Category Archives: Lake Superior

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).

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 WCHA Week 17, Series 54 Prediction: Lake Superior (1483) at Minnesota State (1600)

2016-17 Week 17, Series 54: Lake Superior (1483) at Minnesota State (1600)

MSU sweeps36.50%
LSSU Sweeps8.72%
LSSU 5 points (W, OTW)6.26%
MSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)6.04%
MSU 5 points (W, OTW)3.82%
LSSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)2.90%

The teams split in the Soo earlier this season at a time when BELOW was very impressed with Lake Superior — a BELOW rating of 1561 after a blow out win on Friday night was their season peak.  Since then, it’s been a tough slog for the Lakers, who who’ve picked up half of their standard wins against Alabama-Huntsville.

Minnesota State has largely been able to keep its scoring up this season, and it’s lights-out at home, just like always. Gordon Defiel’s squad will be without captain Gus Correale and third-leading scorer Diego Cuglietta, who participated in an extended fracas after the end of Saturday’s game against the Chargers.  This has the hallmarks of a home sweep for the Mavericks.

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 46 Prediction: Lake Superior h/h Northern Michigan

2016-17 Week 15, Series 46: Lake Superior (1434) h/h Northern Michigan (1359)

LSSU sweeps32.41%
NMU Sweeps13.79%
LSSU 5 points (W, OTW)7.11%
LSSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)6.55%
NMU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)4.50%
NMU 5 points (W, OTW)4.43%

Lake Superior is looking downstate at Ferris State and hoping that Alaska comes into the Ewigleben and beats up the Bulldogs.  They surely don’t feel comfortable at this point, and beating up on Northern Michigan on the way to the Cappo Cup has to be the first item on their agenda.

NMU, conversely, has to win every game that it can at this point.  The Wildcats host both Alaska schools down the stretch, but they also make trips to Bowling Green, Minnesota State, and Michigan Tech.  Ouch.

I expect a Lakers sweep (but then I expected that last weekend, so… you know).

Has Bemidji Clinched a Spot in the 2017 WCHA Playoffs? Yes.

Has Bemidji State clinched a spot in the 2016-17 WCHA Playoffs?  Yes.

Bemidji State152034920
Lake Superior61091916

Northern Michigan has 10 points after 16 games; their maximum is to win 12 more games, which can garner them just 48 points.  BSU is one clear of the Wildcats, and as such, they can do no worse than 9th.

Alaska-Anchorage, Alaska, and Lake Superior each have a say in whether the Beavers have already dammed the pond.  The standings table above shows the situation: all three teams play each other down the stretch.  Here’s what we know:

  1. In a theoretical world, all three teams can get to 50 points, as each team can garner another 36 points for the rest of the season, giving them either 55 (UAF, LSSU) or 52 (UAA) points.
  2. Because these teams do play each other — UAA and UAF in the season’s final week for the Alaska Airlines Governor’s Cup; UAA at Lake Superior the second weekend in February (their only meeting); and the Lakers host the Nanooks the following weekend — all three teams cannot go unscathed.
  3. BSU has the A tiebreaker over UAA.  UAF and UAA are 1-1-0, and UAF and LSSU are also 1-1-0.  You can’t get to a three-way A tiebreaker.
  4. The B tiebreaker is 65-minute wins.

To prove that Bemidji hasn’t clinched a playoff spot, we only have to provide one scenario where all of UAF/UAA/LSSU pass the Beavers.  Let’s go.

The team that’s weakest here is Alaska-Anchorage, as they 1) lose at A to Bemidji, 2) have the least conference 65-minute wins of the group, and 3) are the only team to play both of the other two down the stretch.

  1. IF Alaska-Anchorage wins out, they get to 52 points and are ahead of Bemidji.  However, the best that either Alaska or Lake Superior is 49 points, which puts them in a tiebreaker with Bemidji.  But because they play each other, they can’t both get to 49.
  2. IF Alaska-Anchorage wins out save one of their games against UAF, they still lose to Bemidji at 49 in a two-team tie at A.  Alaska could max out at 52 (11-0-0-1), but that means that they defeat Lake Superior twice, seeing them to 10-0-0-2, where they are also at 49.  In a three-way tie, B is the first relevant tiebreaker, which Lake Superior wins 16-15-15.  With Lake Superior removed, Bemidji loses at A.
  3. IF Alaska-Anchorage wins out save one of their games against LSSU, they still lose to Bemidji at 49 in a two-way tie,  Alaska can only max out at 10-0-0-2 down the stretch, giving them 49 points.  That requires Lake Superior to max at 10-0-0-2 for a four way tie at 49 points that starts at B.  For B, Alaska and Lake Superior would tie at 16, while Bemidji and Alaska-Anchorage tie at 15 (and then that tie goes back to A).

You can’t concoct a scenario where all three teams get past 49, since they play each other.  If you start trying to get cute with OTW and OTL, you hurt the teams in the B tiebreaker.

Bemidji is in with 56 league games of 140 overall remaining.  I hate everything.

2016-17 WCHA Week 14, Series 42 Prediction: Northern Michigan at/vs. Lake Superior

2016-17 Week 14, Series 42: Northern Michigan (1337) at Lake Superior (1456)

LSSU Sweeps42.92%
NMU sweeps12.06%
LSSU 5 points (W, OTW)4.07%
LSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.70%
NMU 5 points (W, OTW)2.03%
NMU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)1.98%

Both of these squads are in a free-fall, with teams figuring to be around .500 this year stuck wondering if they’re going to make the playoffs.  Northern Michigan has just two wins in league play and is the only WCHA team with single-digit points.  As the Wildcats seek to claw their way into contention, losses this weekend mean that they will have put Bemidji State one step closer to clinching a playoff berth.

These teams play the next two weekends: games in Sault Ste. Marie book-ending games this Saturday and next Friday.  The A tiebreaker could well be in play for these teams.  ABOVE likes Lake Superior’s chances at keeping the Wildcats behind them and out of the playoffs.

Geof’s Subjective Prediction: Lakers 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.