Category Archives: Minnesota State

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 BELOW Ratings

2016-17 BELOW, Week 14

Above are the 2016-17 BELOW rankings after Week 12 of WCHA conference play (84 of 140 games played).

I won’t waste your time with a lot of analysis (I have simulations to run!), but we saw a lot of reversion to the mean at the lower levels of the league.  The biggest news from a BELOW and standings perspective is that Minnesota State shook off the memories of two ties in Huntsville last year to aggressively manhandle the Chargers this past weekend.  They’re tied in the standings with Bowling Green with two games in hand.

At the top, let’s consider the following:

  1. Bemidji has clinched a playoff spot before MLK Day.
  2. They didn’t run away with it.
  3. Using the same logic as we did in the link above, Michigan Tech’s four games in hand lets them get just one point behind the Beavers, but with Tech’s BELOW rating, we’d expect them to win a random WCHA game just 77% of the time, which would argue that they’ll be a bit short.  The Huskies has a trail to mush to get there, but they do face the Beavers again in February

Simulations/predictions to follow later today.

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 30 Prediction: Alaska at Minnesota State

2016-17 Week 10, Series 30: Alaska (1464) at Minnesota State (1582)

MSU Sweeps38.98%
UAF sweeps9.86%
MSU 5 points (W, OTW)7.61%
MSU 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)7.11%
UAF 5 points (W, OTW)3.71%
UAF 4 points (W, OTL or OTW, OTW)3.70%

This is a battle of teams that need to make a statement.  Are the Mavericks still in the top tier in the league?  Is Alaska on the way out of the basement?  BELOW and ABOVE say the former.

Mankato can rout the Nanooks (10.85% probability) to move to 1619 and drop UAF to 1427.  The reverse is a 1.25% probability but would have Alaska jump to 1536 and past the Mavs at 1510.

Geof’s subjective prediction: Mavericks win in regulation, win in overtime.