Category Archives: Bowling Green

2016-17 WCHA Week 16, Series 48 Prediction: Alaska (1464) at Bowling Green (1572)

2016-17 Week 16, Series 48: Alaska (1464) at Bowling Green (1572)

BGSU Sweeps31.08%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)13.12%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)12.48%
UAF sweeps7.13%
UAF 5 points (W, OTW)5.77%
UAF 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)4.72%

My gut says that this is too high in favor of BG, especially since the Nanook at 3-3-0-2 on the road in WCHA play this season.  All I do is present what the numbers give me — monkeying with the model because of one result is for chumps.  I expect a split.

2016-17 WCHA Week 15, Series 45 Prediction: Bowling Green (1576) at Minnesota State (1604)

2016-17 Week 15, Series 45: Bowling Green (1576) at Minnesota State (1604)

MSU sweeps25.99%
BGSU Sweeps18.90%
MSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)6.33%
MSU 5 points (W, OTW)6.25%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)5.27%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)4.68%

This is the marquee matchup of the weekend.  Each team has nine conference wins (the B tiebreaker), and Minnesota State should win the C tiebreaker if it comes down to it — though a tie of these two means that the teams probably split the weekend.

MSU and BGSU are a microcosm of the 2016-17 WCHA.  We want to be a national force, but our good teams have been maddeningly inconsistent.  The Mavericks swept Alabama-Huntsville on the road last weekend, something that the Falcons also did.  BG has done a good job of beating the teams below them in the standings, and their breakthrough game may have been a win over Bemidji State last weekend.

If I had my full-season model working, I’m pretty sure that this series would be clearly pivotal.  This is probably for the third seed, since it doesn’t seem likely that Bemidji or Michigan Tech will come back to the pack at this point.  But if either team is going to make a run at 1st or 2nd, it starts with a sweep this weekend.

I’m going split.

2016-17 WCHA Week 14, Series 39 Prediction: Bemidji State at Bowling Green

2016-17 Week 14, Series 39: Bemidji State (1680) at Bowling Green (1561)

BSU Sweeps43.11%
BGSU sweeps11.97%
BSU 5 points (W, OTW)4.03%
BSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.68%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)2.00%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)1.94%

Notes on ABOVE 1.4

From this week forward, there will be a few changes in the probabilities.  I’ve been using last year’s data for determining how teams would progress into the second overtime, using a conservative 12.6% rate of entry.  In reality, it’s been 6.3% this year, so the predictions now reflect that: games are getting decided in 65:00 about 94% of the time.

As such, the margins for the OTW/OTL have changed, which broadens the chances for regulation wins — for both teams!  Splits will be predicted as more common, but the probabilities of sweeps will go higher as well.

I have considered putting an extra prediction check for shootouts, which have decided matters about as often as the 3v3 overtime but which receive a weaker weight in my system.  I’m not sure of the value of this given that the changes in BELOW are pretty small (generally 1-3 points for any individual game) and would wash out in a Monte Carlo simulation like what ABOVE uses.  It would be “fun” in the same way of “how often do all of these games play out exactly as predicted?” games go, which is to say a novelty with very little real value.

About the Series

Bemidji knows that they need these points, and they’re going to be after it.  They traveled from Alaska directly to Ohio this week for this series, which is Thursday-Friday as a result.  That could mean bus legs for the Beavers, but they’re off next week.

Worse for Bemidji, they play just eight more WCHA games after this weekend.  A BG sweep, while unlikely, puts the Falcons 16 points back with two games in hand and having nullified the A tiebreaker with a series split.

Finish strong, Beavers, or you’ll regret it.

Geof’s Subjective Prediction: Beavers sweep.

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 Week 12 Series 37 Prediction: Bowling Green at Alaska

2016-17 Week 12, Series 37: Bowling Green (1564) at Alaska (1444)

BGSU Sweeps39.15%
UAF sweeps9.80%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)7.70%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)7.28%
UAF 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.69%
UAF 5 points (W, OTW)3.63%

Sorry to have gotten this out so late, especially given that it’s just the one series.

I don’t account for travel difficulties with BELOW, figuring that it just works its way into the system.  If Fairbanks is a hard place to play because it takes more than a day to travel there, well, UAF will be higher in BELOW because of it.  Modeling for traveling difficulties could be done, but you do have the problem of small sample sizes, weather, team growth/decline, etc.  For now, I feel pretty good about leaving it be.  It’s not like we’re Atlantic Hockey with one team as a huge outlier.

Despite the travel, BG is a clear-cut favorite here, although not an overwhelming one.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a split here, but ABOVE says that UAF comes out ahead just about 17% of the time, and that seems right to me.

Geof’s subjective prediction: Falcons sweep.

2016-17 WCHA Series 28 Prediction: Bowling Green at Lake Superior

ABOVE Prediction for Series 28: Bowling Green at Lake Superior

2016-17 Week 10, Series 28: Bowling Green (1602) at Lake Superior (1457)

BGSU Sweeps42.73%
BGSU 5 points (W, OTW)8.11%
LSSU sweeps8.11%
BGSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)7.61%
LSSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.32%
LSSU 5 points (W, OTW)3.19%

As I consider this series, it’s about one thing to me: are these teams who we thought they might be earlier in the season — Lake Superior streaking, Bowling Green barely slipping the surly bonds of earth — or who they are now (BG 3rd in the standings, LSSU in 7th)?  BELOW is convinced that the Falcons have left the nest and thinks that the Lakers are staying close to harbor as the ice edges closer to land.

A great weekend helps the Falcons keep pace in the WCHA standings, probably wrapped up in the hopes that Michigan Tech can do what Minnesota State could not: defeat Bemidji State.  If the Huskies cannot level things at one end of the UP, Bowling Green could take a long stride toward taking the MTU’s place as the top challenger.

BELOW swings: if BG routs the home team in both games (12.30% probability), they jump to 1635 in BELOW as Lake Superior dips to 1424.  If the Lakers rout the Falcons both nights (0.75% probability), they jump to 1533 and pass the Falcons, who would fall to 1526.

Geof’s subjective prediction: Split.  I’m just not 100% sold on this Falcon team’s ability to play at a high level every night, and Gordon Defiel can steal a game.