied again. SLU would win the 8th spot with a 4-0 record (Yale 1-3, Colgate 1-3). RPI would travel to Harvard next weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals.
  2. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Princeton defeats Yale: RPI, SLU, and Colgate would be in a 3-way tie for 7th. Based on head-to-head records among tied teams, RPI would win the 7th spot with a 3-1 record (SLU 2-2, Colgate 1-3). SLU and Colgate would then tie for 8th place and the tiebreaker would be applied again. SLU would win the 8th spot with a 2-0 record over Colgate. RPI would travel to Harvard next weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals.
  3. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Yale defeats Princeton: RPI, SLU, and Yale would be in a 3-way tie for 7th. Based on head-to-head records among tied teams, RPI would win the 7th spot with a 3-0-1 record (SLU 2-2, Yale 0-3-1). SLU and Yale would then tie for 8th place and the tiebreaker would be applied again. SLU would win the 8th spot with a 2-0 record over Yale. RPI would travel to Havard next weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals.
  4. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Princeton defeats Yale: The Engineers would be in a 2-way tie for 7th place with St. Lawrence and would win the 7th seed based on a 2-0 head-to-head record. SLU would capture the 8th spot. RPI would travel to Harvard next weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals.
  5. Ties in either of the Dartmouth/Colgate and Princeton/Yale games do not affect the Engineers’ final position, RPI wins all the tiebreakers that could result based on head-to-head record and finishes in 7th.

B. If RPI loses to St. Lawrence: RPI would stay at 18 points on the season while SLU would move to 22. SLU would clinch 7th place.

  1. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Yale defeats Princeton: Colgate and Yale would tie for 8th place with 20 points. Colgate and Yale split their season series (first tiebreak). Both would have 9 wins on the season (second tiebreak). Record against top 4 teams would determine which of Colgate/Yale makes the playoffs (third tiebreak), but either way RPI would miss the playoffs. Assuming Quinnipiac defeats Brown, Colgate would win the tiebreak based on record against Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Quinnipiac and take the 8th spot. If Brown upset the Bobcats, Yale would win the tiebreak based on record against Cornell, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Princeton and take the 8th spot.
  2. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Princeton defeats Yale: Colgate would capture the 8th spot with 20 points and RPI/Yale would miss the playoffs.
  3. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Yale defeats Princeton: Yale would capture the 8th spot with 20 points and RPI/Colgate would miss the playoffs.
  4. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Princeton defeats Yale: RPI, Yale, and Colgate would be in a 3-way tie for 8th place. Based on head-to-head record among the 3 teams, RPI would capture the final playoff spot with a 2-1-1 record (Yale would be 1-2-1, Colgate would be 2-2). Yale and Colgate would be eliminated. RPI would travel to Cornell next weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals.
  5. Ties in either of the Dartmouth/Colgate and Princeton/Yale games do not affect the Engineers’ final position; RPI would be eliminated if either game ends in a tie.

C. If RPI and St. Lawrence tie: RPI would move to 19 points while SLU would move to 21. SLU would capture the 7th playoff spot and travel to Harvard.

  1. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Yale defeats Princeton: Colgate and Yale would tie for 8th. The tiebreakers would apply as shown in (B)(1) above, and RPI would be eliminated.
  2. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Princeton defeats Yale: Colgate would capture 8th place with 20 points and RPI would be eliminated.
  3. If Colgate defeats Dartmouth AND Princeton ties Yale: Colgate would capture 8th place with 20 points and RPI would be eliminated.
  4. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Yale defeats Princeton: Yale would capture 8th place with 20 points and RPI would be eliminated.
  5. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Princeton defeats Yale: RPI would capture the 8th spot with 19 points and Colgate/Yale would miss the playoffs.
  6. If Dartmouth defeats Colgate AND Princeton ties Yale: RPI and Yale would tie for 8th place, but RPI would capture the final playoff spot based on a 1-0-1 record head-to-head. RPI would travel to Cornell.
  7. If Colgate ties Dartmouth AND Yale defeats Princeton: Yale would capture 8th place with 20 points and RPI would be eliminated.
  8. If Colgate ties Dartmouth AND Princeton defeats Yale: RPI and Colgate would tie for 8th place with 19 points. The teams split the season series (first tiebreak). They would each have 8 wins. (second tiebreak). RPI wins the tiebreak on record against top 4 regardless of whether that includes Princeton or Quinnipiac, thanks to the Engineers’ wins over Harvard and Dartmouth earlier in the season. RPI would take the 8th spot and travel to Cornell.
  9. If Colgate ties Dartmouth AND Princeton ties Yale: RPI, Colgate, and Yale would be in a 3-way tie for 8th place. RPI would capture the 8th spot based on head-to-head record as outlined in (B)(4) above and travel to Cornell.

The fact of the matter is, if RPI wins tomorrow, they make the playoffs, and as a bonus avoid an all-but-guaranteed crushing defeat at Cornell next weekend in the ECAC quarterfinals. If RPI loses, they depend on both Dartmouth and Princeton to win just to make the playoffs; even then the Engineers are stuck in the 8th spot, traveling to Ithaca for the worst possible matchup in the ECAC. IF RPI and SLU tie, the Engineers either miss the playoffs or travel to Cornell, which again is a very bad thing for RPI.

One game left, and RPI needs to win it. It’s that simple.

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