The 2016-17 WCHA Tiebreakers

They took away the tie, but they can’t take away the tiebreakers!

The full text of the 2016-17 WCHA men’s tiebreakers is found at the bottom of the standings page, should you like to peruse it.  This post covers two things:

  1. Those seven tiebreakers.
  2. The various A tiebreaker possibilities for the 2016-17 season.

Here are the seven tiebreakers:

  1. If two or more teams are tied, and all teams tied have played four contests against each other, the team with the highest points percentage wins the comparison.  This is the only tiebreaker that can be quickly and easily be re-applied if there are multiple teams tied.
  2. Conference wins (regulation or first overtime) are the next tiebreaker: the team with more wins the comparison.
  3. Conference losses (regulation or first overtime) are the next tiebreaker: the team with fewer wins the comparison.
  4. Head-to-head percentage in all contests is the next tiebreaker: the team with the highest H2H points percentage wins the comparison.
  5. Each remaining tied team is compared against each team down the table.  The team with the best record against a higher team wins the comparison.
  6. Winning margin is the next tiebreaker: the team with the most positive (goals for – goals against) differential wins the comparison.
  7. A coin flip is the final tiebreaker: the team who is assigned the winning side wins the comparison.

This year’s tiebreakers differ from last year’s in only one way: with the elimination of the western tie, conference losses is now an appropriate comparator.  Let’s consider the possibility:

  • Team 0 is 11-1-1-15 / 36 points.
  • Team 1 is 10-3-0-15 / 36 points.

If the teams were tied in the A tiebreaker, we go to the B, which Team 1 wins, having won 11 games in the first 65 to Team 0’s 10 wins.

Teams could face a point where they’re tied A and B but not C:

  • Team 2 is 12-1-0-15 / 38 points.
  • Team 3 is 12-0-2-14 / 38 points.

Team 3 wins at C because they lost fewer games in regulation or the first overtime.

Possible A tiebreakers this year:

Two-way (25)

  • Alabama-Huntsville: Alaska, Bowling Green, Ferris State, Lake Superior, Michigan Tech
  • Alaska: Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska-Anchorage, Bowling Green, Lake Superior, Minnesota State
  • Alaska-Anchorage: Alaska, Bemidji State, Ferris State, Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan
  • Bemidji State: Alaska-Anchorage, Bowling Green, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State, Northern Michigan
  • Bowling Green: Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska, Bemidji State, Ferris State, Northern Michigan
  • Ferris State: Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska-Anchorage, Bowling Green, Lake Superior, Minnesota State
  • Lake Superior: Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska, Ferris State, Minnesota State, Northern Michigan
  • Michigan Tech: Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Minnesota State, Northern Michigan
  • Minnesota State: Alaska, Bemidji State, Ferris State, Lake Superior, Michigan Tech
  • Northern Michigan: Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Bowling Green, Lake Superior, Michigan Tech

Three-way (11)

  • Alabama-Huntsville — Alaska — Bowling Green
  • Alabama-Huntsville — Bowling Green — Ferris State
  • Alaska — Lake Superior — Minnesota State
  • Alaska-Anchorage — Bemidji State — Michigan Tech
  • Alaska-Anchorage — Bemidji State — Northern Michigan
  • Bemidji State — Bowling Green — Northern Michigan
  • Bemidji State — Michigan Tech — Minnesota State
  • Bemidji State — Michigan Tech — Northern Michigan
  • Ferris State — Lake Superior — Minnesota State
  • Lake Superior — Minnesota State — Northern Michigan
  • Michigan Tech — Minnesota State — Northern Michigan

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