The regular season is over, the ECAC quarterfinals are set.
Tiebreakers put into effect:
* Tie for 1st: Clarkson won the season series with Harvard 3-1.
* Tie for 4th: Cornell won the season series with St. Lawrence 3-1.
#8 Dartmouth at #1 Clarkson
#7 Yale at #2 Harvard
#6 Princeton at #3 Quinnipiac
#5 St. Lawrence at #4 Cornell
RPI finishes 9th, Colgate 10th, Union 11th, Brown 12th.
Quinnipiac has clinched the #1 seed. They are four points ahead of St. Lawrence, which means the Saints can still tie them for first, but Quinnipiac wins the tiebreaker.
St. Lawrence has clinched the #2 seed. They are four points ahead of Yale, which means the Bulldogs can still tie them for second, but SLU wins the tiebreaker.
Yale can clinch a first-round bye on Friday with a win, or a tie and a Dartmouth tie/loss.
Yale, Colgate, Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cornell are all still alive for the last two first-round byes. All have clinched at least a home ice playoff series.
Clarkson can clinch home ice with a win or a tie against RPI on Friday.
RPI can still finish as high as 8th, but they must defeat Clarkson on Friday, get at least a result against St. Lawrence and get help from Union on Saturday in order to surpass the Golden Knights for the final home ice spot. They can fall as low as 11th.
-- RPI analysis below --
An RPI sweep and Union picking up points against Clarkson would guarantee 8th (RPI would win the tiebreaker with Clarkson on ECAC wins if Union and Clarkson tie).
An RPI win over Clarkson followed by a draw with SLU and a Union win over Clarkson would send things to at least the 3rd tiebreaker. Clarkson would almost certainly win this, but it's not guaranteed.
Points against potential Top 4 teams (bold teams guaranteed)
Quinnipiac: Clarkson 2, RPI 0
St. Lawrence: Clarkson 2, RPI 1*
Yale: Clarkson 3, RPI 0
Harvard: Clarkson 0, RPI 0
Colgate: RPI 2, Clarkson 1
Dartmouth, Clarkson 2, RPI 2
Cornell: RPI 3, Clarkson 0
* - scenario assumes an RPI draw with St. Lawrence
RPI would have to make up 3 points with the #3 and #4 teams. They can only do this with Cornell, but they also need Yale outside of the Top 4. If Yale is in the Top 4, Clarkson wins the tiebreaker handily no matter what. Cornell in the Top 4 and Yale out is possible only if Cornell and Colgate sweep at Yale. If Cornell and Colgate are #3 and #4 in some order, RPI wins the comparison (possible as long as Dartmouth does no better than a weekend split and Harvard gets no more than one point). If Cornell and either Harvard or Dartmouth are #3 and #4 in some order, this goes to record against Top 8, really Top 7 since it would be a tie for 8th. Add up all the above points and you get Clarkson 10, RPI 8.
In this scenario the Engineers only win the tiebreaker if Cornell and Colgate are #3 and #4. It's a real narrow hole to fit into. Therefore, there's no real strong path to a home-ice series for RPI without sweeping the weekend.
Even if RPI does sweep the weekend, they're still on the road if Clarkson beats Union. If RPI does not beat Clarkson on Friday, they cannot reach 8th.
Bottom line for RPI: Rooting for Cornell and Colgate (both playing Yale, plus they need points), and for Quinnipiac and Princeton (both playing Dartmouth and Harvard) all weekend long, rooting for Union on Saturday (against Clarkson) if RPI wins on Friday. None of these teams can hurt RPI's positioning with wins in these situations, but they can definitely help it.
If the Engineers can reach 8th, they will host Clarkson. That is the only team they can host in two weeks, because even if Union sweeps Clarkson and SLU, they would only have 17 points, Clarkson is already sitting on 18.
If they stay in 9th, they're almost certainly traveling to Clarkson, with a slight chance of traveling to Cornell and a very remote chance of traveling to Dartmouth.
Should they fall into 10th or 11th, they could potentially travel to pretty much any team currently ahead of them in the standings except for Quinnipiac or St. Lawrence.
-- RPI analysis above --
Union, Brown, and Princeton will all be on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
Union and Brown can still finish as high as 9th and as low as 11th.
Princeton will finish in 12th.
There's only one tie in the standings right now.
Tie for 4th: Harvard swept the season series with Colgate, 4-0.
If the season ended today (and it does not), the playoff situation would be as follows.
#12 Princeton at #5 Colgate
#11 Brown at #6 Dartmouth
#10 Union at #7 Cornell
#9 RPI at #8 Clarkson
Clarkson/RPI/Union/Brown/Princeton at #1 Quinnipiac
Cornell/Clarkson/RPI/Union/Brown at #2 St. Lawrence
Dartmouth/Cornell/Clarkson/RPI/Union at #3 Yale
Colgate/Dartmouth/Cornell/Clarkson/RPI at #4 Harvard
Here are the remaining relevant tiebreaker situations, sorted by who wins each one.
SLU - Won, 4-0.
Yale - Won, 4-0.
Harvard - Won, 4-0.
Colgate - Ahead, 2-0.
Dartmouth - Tied, 2-2. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Colgate - Won, 4-0.
Dartmouth - Won, 3-1.
Dartmouth - Won, 3-1.
Cornell - Won, 4-0.
Clarkson - Tied, 2-2. This would go to the third tiebreaker at least.
Yale - Tied, 2-2. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Clarkson - Won, 4-0.
Colgate, Harvard - Won, 3-1.
Yale - Ahead, 2-0.
RPI - Ahead, 2-0.
Dartmouth - Tied, 2-2. This would go to the third tiebreaker at least.
Union - Won, 4-0.
Brown - Tied, 2-2. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
RPI - Won, 4-0.
Union - Tied, 2-2. Unknown ECAC wins difference.
Cannot tie anyone.
(These are colored by the fact that Yale still has games against Colgate and Cornell, but Cornell can only tie Yale with a weekend sweep AND Yale being swept. That means we can extrapolate most of the tiebreaks already should they remain relevant in the end.)
COL-COR-DRT: Dartmouth, Colgate, Cornell
COL-COR-HRV: Cornell, Harvard, Colgate
COL-COR-YAL: Cornell, Colgate, Yale
COL-DRT-HRV: Harvard, Colgate, Dartmouth
COL-DRT-YAL: Colgate/Yale, Dartmouth (Colgate wins if they beat Yale, Yale wins otherwise)
COL-HRV-YAL: Yale, Harvard, Colgate
COR-DRT-HRV: Dartmouth, Harvard, Cornell
COR-DRT-YAL: Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale
COR-HRV-YAL: Cornell, Yale, Harvard
DRT-HRV-YAL: Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth
COL-COR-DRT-HRV: Harvard, Dartmouth, Cornell, Colgate
COL-COR-DRT-YAL: Dartmouth, Cornell, Colgate, Yale
COL-COR-HRV-YAL: Cornell, Yale, Harvard, Colgate
COR-DRT-HRV-YAL: Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, Harvard
COL-COR-DRT-HRV-YAL: Dartmouth, Cornell, Yale, Harvard, Colgate
CKN-COR-DRT: Dartmouth, Cornell, Clarkson
BRN-RPI-UC: Brown, RPI, Union