Depressing weekend for Nanook hockey fans. Would have loved to have seen a comeback in both games, but it wasn't in the cards. As expected, Northern leapfrogged Alaska in the PairWise rankings.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch the games this weekend. My superstitious side says "that's why they lost". I was going to try to manipulate my flights to actually spend Friday and Saturday in Marquette to watch the series live, but it didn't work out. I'm writing this entry from arguably the nicest hotel I have ever seen, much less have ever stayed in, and spent $8 for an internet connection to write this post.
Checking out the PairWise standings, Alaska sits solidly in 13th place. With Bemidji State finishing 3rd in the CHA (?!?), Alabama-Huntsville (12-17-3) will take the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, extending its season as the only team with a losing record in the NCAA playoffs. Good luck with Denver. The point is, with the Atlantic Hockey division winner and the College Hockey America division winner sucking spots, only the top 14 will be admitted into the tournament. Good news is, New Hampshire is out, so they shouldn't be able to leapfrog us. Bad news is, Vermont is still in, and so is Maine.
Alaska wins the comparison with Vermont, solely because of a higher RPI (first tie-breaker). Right now, I'm a big Boston College fan. BC plays Vermont next weekend in the semi-final round for Hockey East's tournament. According to my calculations, Vermont will have to win two games to boost their RPI enough to trump us. I would not like that to happen. They already have the point for the record against Teams Under Consideration (TUC), but with a higher RPI, the Nanooks win that point, and the comparison.
Maine, I don't think will be able to catch us. We have the common opponent point, and their RPI is about one one hundredth lower than ours. If they win out their conference, the highest they can get is 14th (but they would obviously get the auto-bid).
I've already toyed quite a bit with USCHO's PairWise Predictor, predicting the outcomes of the respective tournaments, and subsequently calculating the PWCs, and Alaska ends up in 12th by my picks, even with Maine winning out their conference.
We're in right now if it ended today. The next 2 weeks will be interesting. This is not a time to be rooting for the underdogs... I'm also rooting for Ferris State, solely on principle. The drought in the black hole continues...