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Saturday Morning Pairwise Update
BOSTON — Following last night’s 2-1 win over UMass Lowell in the Hockey East semifinals, Merrimack is one step closer to not only a Hockey East championship, but also locking up an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time since 2011.
According to simulations, Merrimack has a 94-96% chance of qualifying for the NCAA Tournament as of this morning. The Warriors will earn an automatic berth into the tournament if they win the Hockey East championship on Saturday night. So, they control their own fate.
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However, the Warriors are in good shape to earn an at-large bid even if they fall to BU in the championship game.
Only one scenario appears to keep the Warriors out of the NCAA Tournament, and it includes two spoiler teams winning automatic berths. That scenario looks like this:
Merrimack loses to BU
Colorado College beats St. Cloud State (NCHC)
Colgate beats Harvard (ECAC)
That’s the nightmare Merrimack has to avoid.
The Northern Michigan vs. Minnesota State game in the CCHA doesn’t seem to matter, because a Minnesota State loss would drop them low enough in the Pairwise that the Warriors will still earn a bid.
So that’s the outlook for the Warriors going into championship Saturday. Merrimack needs St. Cloud State or Harvard to win their conference championships, or the Warriors control their own destiny (and win the program’s first league championship) if they — as Al Davis once said …