Saturday, February 18, 2012

Where We Stand

There is one game remaining in the regular season.

RPI (6-13-2) lost 2-1 to Princeton last night, while Brown (5-12-4) lost 5-1 to Harvard and Colgate (5-14-2) lost 6-0 to St. Lawrence.

Colgate can now only finish in a three-way tie for 8th with RPI and Brown, and Brown would win this tiebreaker. Thus, Colgate is eliminated from playoff contention.

RPI can clinch a playoff berth (the #8 seed) in one of these two scenarios:
1) A win over Quinnipiac AND a Brown tie or loss to Dartmouth
2) A tie over Quinnipiac AND a Brown loss to Dartmouth

Anything different, and Brown is the #8 seed.

The following finishing positions are guaranteed:
#1 - Cornell (19-2-0)
#2 - Harvard (16-4-1)
#6 - Quinnipiac (11-8-2)
#7 - Princeton (9-10-2)
#11 - Union (2-17-2)
#12 - Yale (1-19-1)

Thus, the only known quarterfinal matchup next week is Princeton at Harvard.

St. Lawrence (14-5-2) and Clarkson (14-5-2) are currently in a tie for 3rd place. Dartmouth can tie both with a win over Brown and SLU/Clarkson losses, but would not move up in any tiebreaker. St. Lawrence wins both the three-way tie and a tie with Clarkson for 3rd, both on head-to-head records.

Dartmouth (13-6-2) can move into 4th place and secure the final home ice position if they defeat Brown AND St. Lawrence loses to Cornell AND Clarkson either beats or ties Colgate. That's not a terribly unlikely scenario.

As this pertains to RPI, Brown's opponent has something to play for, while RPI's opponent will finish in their current position no matter what.

Next week's matchups
#8 Brown/RPI at #1 Cornell
#7 Princeton at #2 Harvard
#6 Quinnipiac at #3 Clarkson/St. Lawrence
#5 Dartmouth/St. Lawrence at #4 Clarkson/Dartmouth/St. Lawrence

There are three games left in the regular season.

RPI (5-11-3) lost to Quinnipiac 3-1 last night. Coupled with Princeton's 3-0 loss to Union and Brown's 3-3 tie against Harvard (which gives the Crimson the NCAA record for ties, incidentally), the Engineers now sit in a three-way tie with the Tigers and Bears for 10th place (or last place, if you prefer).

The Engineers can no longer catch any team in the top half of the standings with only six points up for grabs. If they were to win all three games, they would finish with 19 points, putting them, at best, in a tie with St. Lawrence (9-9-1), currently in 7th place. They cannot, however, win a tiebreaker with the Saints, because that presupposes 3 losses for SLU and 3 wins for RPI, and the Saints would win the second tiebreaker on wins.

Yale (8-10-1) sits in 8th, the final home ice position, four points ahead of the Engineers with six points left. To say home ice is a stretch for RPI at this point is putting it mildly, especially given that the season ends with two road games at teams likely to be off the following weekend.

Union (12-3-4) has secured a first round bye. Cornell (10-3-6) does so by picking up any one of the six remaining points.

Colgate (11-7-1) has secured at least home ice in the first round.

The Engineers win the tiebreaker with Brown. They would be unlikely to win the tiebreaker with Yale on wins. The tiebreaker with Dartmouth is unknown, as it would probably go into at least the third iteration (Top 4). RPI would lose the tiebreaker with Princeton with a loss or tie tonight, otherwise it too would likely go into the third iteration.

At this point, RPI needs wins, but they should also be hoping for losses by Yale (vs. Harvard) and Dartmouth (at Brown).

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