Mack’s Mailbag for Feb. 18, 2013

Was Shawn Bates’ shot against Boston College a goal? From the stands (section 3) it looked like it was. Why wasn’t it reviewed like the BC goal?
Honestly, was it a goal? I’m not sure. From the overhead camera, which is what the officials would have used if the play went to review, I can tell you with almost certainty that the play would have been overturned had it gone to replay. Working off of history as to what officials need to see to have a play like that overturned, the replay from the camera above the net was not conclusive enough for them to overturn it. So I don’t believe it would have counted had it gone to review. Now, the question as to why it wasn’t is because Merrimack would have had to request it. Actually, the Warriors would have had to call their timeout and then request the play be looked at. If it was a goal, Merrimack would retain their timeout. But like I said, I don’t believe, from the angles I saw, that it would have been overturned.

I’m new to college hockey. You’ve referenced the Pairwise a lot, what has to happen there for Merrimack to get in to the national tournament?
Basically, the PWR is the model the NCAA uses to rank teams for purposes of seeding and selecting teams for the NCAA tournament. 16 teams make it. There are four regionals with four teams in each. Automatic bids to the tournament are awarded to the conference tournament winners. The remaining schools are then selected using the PWR. You need to finish in the top-16 to even have a chance of making the tournament. In some years, you need to finish in the top-15 to even have a chance, if Atlantic Hockey has no team in the top-16. Right now, they do (Niagara).

They need to find some new players for the power play. The units right now aren’t working. What do you think?
I think it’s been working. Remember, the units out there now are fairly new. Only a few weeks old. Plus, lately, their PP has served as a momentum builder, even if they aren’t scoring on the actual man advantage. Sure, there have been instances where they’ve had trouble on the PP, but for the most part the last month, they’ve been able to sustain in-zone pressure and create some chances, which has shifted momentum.

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