Merrimack Against The Semifinal Teams

Some more number crunching...

Through 27 regular season games and four best-of-three playoff series, the Hockey East field has been reduced from ten teams down to four. It's worth noting that Hockey East is the only one of the five division 1 conferences that tells any of its teams to hit the links after the regular season with no chance of playoff action.

So since there are only four Hockey East teams left standing, let's take a look at how they finished:

Team GP W L T Pts GF GA

Boston College 27 20 6 1 41 101 58

New Hampshire 27 17 6 4 38 90 59

Merrimack 27 16 8 3 35 89 67

Northeastern 27 10 10 7 27 73 69

Of course, those records include wins against the other six teams, the ones that aren't still alive. #3 BU, for instance, had a much better record against the bottom half teams than Merrimack did, despite finishing one point ahead of the Warriors. So let's reduce the four teams remaining records to games only played against the semifinal teams:


NU: 1-1-1 0-1-2 1-2-0 Record: 2-4-3

UNH: 1-2-0 1-2-0 1-0-2 Record: 3-4-2

BC: 2-1-0 1-2-0 1-1-1 Record: 4-4-1

MC: 2-1-0 2-1-0 2-1-0 Record: 6-3-0

Convert to points, and it looks like this:

Team Pts

Merrimack 12

BC 9


NU 7

Of course, there are a number of caveats here.

Merrimack had home ice advantage in two of the three series: BC and NU. However, their loss against NU came at home, and both their wins came at Matthews Arena. Merrimack also played their series against BC much earlier in the season than the series against NU or UNH, and flipping the result of one of those BC games would put BC on top with 11 points, followed by MC with 10.

However, I'd say that going into Friday's semifinal tilt with UNH, there are plenty of reasons for optimism. MC took the series from UNH 2-1 despite UNH having home ice advantage, and has a better record against the semifinal field than UNH does. MC's quarterfinal series win against Maine I think was more convincing than UNH's over UVM, despite Maine being the higher-ranked team.

NU actually has an additional loss to BC, in the Beanpot final, that isn't counted here because it's not a league game. However, I think the fact that the Huskies are on the upswing, and that their performance against BC improved with each game, going from a 1-goal Beanpot loss, to a tie, to a win, is more important.