WCHA Playoff Picture: The Photo Finish

By March 1, 2016Features
standings 2:29

Y-Home Playoff Series Clinched, X-Playoff Berth Clinched, Eliminated From Playoff Contention, (Placing shown w/ tie-breaking procedure(s))

This past weekend was a decisive one across the WCHA. Teams got to plan some home cooking for their first round match-ups, one team clinched a playoff spot, and one team will be playing spoiler only as it’ll miss the playoffs.

In BG the Falcons played their best whistle-to-buzzer weekend as they swept Ferris State at the Ice Arena. The Falcons have played three good teams in a row after struggling with consistency all season. Is Bowling Green starting to peak at the right time?

Just so everyone gets caught up: the WCHA awards 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. The first through fourth placed teams host the fifth through eighth placed teams (1 v. 8, 2 v. 7, 3 v. 6, 4 v. 5).

Let’s take a look at each team, their final opponent, and playoff/seeding prospects. Note: some of the WCHA tiebreakers can not be determined until all games are played.

First up: the teams who have a chance at league title and the MacNaughton Cup. There’s no tie-breaker for the MacNaughton Cup, so there’s a chance all three teams could earn a share of the title.

Here’s the playoff picture for the top three teams:

Minnesota State (vs. Bemidji State)

  • #1 seed: 4 or 3 points against BSU OR 2 points against BSU, MTU takes 3 or fewer points against NMU OR 1 point against BSU, MTU takes 2 or fewer points against NMU, BGSU takes 2 or fewer points against UAH.
  • #2 seed: 2 points against BSU and MTU takes 4 points from NMU OR 1 point against BSU, MTU takes 3 points from NMU, and BGSU takes 3 or fewer points from UAH OR 0 points against BSU, MTU takes 2 points from NMU, BGSU takes two or fewer points from NMU OR MSU takes 0 points from BSU, BGSU takes 3 or more points from UAH, MTU takes 1 or fewer points against NMU.
  • #3 seed: 1 point against BSU, MTU takes 3 or more points against NMU, BGSU takes four points against UAH OR 0 points against BSU, MTU takes two or more points against NMU, BGSU takes three or more points against UAH.

Michigan Tech (vs./at Northern Michigan)

  • #1 seed: 4 points against NMU and MSU takes 2 or fewer points against BSU OR 3 points against NMU, MSU takes 1 or fewer points against BSU, and BGSU takes 3 or fewer points against UAH OR 2 points against NMU, MSU takes 0 points against BSU, and BGSU takes two or fewer points against UAH.
  • #2 seed: 4 points against NMU and MSU takes 3 or more points against BSU OR 3 points against NMU, MSU takes 2 or more points against BSU OR 3 points against NMU, MSU takes 1 or fewer points against BSU, BGSU takes 4 points against UAH OR 2 points against NMU, MSU takes 3 or more points against BSU, BGSU takes 2 or fewer points against UAH OR 2 points against NMU, MSU takes 1 or fewer points against BSU, BGSU takes 3 or more points against UAH OR 1 point against NMU and BGSU takes 1 or fewer points against UAH OR 0 points against NMU and BGSU takes 0 points against UAH.
  • #3 seed: 3 points against NMU, MSU takes 2 or more points against BSU, BGSU takes 4 points against UAH OR 3 points against NMU, MSU takes 1 or fewer points against BSU, BGSU takes 4 points against UAH OR 2 points against NMU, MSU takes 1 or more points against BSU, BGSU takes 3 or more points against UAH OR 1 point against NMU and BGSU takes 2 or more points against UAH OR 0 points against NMU and BGSU takes 1 or more points against UAH.

Bowling Green (at Alabama-Huntsville)

  • #1 seed: 4 points against UAH, MSU takes 1 or fewer points against BSU, MTU takes 3 or fewer points against NMU OR 3 points against UAH, MSU takes 0 points against BSU, MTU takes 2 or fewer points against NMU.
  • #2 seed: 4 points against UAH, MSU takes 2 or more points against BSU, MTU takes 3 or fewer points against NMU OR 4 points against UAH, MSU takes 1 or fewer points against BSU, MTU takes 4 points against NMU OR 3 points against UAH, MSU takes 1 or more points against BSU, MTU takes 2 or fewer points against NMU OR 3 points against UAH, MSU takes 0 points against BSU, MTU takes 3 or more points against NMU OR 2 points against UAH and MTU takes 1 or fewer points against MTU OR 1 point against UAH and MTU takes 0 points from MTU.
  • #3 seed: 4 points against UAH, MSU takes 2 or more points against BSU, MTU takes 4 points against NMU OR 3 points against UAH, MSU takes 1 or more points against BSU, MTU takes 3 or more points against NMU OR 2 points against UAH and MTU takes 2 or more points against NMU OR 1 point against UAH and MTU takes 1 or more points against NMU OR BGSU takes 0 points against UAH.

Ok. So as you can see things are really tight there at the top. MTU holds the tie-breaker over MSU and BGSU, and MSU holds the tie-breaker over BGSU.

Next we’ll go to the next tier or teams. Northern Michigan, Ferris State, and to a lesser degree, Bemidji State can earn the final home-ice position at #4. This tier is going to be a tough one to break up due to the similar conference wins and winning percentage comparisons. This section should be taken as being very fluid over the weekend.

Northern Michigan (at/vs. Michigan Tech)

  • #4 seed: 4 points against MTU OR 3 points against MTU and FSU takes 3 or fewer points against LSSU OR 2 points against MTU, FSU takes 2 or fewer points against LSSU OR 1 point against MTU, FSU takes 1 or fewer points against LSSU.
  • #5 seed: 3 points against MTU and FSU takes 4 or more points against LSSU OR 2 points against MTU and FSU takes 3 or more points against LSSU OR 1 point against MTU and FSU takes 2 or more points against MTU OR 0 points against MTU and FSU takes 1 or more point against LSSU.

Ferris State (vs. Lake Superior)

  • #4 seed: 4 points against LSSU and NMU takes 3 or fewer points against MTU OR 3 points against LSSU and NMU takes 2 or fewer points against MTU OR 2 points against LSSU and NMU takes 1 or fewer points against MTU.
  • #5 seed: 4 points against LSSU and NMU takes 4 points against MTU OR 3 points against LSSU and NMU takes 3 or more points against MTU OR 2 points against LSSU and NMU takes 2 or more points against MTU OR 1 point against LSSU and NMU takes 1 or more points against MTU.
  • #6 seed: 0 points against LSSU and BSU takes 4 points against MSU.

Bemidji State (at Minnesota State)

  • #4 seed: 4 points against MSU, NMU takes 0 points against MTU, FSU takes 0 points against LSSU, and achieves a better victory margin comparison over NMU. Editor’s note: this has now been corrected. BSU can’t earn a home playoff berth.
  • #5 seed: 4 points against MSU, NMU takes 0 points against MTU, FSU takes 1 point against LSSU, and achieves a better victory margin comparison over NMU OR 4 points against MSU, NMU takes 1 point against MTU, and FSU takes 0 points against LSSU.
  • #6 seed: 4 points against MSU, NMU takes 1 or more points against MTU, FSU takes 3 or more points against LSSU OR 3 points against MSU and FSU takes 2 or more points against LSSU OR two or fewer points against MSU.

Lake Superior (at Ferris State)

  • #6 seed: 4 points against FSU and BSU takes 2 or fewer points from MSU OR3 points against FSU and BSU takes 1 or fewer points from MSU OR 2 points against FSU and BSU takes 0 points from MSU.
  • #7 seed: 4 points against FSU and BSU takes 3 or more points from MSU OR 3 points against FSU and BSU takes 2 or more points from MSU OR 2 points from FSU and BSU takes 1 or more points from MSU OR 0 points from FSU.

A lot of those results are very dependent on tie-breakers (like you’ve already read). What won’t be difficult to figure out is the #8 and final playoff spot. To decide that we’ll need to head out to Alaska for the final two games of this year’s Governor’s Cup.

Alaska-Anchorage (at Alaska)

  • #8 seed: 4, 3, or 2 points against UAF.
  • Miss Playoffs: 1 point against UAF.

Alaska-Fairbanks (vs. Alaska-Anchorage)

  • #8 seed: 4 or 3 points against UAA.
  • Miss Playoffs: 2 or fewer points against UAA.

Ironically enough Alaska holds the four-game tiebreaker with Alaska-Anchorage as long as they take at least two points this weekend, but they’ll need more than that to jump the Seawolves.

The missing team is the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers. Mike Corbett’s squad will play their final two games of their season this weekend as they welcome Bowling Green. UAH could be a dangerous, nothing-to-lose team for BG this weekend.

Drew Evans

About Drew Evans

Drew is a co-founder and the editor for BGSUHockey.com. When he’s not in the press box he makes (legal) drugs at a northwest Ohio compounding pharmacy. Drew is entering his eighth season covering Falcon hockey and has been a fan of the program since his time as a student beginning in 2003. He can be reached on Twitter @BGSUHockeySite and by e-mail at Drew@bgsuhockey.com.

error: Please contact Todd@BGSUHockey.com for photo rights.