Wednesday, January 7, 2009

WCHA Non-conference Record

College Hockey has reached that point in the season when non-conference games are basically over and it’s the stretch run toward determining conference championships. I thought it would be a good time to look at how the WCHA faired against the rest of the country by conference. Wisconsin was on the right track after sweeping the College Hockey Showcase, but the epic collapse Saturday night could go a long way toward hurting their post season chances if they don’t kick some ass finishing up WCHA play.

UAA 3-1-0 (2-0 vs AHA, 1-1 vs HE, 2 left vs Alaska)
CC 4-1-3 (1-1-1 vs AHA, 2-0 vs CHA, 1-0-2 vs ECAC)
Denver 4-2-1 (1-0-1 vs AHA, 2-1 vs CCHA, 1-0 vs ECAC. 0-1 vs HE)
Michigan Tech 3-4 (0-2 vs CHA , 3-2 vs CCHA)
minnesota 3-1-2 (0-1-1 vs CCHA, 1-0 vs ECAC, 2-0-1 vs HE)
Duluth 4-1-1 (3-1-1 vs CCHA, 1-0 vs HE, 2 left vs Bemidji)
Mankato 4-2-1 (2-0 vs CHA, 2-0-1 vs CCHA 0-2 vs ECAC, 1 left vs Nebraska-Omaha)
North Dakota 5-4 (2-0 vs CHA, 0-1 vs CCHA, 3-1 vs ECAC, 0-2 vs HE) also lost to Tech at the GLI
St. Cloud 5-2-1 (2-0 vs AHA, 3-1 vs CHA, 0-1 vs ECAC, 0-0-1 vs HE)
Wisconsin 3-4-1 (1-0 vs CHA, 2-2-1 vs CCHA, 0-2 vs HE)

Obviously these aren’t all apples and apples. St. Cloud played a bunch of cupcakes like Robert Morris and Mercyhurst, but Wisconsin would be bringing up the rear if not for Michigan Tech.

Overall the WCHA has gone 38-23-10 in non-conference w/ the following breakdowns: 6-1-2 vs AHA, 10-3 vs CHA, 12-8-4 vs CCHA, 6-5-2 vs ECAC and 4-6-2 vs HE. There stands a good chance the WCHA will win their remaining five non-con games.

As you see a little farther down, that record against Hockey East is the only losing record the WCHA has had against another conference in the past four seasons. The record versus the ECAC isn’t great either this season. Good to see that the WCHA once again owned the Cup Cake Hockey Association though.

I think the record against Hockey East is telling, they are probably the top conference this season. Though its still early in the Pairwise, I wouldn’t be surprised to see HE get 4 or 5 teams. The ECAC on the strength of Princeton and Cornell will likely see at least 2 tourney teams. Since UND blogger goon might read this, no I don't think Princeton or Cornell are better than 4-7 in the WCHA standings. The WCHA might be looking at only 3 teams this season, w/ minnesota and Denver out ahead, Wisconsin needs to win and win often down the stretch to get ahead of Duluth and CC in the pairwise. The WCHA will not be sending six teams to the dance again.

Since I felt like it, here is the WCHA’s non-con record during the past three seasons.

07-08: 49-18-10 (4-2-2 vs AHA, 16-1 vs CHA, 13-10-5 vs CCHA, 10-1-1 vs ECAC & 6-4-2 vs HE) Wisconsin went 4-2-2 last season.

06-07: 51-22-11 (4-0 vs AHA, 12-5 vs CHA, 16-6-5 vs CCHA, 11-4 vs ECAC & 8-7-1 vs HE) Wisconsin went 3-4-1 following the National Championship.

05-06: 42-29-7 (3-1 vs AHA, 7-4 vs CHA, 15-13-2 vs CCHA, 9-4-4 vs ECAC & 8-8-1 vs HE) On the way to winning #6, Wisconsin went 6-1.

Like I said earlier, this isn’t all apples to apples. Some teams in the WCHA generally play tougher non-conference competition (minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota & Denver), while other schools generally find less stout opponents (St. Cloud, Duluth & Mankato). Overall, the WCHA is kicking butt on a regular basis w/ Hockey East being the best competition out there. I would like to see more games against those eastern foes.