Hockey Analysis

Merrimack Pairwise update (11:52 p.m. Friday)

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12:15 a.m: The more I look at it, the more I think Western Michigan winning the CCHA helps Merrimack. If Western wins, BC can beat Maine and Miami can beat Bowling Green or vice versa. If Michigan wins the CCHA final, Merrimack would likely need Bowling Green, Maine and North Dakota to all win as well (at least the way I have it figured at the moment, that might change).

11:52 p.m: There are still a LOT of scenarios in play with seven games set for tomorrow. But, here are the three things I believe Merrimack NEEDS to have happen in order to qualify for the NCAAs tomorrow.
1) Colgate beats Cornell
2) Union beats Harvard
3) RIT beats Air Force

I couldn’t get a 3-way tie (where Merrimack loses the tie-breaker and finishes 16th) to go away unless RIT beats Air Force. So, that game appears to be critical.

Outside of that, there are results where either team wins the CCHA, WCHA and HEA title games, as well as the CCHA consolation, and Merrimack still gets in. But, there are also results where other combinations would leave them out.

Regardless, I had trouble getting Merrimack in without those three results above. They were all constants in scenarios I ran that saw Merrimack qualify.

11:35 p.m: Michigan defeats Bowling Green, 3-2, in double OT. Merrimack still alive tomorrow and I’m working on the scenarios now … stay tuned …

11:11 p.m: Bowling Green and Michigan headed for double OT out in Detroit. Stay tuned …

11:10 p.m: So Merrimack fans go from hating Joey Diamond to wanting to shower him with hugs. Maine wins, 5-3, meaning Merrimack is alive tomorrow. Still waiting on that BG-Michigan result to give you all the scenarios, but Merrimack still very much alive in all of this.

11:07 p.m: Joey Diamond makes it 5-3 Maine with under a minute. With this result, no matter what happens in the CCHA game, Merrimack will be alive tomorrow. And, there are scenarios in play where either Maine or BC can win Hockey East and Merrimack is alive. Things getting VERY interesting. Continue to stay tuned …

11:03 p.m: All Merrimack needs to stay alive into tomorrow is Maine to hold on and beat BU. 1:39 to go, Maine leads it 4-3

10:54 p.m: Just ran a scenario where Merrimack still gets in, even with Boston College beating Maine tomorrow. Requires Western beating BGSU in the CCHA final (BGSU and Michigan are tied in OT as I type this) with RIT winning AH, Cornell losing in the ECAC consolation, Union winning the ECAC and RIT winning Atlantic Hockey.

10:48 p.m: Best I can tell, the CCHA game between Michigan and Bowling Green really doesn’t matter at this point. Merrimack, to stay alive on Saturday, just needs Maine to beat BU in Hockey East. The Black Bears have a 4-3 lead with 7:50 to go in that game. BGSU and Michigan are both in OT. Trying now to see if there are scenarios where BC wins Hockey East tomorrow and Merrimack still gets in, but I doubt it. I think Merrimack needs Maine to beat BC. Stay tuned …

10:38 p.m: North Dakota wins it, 6-3, meaning that Merrimack wants Michigan to beat Bowling Green in their upcoming OT and Maine to beat Boston University. Maine just took a 4-3 lead over BU with 11:58 left in the third period in Boston

10:35 p.m: So there could still be other scenarios in play, need time to digest and run some more, but the best things for Merrimack right now is a Maine win with Michigan beating BGSU, considering right now North Dakota leads Minnesota. The scenario below would have Merrimack finish 15th (actually a t-14th, but losing the tiebreaker).

WCHA Semifinal #1: North Dakota defeats Minnesota.
WCHA Championship game: North Dakota defeats Denver.
Hockey East Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston University.
Hockey East Championship game: Maine defeats Boston College.
ECAC Semifinal #2: Harvard defeats Cornell.
ECAC Championship game: Union defeats Harvard.
ECAC Consolation game: Colgate defeats Cornell.
CCHA Semifinal #1: Michigan defeats Bowling Green.
CCHA Championship game: Michigan defeats Western Michigan.
CCHA Consolation game: Bowling Green defeats Miami.
Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #2: RIT defeats Niagara.
Atlantic Hockey Championship game: RIT defeats Air Force.

10:30 p.m: BU ties up Maine, 3-3, and North Dakota takes a 6-3 lead on Minnesota.

10:23 p.m: My head just exploded … Michigan ties up Bowling Green, 2-2, late in the third which is HUGE for Merrimack, with North Dakota taking a 5-3 lead over Minnesota.

10:19 p.m: Unreal! North Dakota takes a 4-3 lead on Minnesota after trailing 3-0. This means Merrimack wants Michigan to come back on Bowling Green, or, if Bowling Green wins, Minnesota to come back on North Dakota. Confused yet?

10:12 p.m: Wow, this is getting nuts. So North Dakota just tied up Minnesota, 3-3, in the third period with two goals in 30 seconds. Merrimack rooting for Minnesota as long as Bowling Green beats Michigan. But, if Michigan comes back to beat Bowling Green, they want North Dakota. So Merrimack needs either combo here … Minnesota+Bowling Green or North Dakota+Michigan. They still need Maine to beat BU as well.

10:10 p.m: Minnesota sees its lead cut to 3-2 against North Dakota. Merrimack needs Minnesota to hold on if Bowling Green beats Michigan. But, if Michigan comes back on Bowling Green, Merrimack needs North Dakota to come back on Minnesota.

10:07 p.m: Maine scores to make it 3-2. Huge goal for Merrimack. Right now, there is a scenario in play where everything is breaking the Warriors’ way. If Maine (leading 3-2), Bowling Green (leading 2-1) and Minnesota (leading 3-1) all win tonight, the Warriors are alive tomorrow.

9:53 p.m: Two GIGANTIC goals for Merrimack all within seconds of each other. All of this craziness happening right now because Bowling Green is leading Michigan. RIT beat Niagara, 2-1, in overtime which helps the Warriors. Seconds later, Maine tied up BU, 2-2, in Boston. Minnesota leads North Dakota, 3-1, which is OK for Merrimack as long as Bowling Green is leading Michigan, and they are, 2-1, in the third period. … Stay tuned …

9:44 p.m: Things getting whacky with some results out west. Bowling Green is up 2-1 on Michigan, which no one thought possible. If the Falcons hold on, Merrimack can still qualify for the NCAA tournament with Western Michigan winning the CCHA tomorrow. In fact, it helps because North Dakota would NOT have to come back over Minnesota tonight (they’re down 3-1) as long as whoever wins the Minnesota-Denver game tonight wins the WCHA tomorrow. The scenario below would have Merrimack No. 15.

WCHA Semifinal #1: North Dakota defeats Minnesota. (could do either way as long as whoever wins this game, wins the title tomorrow and Denver DOESN’T win the WCHA)
WCHA Championship game: North Dakota or Minny defeats Denver.
Hockey East Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston University.
Hockey East Championship game: Maine defeats Boston College.
ECAC Semifinal #2: Harvard defeats Cornell.
ECAC Championship game: Union defeats Harvard.
ECAC Consolation game: Colgate defeats Cornell.
CCHA Semifinal #1: Bowling Green defeats Michigan.
CCHA Championship game: Western Michigan defeats Bowling Green.
CCHA Consolation game: Michigan defeats Miami.
Atlantic Hockey Semifinal #2: RIT defeats Niagara.
Atlantic Hockey Championship game: RIT defeats Air Force.

9:28 p.m: Merrimack fans likely cringe, then applaud, as public enemy No. 1 Joey Diamond ties the Maine-BU score at 1-1. Elsewhere, Niagara has tied RIT (1-1), Bowling Green remains up on Michigan, 2-0, Harvard leads Cornell (4-0) and Minnesota leads North Dakota (3-0). Bowling Green, for those that aren’t aware, are this year’s rags-to-riches story, potentially. The Falcons finished last in the CCHA with a 5-19-4 record. Unlikely Hockey East, every team qualifies for the CCHA tournament.

9:23 p.m: Make that 3-0 Gophers.

9:21 p.m: RIT takes a 1-0 lead over Niagara in the third period of the AH semifinal. Harvard leads Cornell 4-0. Those are both good results for Merrimack. The bad results? Bowling Green has miraculously taken a 2-0 lead on Michigan in the CCHA, Minnesota leads North Dakota 2-0 in the WCHA and BU leads Maine 1-0 after the first period.

8:50 p.m: More results not going in Merrimack’s favor — BU takes a 1-0 lead on Maine in the first period. A BU win definitely eliminates the Warriors, as far as I can tell.

8:46 p.m: There is a scenario that has come up with a few different results that sees Merrimack finish in a four-way tie for 13th in the Pairwise. However, Merrimack would lose the four-way tiebreaker and finish 16th overall, meaning the Warriors would be the first team out of the tournament. What that all means? One game goes different and the Warriors likely qualify. Take your pick. A win over St. Lawrence instead of a tie? Rhett Bly’s goal at BC counting in OT? Splitting against Providence in Dec. instead of getting swept? I don’t know for sure, but any one of those results goes the other way, and Merrimack might have a better fate. Just goes to show you … EVERY game counts, even those early season games.

8:41 p.m: Some results going Merrimack’s way, others aren’t. Harvard leads Cornell 4-0 in the second period. That’s good. Minnesota leads North Dakota 1-0, which isn’t good. And Bowling Green leads Michigan, 1-0, which also isn’t good. Maine and BU along with RIT and Air Force are both scoreless.

8:32 p.m: Harvard takes a 3-0 lead on Cornell with 14:26 to go in the second period. Only negative result for Merrimack thus far is Bowling Green leading Michigan, 1-0, in the CCHA semifinals. All the other late games are scoreless.

8:28 p.m: Bowling Green takes a 1-0 lead on Michigan, which does not help the Warriors. It’s very early in the game, though, with about 8:41 left in the first period

8:22 p.m: So far, the Warriors are getting what they need. In the only late game to start thus far, Harvard leads Cornell, 2-0.

Here are the results we’ve seen thus far on Friday:
Air Force 5, Mercyhurst 2
Western Michigan 6, Miami 2
Union 6, Colgate 2
Boston College 4, Providence 2
Denver 4, Minnesota-Duluth 3 (2 OT)

Running all of the particular scenarios, there is only ONE scenario still in play, as far as I can tell, that would still see Merrimack qualify for the NCAA tournament. It looks like this:

Friday
Harvard over Cornell
Maine over Boston University
North Dakota over Minnesota
RIT over Niagara
Michigan over Bowling Green

Then tomorrow, if all of that happens, Merrimack would need:
Michigan over Western Michigan
Bowling Green over Miami
Union over Harvard
Colgate over Cornell
Maine over Boston College
RIT over Air Force

Unless all 11 results go that way, I don’t believe there is any way that Merrimack qualifies for the tournament. But keep checking back, as I’ll update throughout the night.

About Mike McMahon

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: College Hockey News: Blog » Blog Archive » Pairwise Live Blog 2012

  2. Rich

    March 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    My remote is getting a workout between all these games. My wife finally thought she had me back after last weekend. Hoping for the miracle

  3. warrior3

    March 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    This should get merrimack in:

    Atlantic Hockey

    Championship game: RIT defeats Air Force

    CCHA

    Semifinal #1: Bowling Green defeats Michigan
    Championship game: Western Michigan defeats Bowling Green
    Consolation game: Miami defeats Michigan

    ECAC

    Championship game: Union defeats Harvard
    Consolation game: Colgate defeats Cornell

    Hockey East

    Semifinal #2: Maine defeats Boston University
    Championship game: Boston College defeats Maine

    WCHA

    Championship game: North Dakota defeats Denver

    Read more: http://www.uscho.com/rankings/pairwise-predictor/#ixzz1pL5IriKc

  4. Mike McMahon

    March 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Still a lot of scenarios that could get them in …

  5. Rich

    March 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    And Joey Diamond helps us!

  6. Max Collins

    March 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    LETS GO MICHIGAN COME ON

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