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I just wanted to make a short post here to correct an inconsistency in what I’ve reported over the past few days about Maine’s bonus points. The Black Bears indeed will have bonus points tacked onto their RPI for two road wins at North Dakota, but Maine’s season opening win against Minnesota will not accrue bonus points for this bubble team.

The win over Minnesota came at the Hall of Fame Game on October 6. The game was played at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, not Minnesota’s home rink, Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis.

This year’s criteria stipulates that teams earn bonus points only for quality road wins, and, despite the fact that the Xcel Energy Center was likely filled with 15,000-plus screaming Minnesota fans that evening, the game technically was at a neutral site. Thus Maine won’t be earning any bonus points for that win.

It is a strange loophole in the criteria certainly. The whole point of bonus points is to reward a team that goes into a hostile road environment and earns a victory. No doubt, what Maine accomplished fell into that class of win but because the game wasn’t played at Minnesota’s actual home facility, it’s treated the same as if the Black Bears beat the Gophers in Orono.

All of that said, the crack programming team at USCHO.com was far ahead of yours truly and had the mathematical formulas for the PairWise Rankings programmed correctly. Thus, all of the scenarios I have drawn up over the past few days that show Maine a strong favorite to still make the NCAA field are still correct.

We’re only a few days away before the final games play themselves out and the NCAA field is set. The discussion on these blog posts has been excellent and I look foward to continuing to read your thoughts!

  • Longtime Brown Fan

    Over the last couple decades, Brown has found ways to land some gems of coaches. Digit Murphy with the women’s hockey team in the early 90’s (though they’ve faded since the latter half of last decade), Phil Estes with the football program from the late 90’s on, Craig Robinson with the basketball team in the mid 2000’s, Lars Tiffany with the men’s lax program the last 4 seasons, and now, evidently, Brendan Whittet for men’s hockey. He’s bringing the lax team’s blue collar, “Brown State” mentality to the ice, and thus far, I love what I see. These players are proud to attend and play for Brown University, whereas under Grillo, I don’t know if games were something they looked forward to. We play with confidence, with swagger, with poise; we’re going to get in your face, and we’re going to shove our game down your throat, and there’s not much you can do about it. Even in a losing effort against Princeton, we seemed to control the flow of the game and get under the opponent’s skin. The team chemistry is seamless, and the players seem to genuinely love playing the game, which I can’t recall from a Brown team since the Damian Prescott days of 97-98, Grillo’s first season at the helm.

    Big changes have been made in Providence. No longer is Meehan Auditorium a mausoleum, and no longer is it an easy two road points for opponents. Even last year, no one liked playing Brown because we were so chippy and physical. And now we’ve combined our scrappiness with genuinely good, smooth hockey. Watch out, ECAC- I know it’s early, but this team has talent, cohesion, and fire. If you take us lightly, we will punish you. Just ask UNH; all their fans seem pretty embarrassed about tying lowly Brown on the forums.

    • Bharvey13

      I work with the PA announcer for the UNH hockey games. The Brown captain was in the penalty box late in the game and the announcer asked him about the penalty (i guess it was a realy ticky-tack call). The captain himself said there was no way that they should have been leading 5-3 in the 3rd period. Brown may be pretty good, but this was a classic trap game for UNH. An unranked, non-con opponent on a tuesday night sandwiched in between a big weekend series with Boston University and an upcoming game against a very dangerous (nationally ranked for the first time ever) Merrimack team. I don’t want to take anything away from Brown, sounds like they had played a very good game, but that was not the same UNH team that played against BU over the weekend.

      • Longtime Brown Fan

        Fair enough, but it’s also not the same Brown team from the last few years. I may be overstating it a bit, but you can’t fathom how excited I am for the prospects this team as. After decades of futility, it’s just nice to see a coach and his players so dedicated to winning and to all things Brown.