Saturday, February 16, 2013

Where We Stand (16 Feb)

Women
For most teams, there are three games left in the regular season. Brown and Yale have four games left and Harvard has five due to a pair of postponements left over from last weekend's blizzard.

(The last game of the season will be Yale at Harvard on February 26, three days after the regular season was supposed to have ended.)

RPI (8-9-2) has clinched a spot in the playoffs following last night's victory over Yale. Their magic number for clinching no lower than their current position - 7th - is one. That means they will clinch with one point against any remaining opponent (Brown, Cornell, Colgate) or with any one point lost by Princeton (5-12-2) by any remaining opponent (St. Lawrence, Brown, Yale).

The Engineers could still end up in 8th, but it would require Princeton winning out, RPI losing their three remaining games, and Dartmouth not reaching the top four (possible but not likely), as the RPI/Princeton tiebreaker would come into play, and Princeton would currently win it on the third tiebreak, record against top four teams, by virtue of the Tigers' 4-1 win over Clarkson last night, the only points either team has against a Top 4 team.

Meanwhile, the Engineers' hopes of reaching 6th have dimmed somewhat. Thanks to Dartmouth's 3-2 win over Colgate last night, RPI still sits five points behind the Big Green for that sixth position with only six points available to them.

The Engineers win the tiebreaker with Dartmouth (10-6-3) on a 3-1 season series win, but they cannot reach that tiebreaker without points against Cornell, a team they have lost 10 straight games against.

That means that for the Engineers to catch Dartmouth, the Big Green must lose out (Cornell, Clarkson, St. Lawrence) and RPI needs to beat Brown this afternoon, tie or beat Cornell next week, and then beat Colgate. Alternatively, Dartmouth has a magic number of 2 to clinch no worse than 6th.

Outside of RPI's game this afternoon at Brown, their cheering interests are with Cornell over Dartmouth and St. Lawrence over Princeton.

RPI will be in 7th position, alone, after this afternoon's games no matter what happens.

Men
There are five games remaining in the regular season.

RPI (8-6-3) is in a tie with Yale (9-7-1) for 2nd place following last night's 5-1 victory over Brown and Yale's 4-2 loss to Union. The Engineers hold the current tiebreaker over the Bulldogs thanks to the 6-1 victory in New Haven back in December, but the teams play tonight and if Yale wins, they would not only move two points ahead in the standings, but they would take the tiebreak away on the second criteria, ECAC wins.

The Engineers control their own destiny as it pertains to 2nd place, their current position and highest remaining seed available now that Quinnipiac (14-1-2) has clinched the top seed. They must beat Yale tonight for that to remain true. Alternatively, a tie together with ties or losses by St. Lawrence (at Princeton) and Union (vs. Brown) would also leave the Engineers in control of their destiny on 2nd place.

Outside of RPI's game tonight against Yale, their cheering interests are with Brown over Union, Quinnipiac over Clarkson, Colgate over Dartmouth, and Harvard over Cornell (the Big Red would be unable to catch RPI, Harvard already can't).

The "best" result of the St. Lawrence-Princeton game is debatable, since RPI holds the tiebreaker with the Saints yet sits only a point ahead of them in the standings, while they lose the tiebreaker with Princeton and sit just two points back. A tie in this game might actually be the best case scenario, especially since it would provide a little insurance for the SLU tiebreak down the road on ECAC wins (applicable if the Saints beat RPI on the last day of the regular season).

Best case scenario for RPI after tonight's games is 2nd place by themselves, which they would accomplish simply by defeating Yale. Worst case, 7th place due to multiple tiebreaker situations involving Princeton (though the worst tying position would be 5th).

Current individual tiebreakers (RPI cannot tie Quinnipiac or Harvard):
Yale: Win on season series (2-0)
SLU: Win on season series (2-0)
Union: Lose on season series (0-4)
Clarkson: Win on season series (2-0)
Dartmouth: Unclear (involves third tiebreak, Record against Top 4)
Princeton: Lose on season series (1-3)
Brown: Win on season series (3-1)
Colgate: Win on season series (2-0)
Cornell: Win on season series (2-0)

Relevant potential three-way tiebreakers after tonight (presumes tie or loss tonight):
SLU/Yale: RPI, Yale, SLU
Yale/Union: Union, RPI, Yale
SLU/Union: Union, RPI, SLU
SLU/Clarkson: RPI, Clarkson, SLU
Union/Clarkson: Union, RPI, Clarkson
SLU/Dartmouth: RPI/Dartmouth (goes to unclear tiebreak), SLU (on ECAC wins)
Union/Dartmouth: Dartmouth, Union, RPI
Union/Princeton: Union, Princeton, RPI
Clarkson/Dartmouth: RPI/Dartmouth (goes to unclear tiebreak), Clarkson (0 points vs. both teams)
Clarkson/Princeton: Clarkson, Princeton, RPI
Princeton/Dartmouth: Princeton, RPI/Dartmouth (goes to unclear tiebreak)

Relevant four-way tiebreakers after tonight (presumes tie or loss tonight):
SLU/Yale/Union: Yale, Union, RPI, SLU
SLU/Union/Clarkson: Clarkson, Union, RPI, SLU
SLU/Union/Dartmouth: Dartmouth, Union, RPI, SLU
Union/Clarkson/Princeton: Union, Clarkson, Princeton, RPI
Union/Dartmouth/Princeton: Union, Princeton, RPI/Dartmouth (goes to unclear tiebreak)
Clarkson/Dartmouth/Princeton: Princeton, RPI, Dartmouth, Clarkson

Relevant five-way tiebreakers after tonight (presumes loss tonight):
SLU/Union/Clarkson/Dartmouth: Dartmouth, Clarkson, Union, RPI, SLU
Union/Clarkson/Dartmouth/Princeton: Dartmouth, Union, Clarkson, Princeton, RPI

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