Category Archives: Alabama-Huntsville

2017-18 BELOW, Week 10

Hi, everyone.  While I was off slinging 632 GB down from space (harder than you’d think), the WCHA has played half of its season!  Jimmy.  I’m hoping to catch up here now that 2018 is upon us.  We’ll see.

2017-18 Week 10 BELOW

TeamBELOWExpWin%Week 0 BELOW+/-
Above are the 2017-18 BELOW rankings after Week 10 of WCHA conference play (70 of 140 games played).

As you’d expect, BELOW at the halfway mark pretty well mirrors the league standings.  BELOW still likes Bemidji State, probably because the Beavers have played just 12 games (as have Alaska-Anchorage) while Michigan Tech has played 18 (most in the league; all others have played 14).

Speaking of Tech, they’re the stunning team of the season, free-falling from 1st in BELOW at the start of the season to eighth now due to the second-best league offense (Minnesota State is tops in GF) going unsupported by the second-worst defense (Lake Superior is last in GA).  Where’s the beef, indeed.

Supplanting the Huskies in the standard top-three is Northern Michigan, which has excelled under first-year coach Grant Potulny.  The Wildcats have truly been an excellent team this season.

If you’re new, here’s a decent guide to BELOW.  Note that teams were reverted towards the mean at the start of the season because of the nature of college hockey player turnover.

I’ll be back later this week (hopefully).

2016-17 WCHA Week 21, Series 68 Projection: Alabama-Huntsville (1413) at Bowling Green (1479)

2016-17 Week 21, Series 68: Alabama-Huntsville (1413) at Bowling Green (1479)

BGSU Sweeps30.47%
UAH sweeps14.54%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)6.57%
UAH 5 points (W, OTW)4.64%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)4.13%
UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.39%

This series projection is probably a lot closer than people would expect, but BELOW likes UAH’s win over BSU a lot and brings them in, and it looks at the Falcons going 6-0-0-10 in their last 16 WCHA games and gives them a big ol’ ¯(°_o)/¯.

2016-17 WCHA Week 18, Series 56 Prediction: Alabama-Huntsville (1358) at Alaska (1477)

2016-17 Week 18, Series 56: Alabama-Huntsville (1358) at Alaska (1477)

UAF sweeps46.63%
UAF 5 points (W, OTW)9.21%
UAH Sweeps8.05%
UAF 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)6.90%
UAH 5 points (W, OTW)3.60%
UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)1.94%

Huntsville’s playoff chances are sinking fast.  UAH hasn’t won a game in regulation since December, and their three wins since Thanksgiving are against Ferris State and Northern Michigan (2x).  The Chargers are all aboard the struggle bus.

Fairbanks is in better shape, as they have eight games remaining, a mark matched only by Alaska-Anchorage and Northern Michigan, the two bottom teams in the league.  UAH can pass the Nanooks with a good weekend, but I’m having a hard time seeing that be reality.

2017 WCHA Playoffs Update, 2017-01-28

2016-17 Week 17 BELOW (In Progress)

TeamBELOWExpWin%Pts/GP %Pts (Max)
7-MTU173880%73%46 (67)
3-BSU164269%79%52 (70)
8-MSU1617n66%59%37 (58)
4-BGSU157160%55%38 (53)
2-UAF147747%45%27 (51)
5-FSU147446%41%26 (47)
6-LSSU146645%44%28 (49)
9-NMU142640%32%19 (43)
0-UAH135931%37%23 (44)
1-UAA135030%32%19 (43)
Above are the 2016-17 BELOW rankings after Week 12 of WCHA conference play (105 of 140 games played).

Friday night’s results:

  • Michigan Tech (5-2, including an  ENG) defeated Alabama-Huntsville.  Tech moves to BELOW 1738, Huntsville drops to 1359.
  • Bowling Green (3-2, OT) defeated Ferris State.
  • Minnesota State (4-2) defeated Lake Superior.

This firms up the playoff picture a bit:

  1. Bemidji State has clinched home ice in the playoffs with the Lake Superior loss.  If Ferris State takes any points from the Falcons tonight, the Beavers will have third clinched.
  2. Michigan Tech has clinched a playoff berth, as none of Alabama-Huntsville, Alaska-Anchorage nor Northern Michigan can pace the Huskies.  The Huskies can finish no worse than 7th, and if the results tonight are like last night’s, the Huskies will finish no worse than fifth.
  3. Bowling Green leads Ferris State 2-0-0-1 in the A tiebreaker between the two teams.  If the Falcons pick up any points tonight, they win at A in a tie with the Bulldogs.
  4. The same is true of Minnesota State and Lake Superior — if the Mavs pick up any points, they win any (improbable) tiebreakers.
  5. Michigan Tech has won the A tiebreaker over Alabama-Huntsville, though this scenario has no relevance.

Some folks have asked for Saturday predictions, but I ran into script-writing problems.  Maybe for next week.


2016-17 Week 17, Series 52 Prediction: Michigan Tech (1733) at Alabama-Huntsville (1364)

2016-17 Week 17, Series 52: Michigan Tech (1733) at Alabama-Huntsville (1364)

MTU sweeps67.67%
MTU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)11.57%
MTU 5 points (W, OTW)5.63%
UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)0.76%
UAH Sweeps0.09%
UAH 5 points (W, OTW)0.08%

Only one 2016-17 WCHA series has had a wider starting BELOW differential than Tech-Huntsville (369): Bemidji State at Alaska-Anchorage (387).  As you’ll remember, the Seawolves won that first game by two goals.  In fact, UAA has been involved in all five of the 300+ point differential games this season, and they won three of them, two against MTU.

That said, UAH has been dreadful at home this season (1-0-1-8 in league play), and they’ve lost six straight games.  As an alumnus, I can tell you that the natives are getting restless.  The Chargers desperately need a win this weekend just to keep out of the WCHA cellar, and as you can see, ABOVE expects the worst.

If you’re curious, ABOVE expects two blowouts 13.99% of the time, all% by Tech.  The Huskies can only pick up 12 BELOW points this week because of the wide differential.  The teams would swap 60 points if the nearly-impossible happens and the Chargers sweep.

2016-17 WCHA Week 16, Series 49 Prediction: Alabama-Huntsville (1407) at Lake Superior (1436)

2016-17 Week 16, Series 49: Alabama-Huntsville (1407) at Lake Superior (1436)

LSSU Sweeps20.98%
UAH sweeps14.26%
LSSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)10.71%
LSSU 5 points (W, OTW)10.07%
UAH 5 points (W, OTW)8.15%
UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)7.12%

This one feels like a split or more for UAH given the Chargers’ success on the road, the departure of Owen Headrick to the OHL, and the Lakers’ frustrating mediocrity against Northern Michigan last weekend.  That said, it could be just like the Lakers’ series in Huntsville.

2016-17 WCHA Week 15, Series 44 Prediction: Alaska-Anchorage at Michigan Tech

2016-17 Week 15, Series 44: Alaska-Anchorage (1398) at Michigan Tech (1730)

MTU sweeps65.85%
MTU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)10.53%
MTU 5 points (W, OTW)10.36%
UAA 5 points (W, OTW)0.98%
UAA 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)0.81%
UAA Sweeps0.75%

Yes, ABOVE says that MTU will come away with three or more points 97.46% of the time.

If the Seawolves sweep, I’m going to end up in a smelter.

2016-17 WCHA Week 14, Series 40 Prediction: Minnesota State at Alabama-Huntsville

2016-17 Week 14, Series 40: Minnesota State (1578) at Alabama-Huntsville (1435)

MSU Sweeps46.59%
UAH sweeps9.95%
MSU 5 points (W, OTW)4.26%
MSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.87%
UAH 5 points (W, OTW)1.82%
UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)1.80%

Minnesota State started out 5-0 but hasn’t strung together two wins since.  Alabama-Huntsville is 1-0-1-6 at home in league play.  The teams are tied with 23 points coming into to the weekend.  Given all of the above, a split seems perfectly reasonable.

The range of outcomes is pretty wide.  If UAH routed MSU both times, they’d have a BELOW of 1511 that’s just higher than the Mavericks’ 1502; that happens about 1.31% of the time in a run of 1,000,000 trials.  Conversely, a Mankato rout of the Chargers happens 13.82% of the time and sees the teams at 1611 and 1402.

Geof’s Subjective Prediction: split.

2016-17 WCHA Week 12 BELOW Ratings

2016-17 BELOW, Week 12

TeamWk12 BELOW+/-Wk12 EWP
4-BGSU1561-32 (-29 v MTU, -3 v UAF)59%
2-UAF1447-4 (-7 v UAA, +3 v BGSU)42%
Above are the 2016-17 BELOW rankings after Week 12 of WCHA conference play (74 of 140 games played).

Michigan Tech Leads the BELOW Pack

The Houghton Huskies mushed to the front of the WCHA pack with a strong showing against Bowling Green in Week 11, with 3-1, 2-1 wins over the Falcons.  They are expected to win 79% of the time against an average league opponent, and their 1730 BELOW rating is the highest of the 2016-17 season.

With that said, Bemidji State is still seven points ahead with two games against Alaska-Anchorage that ABOVE expects them to sweep around 52% of the time and widening their point lead 98% of the time.  It’s fairly likely that the Beavers will be +13 ahead in the standings.  I hope to revisit this by the end of the year.

Alabama-Huntsville Stampedes Through Marquette

With a pair of resounding wins, UAH improved to 6-0-1-1 on the road in WCHA play this season, keeping pace with the league leaders for holding down a shot at home ice in the first round of the playoffs, a big mark for a team widely held to be in the cellar this year.

That said, the Chargers’ road home is a tough one.  UAH is 1-0-1-6 at home this year, and they host Minnesota State, Tech, and Bemidji down the stretch while facing Lake Superior, Alaska, and Bowling Green on the road.  Huntsville needs to pick up some games at home if they have any hopes of March hockey in the Rocket City.

Northern Michigan has the biggest slide of the year: picked in the middle of the pack to begin the year, the Wildcats are dead last in the standings and are -163 on the year — that’s as bad as Bemidji has been good (+182).

Minnesota State Falters against Ferris State

It took the Mavericks two power-play goals in the third period on Saturday the 10th to forestall a sweep at the hands of Ferris State, who rocked them 3-0 the previous night.  The Mavs’ performance against Princeton in non-conference play this weekend does leave one wondering how good the Mavs really are at this point.

Bowling Green Sliding

The Falcons had a shot at putting breathing room between themselves and Mankato & Huntsville and just couldn’t execute, taking three losses in four games against Tech and Alaska.  BGSU was the coaches’ and media pick for league favorites this year, but everything that can go wrong seemingly has: players transferring, inconsistent goaltending, scoring going silent, and overall inconsistency.  One can feel the frustration emanating from Ohio — this is a better team than what they’ve showed so far, even though they’re a tenuous third place.

I’ll have BSU-UAA picks for you on Friday.

2016-17 WCHA Series 31 Predictions

2016-17 Week 10, Series 31: Ferris State (1523) at Alabama-Huntsville (1373)

FSU Sweeps43.47%
FSU 5 points (W, OTW)8.12%
FSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)7.71%
UAH sweeps7.55%
UAH 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.25%
UAH 5 points (W, OTW)3.16%

These two teams met during the first week of the season, and two months later, each team’s prospects have changed radically.  Alabama-Huntsville’s 2016-17 season looks a lot like last season’s so far: a hot October followed by a long slide into the cellar.  Ferris State’s rebound comes with this year’s stellar freshman goalie knocking last year’s out of the crease.

ABOVE likes Ferris to do well in Huntsville this weekend, taking away four or more points 59% of the time and coming away with two or less just 14% of the time.  The Chargers will look to make the New York Times out as prophetic.

Geof’s subjective prediction: Ferris sweeps, denying UAH an A tiebreaker over the Bulldogs.