2016-17 BELOW, Week 12
Above are the 2016-17 BELOW rankings after Week 12 of WCHA conference play (74 of 140 games played).
|Team||Wk12 BELOW||+/-||Wk12 EWP
|4-BGSU||1561||-32 (-29 v MTU, -3 v UAF)||59%
|2-UAF||1447||-4 (-7 v UAA, +3 v BGSU)||42%
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.