Men's Playoff Tracker: Semifinals set in CCC and SUNYAC

Compiled by D3hockey.com staff --

The semifnals are set in the SUNYAC and CCC as both kicked off their postseasons with a pair of quarterfinals on Wednesday night. Two of the four needed overtime to settle, but the end results: Plattsburgh State, Fredonia, University of New England and Endicott all were victorious and have advanced to their respective league semifinals.

A Ross Sloan empty-netter sealed the deal for Plattburgh State in its 3-1 quarterfinal win over Brockport.

As always you can stay caught up on all of the conference tournaments below with our conference-by-conference postseason scoreboards for each league, but here's how things shook out on Wednesday:


SUNYAC

In the 4/5 match-up, Fredonia never trailed but still needed a Kyle Jelenski overtime tally at 8:04 of the extra session to score a 3-2 win over host Buffalo State.

Fredonia's Tyler Riter opened the scoring with a power play goal at 19:12 of the first period, and it took a while but Buffalo State's Anthony Tulipane struck at 3:49 of the third to tie things up, 1-1. Just over two minutes later Fredonia reclaimed the lead with a Luke Rivera goal, but Buffalo State again has an answer as Hayden Ford scored 1:18 later to make it a 2-2 game with 12:53 to play.

The Blue Devils, who held a slim 35-52 shot edge on the night, advance to face top-seed Geneseo in the semifinals.

Brockport's Doc Gentzler put the Golden Eagles up 1-0 just 2:17 into their quarterfinal at Plattsburgh State, but three third period goals and a lights out penalty kill ultimately propelled the three-seed Cardinals to a 3-1 win and a trip to the semifinals where they will face rival Oswego State.

A Cole Stallard goal with 11:50 remaining in the game handed Plattsburgh its first lead of the night, and came just 1:22 after Matt Araujo finally got the Cardinals on the board. Ross Sloan added a shorthanded empty-netter with 1:06 to play.

Plattsburgh, which entered the night with the top-ranked penalty kill in the nation, relied on it heavily in the win as it was a perfect 6-for-6 on on the kill in the game, which included killing off seven of the final 7:33 of the game.



CCC

Just as it did in the SUNYAC the 4/5 match-up needed overtime to settle, and just like in the SUNYAC the road team ultimately scored the win as a Josh Bowes goal 14:26 into the extra frame lifted Endicott to a 4-3 win at Nichols.

A Filip Virgili power play goal put Nichols up 3-2 at the 4:49 mark of the third, and the Bison were almost able to ride it out but Endicott's Daniel Kuceroy scored an extra-attacker goal with just 30 seconds remaining to force the overtime.

The contest was tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 after the second. Oliver Arnberg and Vincent Crivello also scored for Nichols, while Ross Olsson and James Winkler added markers for Endicott, which advances to face top-seed Salve Regina in a semifinal on Saturday.

*

Joining Endicott in the semifinals will be three-seed University of New England as the Nor'easters rolled out to a 5-0 lead on Wentworth en route to a 5-1 win. Ryan Bloom scored twice in the opening 20 to stake UNE a 2-0 lead. The Nor'easters tallied three more times in the second, the second of which was a shorthanded goal by Bloom to notch a hat trick, as they exteded the lead to 5-0 by the end of the second period.

Despite being outshot 30-24 on the night, Wentworth carried a 16-2 shot edge in the third period but a Nate Chase goal at the 9:44 mark was the only scoring they were able to muster.

Brendan Donohue and Tucker Ross notched the other two goals for UNE, while Chris Jones, Brady Fleurent, Liam Darcy and Dimitris Jones all registered a pair of assists on the night.

 

Conference tournament formats, schedules and results


CCC

Tournament format: Top six teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games.  All rounds are single game format.  Champion receives automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 Salve Regina, 2 Curry, 3 University of New England, 4 Nichols, 5 Endicott, 6 Wentworth


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


MASCAC

Tournament format: Top six teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games, top two seeds receive byes to the semifinals.  All rounds are single game format. Champion receives automatic bid to NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 Plymouth State, 2 Westfield State, 3 UMass Dartmouth, 4 Fitchburg State, 5 Worcester State, 6 Salem State


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


MIAC

Tournament format: Top five teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games, top three seeds receive byes to the semifinals.  All rounds are single game format. Champion receives automatic bid to NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 Augsburg, 2 Saint John's, 3 St. Thomas, 4 Concordia-Moorhead, 5 Saint Mary's


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


NCHA

Tournament format: Top four teams from each of the North and South divisions qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games.  Teams are paired off by division for the quarterfinals, with the #1 seeded North team facing the #4 North team and the #2 North team facing the #3 North team. The South Division teams do the same. The quarterfinals and semifinals are kept within the divisions. Higher seed hosts all games. Semifinals and championship are single elimination.  Quarterfinals are first to three point series with a minigame if neccessary. St. Norbert is the overall top seed.  Champion receives automatic bid to NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: North: 1 St. Norbert, 2 Marian, 3 Northland, 4 Finlandia; South: 1 Adrian, 2 Lake Forest, 3 Aurora, 4 MSOE


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


NEHC

Tournament format: Eight teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games and all rounds are single game format. Champion receives automatic bid to NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 UMass Boston, 2 Norwich, 3 Babson, 4 Hobart, 5 New England College, 6 Skidmore, 7 Suffolk, 8 Southern Maine


Championship: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


NESCAC

Tournament format: Top eight teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts quarterfinals; semifinals and finals are hosted at a single location by the highest remaining seed.  All rounds are single game format. Champion receives automatic bid to NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 Trinity, 2 Wesleyan, 3 Amherst, 4 Hamilton, 5 Williams, 6 Colby, 7 Middlebury, 8 Tufts


Championship game: Saturday, March 2 or Sunday, March 3
all times Eastern


SUNYAC

Tournament format: Top six teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games, top two seeds receive byes to semifinals. All games single game format. Champion receives automatic bid to NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 Geneseo, 2 Oswego State, 3 Plattsburgh State, 4 Buffalo State, 5 Fredonia


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


UCHC

Tournament format: Top six teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games, top two seeds receive byes to the semifinals.  All rounds are single game format.  Champion receives automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 Utica, 2 Lebanon Valley, 3 Stevenson, 4 Manhattanville, 5 Neumann, 6 Elmira


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern


WIAC

Tournament format: All five teams qualify.  Higher seed hosts all games, top three seeds receive byes to semifinals. Championship game is single game, first round and semifinals are first-to-three-point series w/minigame if necessary.  The champion does not receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

 

Seeding: 1 UW-Stevens Point, 2 UW-Eau Claire, 3 UW-Superior, 4 UW-River Falls, 5 UW-Stout


Championship game: Saturday, March 2
all times Eastern

 

 

~

The Road to TBD: Men's Bracketology, Take II

by Mathieu Webb
Senior Writer, D3hockey.com

Another week of games are in the books and the second official release of the Pairwise Rankings from the NCAA are in.

Hobart missed the field by one spot a week ago, but are movements in this week's Pairwise enough to get the Statesmen in this time around?
Photo: HWS Athletics/Kevin Colton

Which of course means its time for our second of four looks into Men's NCAA Bracketology, where we attempt to implement the NCAA tournament selection process to yield the most fair and equitable bracket possible.

A quick look at this week's Pairwise Rankings indicates not much has changed from last week. But a bit has, andt will it be enough to change the bracket we came up with last week? Most certainly, for a few reasons. For starters, the bracket we proposed last week was unrealistic as it was based on the entire Division I process and thus violated Division III travel restrictions, and it also turns out a pair of teams end up in the tournament field that did not a week ago.

This week we return strictly to the Division III process as published and, as it turns out, despite doing so and despite having a new group of 12 tournament teams we end up with a balanced bracket nonetheless -- physically at least, that is, as it's a bit of a different story when it comes to being balanced by seed.

So which are these new teams and what does this week's bracket look like and why? Take a read and find out as we take our second, and first legitimate, step at determining what our bracket would look like weer the season to end today.

 

The Tournament

  • The 2019 Men's Division III Ice Hockey Championship will consist of 12 teams.
  • Eight conference playoff champions will receive automatic qualifying bids (Pool A) to the tournament. They are: CCC, MASCAC, MIAC, NCHA, NEHC, NESCAC, SUNYAC & UCHC.
  • Four teams that do not receive Pool A bids will receive at-large (Pool C) bids into the tournament. Every team that did not receive a Pool A bid is eligible for a Pool C bid.
  • For the purpose of Pool C selection the committee will use the Pairwise Rankings and select the four highest remaining teams. The components used to generate the Pairwise comparisons, and thus rankings, are as follows:

 
  • Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) *
  • Quality Win Bonus (QWB) applied to RPI
  • Results versus common opponents
  • Head-to-Head Results
* RPI formula is 25-21-54 (25% winning percentage, 21% opponents winning percentage, and 54% opponents' opponents' winning percentage)

 

NCAA Rankings

  • The committee will release three editions of Pairwise Rankings prior to tournament selection, with the release dates being February 12, 19 and 26. A fourth will be generated on Selection Sunday (March 3) and is slated to be released to the public on March 4.


NCAA Pairwise Rankings - February 18 (Top 31 -- see the full rankings here)

    Overall
1 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 23-0-2
2 Geneseo 22-1-2
3 Norwich 19-4-3
4 Oswego 18-5-2
5 St. Norbert 20-4-3
6 UMass Boston 19-5-1
7 Hobart 18-6-2
8 Adrian 19-7-1
9 Trinity 15-3-5
10 Wisconsin-Eau Claire 18-5-2
11 Augsburg 19-3-3
12 Babson 16-6-3
13 Salve Regina 17-6-2
14 Utica 17-6-2
15 New England College 16-5-5
16 Williams 14-8-2
17 University of New England 17-6-2
18 Wesleyan 14-5-2
19 Amherst 12-6-4
20 Curry 16-6-3
21 Fredonia 14-7-3
22 Endicott 15-8-2
23 Marian 14-9-4
24 Skidmore 12-10-3
25 Brockport 15-8-2
26 Manhattanville 15-6-3
27 St. Thomas 14-6-5
28 Elmira 14-9-2
29 Plattsburgh 12-11-1
30 Hamilton 12-9-3
31 Plymouth State 14-6-3


Analysis: Once again not a lot is required as these are what they are and will be our lone tool to select at-large teams and seed the tournament, though we do wonder about the effects of movements in the 7-10 spots.

 

Pool Selection

  • Pool A

As Bracketology assumes this would be the tournament field were the season to end today, we will use the teams leading the eight Pool A eligible conferences as our automatic qualifiers.  Thus, the eight Pool A bids go to:

CCC: Salve Regina
MASCAC: Plymouth State
MIAC: Augsburg
NCHA: St. Norbert
NEHC: UMass Boston
NESCAC: Trinity
SUNYAC Geneseo
UCHC: Utica

 

 

 

 

 


 

  • Pool C:

We now must determine which teams will get at-large bids to the tournament. Usually this leads to having to make a plethora of statistical comparisons, but we already know that now we just have to identify the four highest-ranked teams in the Pairwise that are not currently projected to win a Pool A bid. So let's take a look at the top of the Pairwise to learn who the fortunate four are:

1 Wisconsin-Stevens Point
2 Geneseo
3 Norwich
4 Oswego State
5 St. Norbert
6 UMass Boston
7 Hobart
8 Adrian
9 Trinity
10 UW-Eau Claire
11 Augsburg
12 Babson


Analysis: We once again go straight to the Pairwise to find the four highest-ranked teams that are not currently projected to claim a Pool A bid. While the first three in are the same as a week ago, we now see that Hobart grabs the final spot and Adrian is the first team out -- which is the opposite of how it turned out last week.

The Pool C bids are awarded to: UW-Stevens Point, Oswego State, Norwich, Hobart

 

Setting the Field

Thus, our full tournament field is: 

CCC: Salve Regina
MASCAC: Plymouth State
MIAC: Augsburg
NCHA: St. Norbert
NEHC: UMass Boston
NESCAC: Trinity
SUNYAC: Geneseo
UCHC: Utica
Pool C: UW-Stevens Point
Pool C: Oswego State
Pool C: Norwich
Pool C: Hobart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeding the Field

Now the field must be seeded. Using this week's Pairwise Rankings, we'll do exactly that and seed the teams 1-12 and also include their Pairwise rank in parentheses. 

1 UW-Stevens Point (1)
2 Geneseo (2)
3 Norwich (3)
4 Oswego State (4)
5 St. Norbert (5)
6 UMass Boston (6)
7 Hobart (7)
8 Trinity (9)
9 Augsburg (11)
10 Salve Regina (13)
11 Utica (14)
12 Plymouth State (31)

 

Setting the Bracket

Well, a dive into what to do with Adrian will have to wait at least another week as the Bulldogs failed to crack this week's projected field so we'll have to save our direct comparison with last week's bracket until we have a field that includes Adrian, should it again occur.

In its stead is Hobart, which claimed the final Pool C bid, and one other new face joins this week's field as Trinity is in over Wesleyan as the Bantams' sweep over the Cardinals handed them the top overall seed in the NESCAC playoffs and they are now the NESCAC's projected Pool A team.

click to view in full screen

So how much thought do we need to put into setting things up this week?

Almost none.

We have a 9-3 split in favor of the East, and with no teams from one region within 500 miles of any from the other it means any crossover play is out of the question so all three West Region teams stay together and play down to one Frozen Four representative.

That alllows us to create four groups of three and all we have to is drop all teams in by seed. Which yields a final bracket of:

First Round
9 Augsburg @ 5 St. Norbert
12 Pymouth State @ 6 UMass Boston
11 Utica @ 7 Hobart
10 Salve Regina @ 8 Trinity

Quarterfinals
Augsburg/St. Norbert @ 1 UW-Stevens Point
Salve Regina/Trinity @ 2 Geneseo
Utica/Hobart @ 3 Norwich
Plymouth State/UMass Boston @ 4 Oswego

As far as setting up the semifnals, 1 gets lined up with 4, and 2 with 3. So the winner of the Stevens Point Regional will face the winner of the Oswego Regional, while the winner of the Geneseo Regional will meet the winner of the Norwich Regional.


Analysis:

The good: The 9-3 split ends up yielding a symmetrical bracket, which certainly beats some of the disjointed things we've seen in recent years that are awkward looking enough they'd make a jack pine proud. So that's a win. Also, the semifinals remain set up for 1 to meet 4 and 2 to face 3, which is just the way it should be.

The bad: Not much, but it's clear by seed that the West takes it on the chin this time around. Top-seed UW-Stevens Point is lined up to face the highest-seeded quarterfinal opponent possible in five-seed St. Norbert, which is far from ideal but of course the way it goes thanks to the vacuous Division III travel restrictions we all know govern these things. So live with them we once again shall.

All in all, a pretty solid bracket. Not perfect, but it pretty much creates itself and would likely lead to few complaints should we ultimately see something similar roll down the pike on March 4. It also was one of the easiest brackets ever to arrive at, but it seems that's not so hard when the tournament field is known with 100% certainty, eh?

 

~

Women's Bracketology, Ep. I

by Ray Biggs
Managing Editor, D3hockey.com

Here we go again. The regular season is wrapping up, the march to the national championship is about to kick into an even higher gear, and the regional rankings are out?

Not quite on that last one.

Bre Simon and the Hamline Pipers are again a big part of the national conversation, but where would they land under the new selection process?
Photo: Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

The regional rankings are nowhere to be found now, and the newly-implemented Pairwise rankings that the NCAA will be using this season, and have been using for years in Division I, were formally released by the big blue circle on Tuesday to give us an official picture of where everyone stands for NCAA tournament consideration.

The release of those rankings also means we go back to work attempting to demonstrate the process used to select and seed the tournament field as we dive into Bracketology for the first time here in 2019.

But before doing that, what exactly has changed with the Pairwise?

Well, for starters, the selection criteria we've come to know and abide by for several years has gone on vacation. The NCAA elected to begin using the Pairwise on a two year trial basis this past offseason. The Pairwise is a ranking generated that the NCAA committee will use to select and seed the tournament field. The highest-ranked teams that are not in via automatic bid come selection time will be the at-large teams selected into the NCAA tournament field, and the tournament seeding will be done on the order of those rankings. It's actually that simple, as crazy as simplicity in these exercises may occasionally sound.

So that's probably a big change for all of you, just as it is for us. We now will know week-by-week who will make the field under the status quo without having to guess on how much we believe the committee will weigh each part of a close comparison, and while we have been admittedly pretty accurate, we now believe we will be able to have an even better understanding of who exactly should be in the field and where they may be going before we even get to the selection show.

That sounds straightforward enough, but we'll stick with you here regardless as we're here to inform at this time of year, and we'll inform you about the current process and how we believe it will be implemented even if much of the mystery of years' past is now gone. So with that said, let's do this -- and we'll do it right after we mention the other big change this year: the women's tournament will now be comprised of ten teams as opposed to the nine we've seen in recent years.

 

The Tournament

  • The 2019 Women's Division III Ice Hockey Championship will consist of 10 teams.
  • Six conference playoff champions will receive automatic qualifying bids (Pool A) to the tournament. They are: CHC, MIAC, NCHA, NEHC, NESCAC, NEWHL
  • One team that does not receive a Pool A bid will receive a Pool B bid. This bid is reserved for independents and teams in conferences that do not possess a Pool A bid. This translates to independents, the UCHC and the WIAC.
  • Three teams that do not receive Pool A bids will receive at-large (Pool C) bids into the tournament. Every team that did not receive a Pool A bid is eligible for a Pool C bid.
  • For the purpose of Pool B and C selections the committee will use the Pairwise Rankings and select the highest remaining team(s) for each. The components used to generate the Pairwise comparisons, and thus rankings, are as follows:

 
  • Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) *
  • Quality Win Bonus (QWB) applied to RPI
  • Results versus common opponents
  • Head-to-Head Results
* RPI formula is 25-21-54 (25% winning percentage, 21% opponents winning percentage, and 54% opponents' opponents' winning percentage)

 

NCAA Rankings

  • The committee will release three editions of Pairwise Rankings prior to tournament selection, with the release dates being February 12, 19 and 26. A fourth will be generated on Selection Sunday (March 3) and is slated to be released to the public on March 4.


NCAA Pairwise Rankings - February 12 (Top 12 -- see the full rankings here)

1 Plattsburgh 20-2-0
2 St. Thomas 21-0-2
3 Elmira 20-2-1
4 Adrian 18-4-1
5 Hamline 18-1-3
6 Wisconsin-River Falls 19-4-0
7 Middlebury 14-4-3
8 Wisconsin-Eau Claire 18-4-2
9 Williams 14-4-3
10 Norwich 18-5-2
11 Gustavus Adolphus 13-5-5
12 Endicott 15-4-4


Analysis: These are what they are so there isn't too much to say, but it may jump out as bit notable that West region teams account for four of the top six and five of the eight spots in the Pairwise. Will this ultimately lead to a West-heavy field? We'll keep going here in attempt to find out...

 

Pool Selection

  • Pool A

As Bracketology assumes this would be the tournament field were the season to end today, we will use the teams leading the eight Pool A eligible conferences as our automatic qualifiers.  Thus, the eight Pool A bids go to:

CHC: Endicott
MIAC: St. Thomas
NCHA: Adrian
NEHC: Norwich
NESCAC: Middlebury
NEWHL: Plattsburgh State

 

 

 

 

 

  •  Pool B

The Pool B bid goes to the top team among independents and those conferences without an automatic bid in the Pairwise rankings. The conferences without an automatic bid this season are still the WIAC and UCHC, and no independent team was even able to crack the top 15 of the rankings. And the highest-ranked among those is Elmira, which checks in at No. 3.

The Pool B Bid is awared to: Elmira
 

  • Pool C:

We now must determine which teams will get at-large bids to the tournament. We again turn to the Pairwise and remove teams already in via a Pool A bid and can also remove Elmira as the Soaring Eagles have already claimed the Pool B bid. So let's take a look at the top of the Pairwise to learn who the fortunate three are:

1 Plattsburgh 20-2-0
2 St. Thomas 21-0-2
3 Elmira 20-2-1
4 Adrian 18-4-1
5 Hamline 18-1-3
6 Wisconsin-River Falls 19-4-0
7 Middlebury 14-4-3
8 Wisconsin-Eau Claire 18-4-2
9 Williams 14-4-3
10 Norwich 18-5-2
11 Gustavus Adolphus 13-5-5
12 Endicott 15-4-4


Analysis: This is going to take nowhere near as much analysis as in the past, which makes our job a lot easier, and makes it far less of an exercise in theoretics for anyone out there to figure out where they stand. With that in mind, we do have somewhat of a groundbreaking item here this week as the West region cleans up the remaining bids with Hamline, River Falls, and Eau Claire all having impressive impressive enough seasons to be the three-highest remaining teams.

The Pool C bids are awarded to: Hamline, UW-River Falls, UW-Eau Claire

 

Setting the Field

Thus, our full tournament field is: 

CHC: Endicott
MIAC: St. Thomas
NCHA: Adrian
NEHC: Norwich
NESCAC: Middlebury
NEWHL Plattsburgh State
Pool B: Elmira
Pool C: Hamline
Pool C: UW-River Falls
Pool C: UW-Eau Claire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seeding the Field

Now the field must be seeded. Using this week's Pairwise Rankings, we'll do exactly that and seed the teams 1-12 and also include their Pairwise rank in parentheses. 

1 Plattsburgh State (1)
2 St. Thomas (2)
3 Elmira (3)
4 Adrian (4)
5 Hamline (5)
6 UW-River Falls (6)
7 Middlebury (7)
8 UW-Eau Claire (8)
9 Norwich (10)
10 Endicott (12)

 

Setting the Bracket

If you read the men's bracketology earlier this week, you may have noticed that our esteemed Mr. Webb decided to play around a bit with the men's field and structure the bracket as if it were a Division I regional setup for fun. We won't be doing that here this evening. 

If you've been with us before, you know how the rules generally operate here, but for the newcomers and those who need a refresher, we're here for you.
There are a couple of defining principles that govern how this is done:

1. The NCAA 500-mile preliminary round travel limit must be adhered to if possible. Mapquest, Google Maps, or your Rand McNally Atlas (Whether upright, or flipped over) are not official methods of calculating the mileage between institutions. Instead, the NCAA utilizes an institution-to-institution mileage calculator, which is available online. If it's beyond 500 miles, the NCAA has to pay for flights for the visiting team, and they try to avoid that at all costs in the pre-championship site rounds, even if it has sometimes come at the expense of maintaining seed integrity in the bracket. You can expirement with the NCAA mileage calculator here.

2. Per the NCAA Pre-Championship manual, we cannot pair teams from the same conference against one another in the first round (opening round).

And so here we go. With a 10-team field it means will will have two first round games, and we will again have to contend Adrian's presence in the field and its limited travel options for the first round.

We can set one of the matchups already with Adrian in the mix. There is only one team in this field that is even within 500 miles, and it's Elmira. Yup.... again. In addition, the opening round games are now on Wednesday, so we won't have the opening round setup we had last year when the teams played at the home site of the quarterfinal host with the winner playing that host there the next day.

With a 5/5 regional split and Adrian and Elmira set to face one another in the quarterfinals in this scenario, we have four teams left from each region with which to comprise six other quarterfinalists, and there's two ways we think it could possibly shake out under the restrictions. We won't pick one this week, as we believe that neither one is overwhelmingly favorable to the integrity of the bracket with no inter-regional options available outside of the matchup we already know, so there's only two ways this can go under the 500 mile principle. 


Option 1: 

Some of us believe this to be the best option at the moment as it keeps top overall seed Plattsburgh out of the first round, but it's certainly not the only one.

First Round 
8 UW-Eau Claire @ 2 St. Thomas
6 UW-River Falls @ 5 Hamline

Quarterfinals
8 UW-Eau Claire/2 St. Thomas v. 6 UW-River Falls/5 Hamline
4 Adrian @ 3 Elmira
9 Norwich @ 7 Middlebury 
10 Endicott @ 1 Plattsburgh State

Semifinals 
St. Thomas section winner v. Elmira quarterfinal winner
Plattsburgh State quarterfinal winner v. Middlebury quarterfinal winner


Option 2: 

Others of us find this to be a preferable option, as though it ridiculously drops Plattsburgh into the first round the West Region four (2,5,6,8) are seeded collectively higher than the East Region four (1,7,9,10), which means in this version the first-round games go in the East.

Opening Round 
9 Norwich @ 7 Middlebury 
10 Endicott @ 1 Plattsburgh State

Quarterfinals
8 UW-Eau Claire @ 2 St. Thomas
4 Adrian @ 3 Elmira
6 UW-River Falls @ 5 Hamline
9 Norwich/7 Middlebury v. 10 Endicott/1 Plattsburgh State

Semifinals
Plattsburgh section winner v. Hamline quarterfinal winner
St. Thomas quarterfinal winner v. Elmira quarterfinal winner


Analysis: The main takeaway here is that with a ten team field, a 5-5 East/West split, and a forced Elmira/Adrian match-up, these are the only two options that appear to fall within NCAA travel guidelines. After Elmira and Adrian are paired off, four teams remain in each region which mean both first round games must be in the same region. The result is two rather miserable looking brackets that are anything but balanced.

Could the NCAA avoid this by perhaps flying a team for a straight quarterfinal? There may be some gray area there depending on how rigidly one wishes to read NCAA bylaw language, and depending on what happens over the course of the next few weeks is something we might ultimately take a look at.

But there you have it: two options, and in both of them one of the top two seeds ends up in a first round game.

 

~

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  • D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week: January 24th
    January 24, 2019
    It was a week for the record books as new records were minted at Oswego and St. Norbert, plus some eye openers out west thickened the plot for the stretch run. It's our women's team of the week! Photo: Oswego State Athletic Communications
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: January 18th
    January 18, 2019
    A stunner in the NCHA, St. Olaf posts a close call against Eau Claire, and a trio of New England forwards earn honors. It may be a bit late, but our D3hockey.com Team of the Week is still here for you this week and every week!  Photo: Kevin Healy, d3photography.com
  • D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week: January 18th
    January 18, 2019
    A big weekend by Lake Forest, a freshman at St. Olaf bursts onto the scene, and a record performance at Norwich highlight this week's D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week! Photo: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
  • A Tale Of Two Nights
    January 14, 2019
    A noisy friday and a relatively silent Saturday comprised a weekend that will surely have the voters pondering everything below the top few spots on Monday. Photo: Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
  • Pioneers, Lakers Tie in CNY Clash
    January 12, 2019
    Oswego and Utica dueled to a 3-3 tie at the Marano Campus Center on Friday night. Photo: Ray Biggs, d3hockey.com
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: December 12th
    December 12, 2018
    A rivalry win for Oswego, a big weekend in the Mitten state, some epic goaltending at Colby, and an unbelievable performance at Lebanon Valley highlight our honorees. Photo: Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: December 5th
    December 05, 2018
    Big weekends in New England, a pair of UCHC top performers, and a pair from St. Scholastica highlight the D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week. Photo: Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
  • D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week: December 5th
    December 05, 2018
    Three MIAC players headline this week's D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week! Photo: Canton Athletics
  • Weekend Roundup: As The Calendar Turns...
    December 02, 2018
    As the months changed, a lot changed with the calendar on a riveting weekend of action across the nation. Photo: UNE Athletics
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: November 28th
    November 28, 2018
    Two members of the Primelink Champs and a host of other big performances highlight the D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week! Photo: Jeff Melnik, d3photography.com
  • Middlebury Tops Platty In Primelink Semifinals
    November 24, 2018
    One of the stunners from Friday's action came at the Primelink, where Middlebury topped Plattsburgh to advance to the tournament championship. Photo: Middlebury College Athletics
  • Thanksgiving weekend tournament primer
    November 22, 2018
    A Primelink ShootOut, a Codfish Bowl, classics, invitationals, and something about a Stovepipe. As always, Thanksgiving weekend tournaments abound. Here's a breakdown of all of them...
  • Panther/Cardinal Classic Preview
    November 21, 2018
    The most prestigious holiday weekend tournament in the nation, men or women, returns to Middlebury for its 14th edition. As usual it features a loaded field as four of the top six-ranked teams will be on hand. Photo: Middlebury Athletics
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: November 15th
    November 15, 2018
    Plattsburgh over Geneseo, Nazareth over Utica, and Adrian over defending national champion St. Norbert. The players who helped make those stunners happen are well represented on this week's D3hockey.com Team of the Week. Photo: Nazareth Athletics
  • D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week: November 15
    November 15, 2018
    Plattsburgh's performance in a pivotal top five clash headlines the list, plus a host of new names dot this week's D3hockey.com Women's Team of the Week. Photo: Eric Kelley, d3photography.com
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: November 8th
    November 08, 2018
    A pair of monumental upsets, and a few other notable performances hit the spotlight in the second D3hockey.com Team of the Week of the 2018-19 season. Photo: Gil Burgmaster, Utica College
  • Second Weekend Filled With Fireworks, Turmoil
    November 04, 2018
    Upheaval in the NCHA was prominent as the top two teams in the D3hockey.com poll both dropped conference games, the Gusties and Blugold women still cannot shake each other this season, and more. Check out some of the weekend's highlights here! Photo: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
  • D3hockey.com Men's Team of the Week: November 1st
    November 01, 2018
    We're back early! Check out the D3hockey.com Team of the Week for the first week of the 2018-19 season!
  • A Banner Weekend
    October 29, 2018
    No. 1 St. Norbert raised their championship banner in De Pere, A women's national title rematch leads a slate of four top ten matchups, Adrian and Utica held a wide portion of the national audience, a huge tie for Trine, and Wilkes snags its first win. All of that ahead in our weekend wrapup. Photo: Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
  • Alvernia Women to Join UCHC
    October 24, 2018
    The UCHC women's membership will grow by one next season as the conference announced the addition of the new program at Alvernia earlier today.
  • Johnson to Lead MSOE
    July 31, 2018
    The MSOE Raiders have announced their replacement for Mark Ostapina. Graham Johnson will be the man to lead the Raiders into the 18-19 season.
  • Wallack to Head Up Albertus Magnus Program
    June 27, 2018
    Just under three months after announcing their program, Albertus Magnus has a head coach. The Falcons have reached into the D1 ranks as they named Kyle Wallack as head coach Monday. Photo: Albertus Magnus Athletics
  • McShane's storied coaching career comes to an end
    June 15, 2018
    After 37 as a NCAA head coach, the past 23 of which came at Norwich, Mike McShane announced his retirement at a press conference on Friday morning. Photo: d3photography.com
  • St. Benedict Puts Thibault in Charge of Women's Program
    June 07, 2018
    The Blazers will have a new head coach this season. St. Benedict drew from the Minnesota high school ranks with the hiring of Nick Thibault earlier this week. Photo: CSB Athletics
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Thursday, Feb. 21: All times Eastern
M:
8:00 PM
St. Mary's (Minn.) at Concordia-Moorhead
Video Preview Live stats
W:
8:00 PM
St. Mary's (Minn.) at Gustavus Adolphus
No contests today.
No contests today.