There’s one weekend left, and the standings took quite a turn over the weekend. Let’s look at what is known, based on the results over the weekend.
Entering the final weekend of play, not one of the eight seeds is set yet, though some scenarios are more likely than others. Here is what is absolutely set by team:
- North Dakota can finish no lower than second and will be home for the first round of the playoffs. If North Dakota earns one point against Western Michigan or CC earns one point against St. Cloud, North Dakota finishes first.
- St. Cloud can finish 1, 2, or 3, and will be home for the first round of the playoffs.
- Denver can finish 2 or 3 and will be home for the first round of the playoffs.
- Minnesota-Duluth can finish 4, 5, and 6. To finish fourth and be home for the first round of the playoffs, Duluth needs to get three points out of its two games at home against Miami this weekend.
- Miami can finish 4 or 5. To finish fourth and be home for the first round of the playoffs, Miami needs to earn four points in any way from Duluth. If Miami gets three or fewer points against Duluth, the RedHawks finish fifth.
- Omaha can finish 5 or 6, and will be on the road for the first round of the playoffs. To finish 5, Omaha would need to sweep Denver in Denver and Duluth would need to sweep Miami. If Denver gets any points against Omaha, the Mavericks finish sixth.
- Western Michigan can finish 7 or 8 and will be on the road for the first round of the playoffs. The Broncos finish 7 if they earn three points against North Dakota, earn one or two points and St. Cloud gets one point against Colorado College, or St. Cloud earns two points at CC.
- Colorado College can finish 7 or 8 and will be on the road for the first round of the playoffs. To finish 7 CC needs to sweep St. Cloud and North Dakota needs to get four points against Western Michigan, or CC needs five points and North Dakota sweeps the Broncos.
North Dakota has repeated as Penrose Cup champions after sweeping Omaha over the weekend, 4-2 and 4-1. The Fighting Hawks have claimed at least a share of the league title, and have a six-point lead on Denver and St. Cloud. Given that North Dakota plays Western Michigan at home on the last weekend and that even a single point gives the Fighting Hawks the league crown outright, it looks like they will finish first and be the sole champion.
St. Cloud had entered the weekend tied in the standings with North Dakota, and owned the tiebreaker, but after getting swept by Minnesota-Duluth, 4-1 and 2-1, the Huskies would need a lot of help to claim a share of the trophy. St. Cloud visits Colorado College this weekend. If the Huskies were to sweep, and North Dakota got swept by Western Michigan in either regulation or the first OT, St. Cloud would share the trophy and finish as the top seed.
The Denver-St. Cloud tiebreakers
Denver and St. Cloud are currently tied in second with 47 points. With Denver’s weekend sweep of Western Michigan on the road by scores of 5-1 and 4-1, and Minnesota-Duluth’s sweep of St. Cloud, the Pioneers made things interesting. The tiebreakers for St. Cloud and Denver are convoluted, since they played an unbalanced schedule.
St. Cloud finishes second under one of the following scenarios:
- Sweeps CC AND UND earns 1 point vs. WMU
- Earns 5 points (win and 3×3 OT win) at CC AND Omaha earns 1 point at DU
- Earns 4 points with win and tie/3×3 OT loss at CC AND Omaha earns 2 points at DU
- Earns 4 points with 2 3×3 OT wins at CC AND Omaha earns 3 points vs. DU OR ties DU twice
- Earns 1 win at CC AND DU Omaha earns 3 points at DU
- Earns 3 points with 2 ties/3×3 OT win AND Omaha earns 4 points vs. DU OR DU earns 3 points with 2 ties/3×3 OT win
- Earns 2 points at CC AND Omaha earns 4 points at DU
- Earn 1 point at CC AND Omaha earns 5 points at DU
- Omaha sweeps DU
Denver finishes second under one of the following scenarios:
- Earns 1 point vs. Omaha AND CC sweeps SCSU
- Earns 2 points vs. Omaha AND CC earns 5 points vs. SCSU
- Earns 3 points with 1 win vs. Omaha AND CC earns 4 points vs. SCSU OR SCSU only earns 3 points with 2 ties/3×3 OT win at CC
- Earns 3 points with 2 ties/3×3 OT win vs. Omaha AND CC earns 4 points vs. SCSU
- Earns 4 points with 1 win and tie/3×3 OT loss vs. Omaha AND CC earns 3 points vs. SCSU OR CC earns 2 ties vs. SCSU
- Earns 4 points with 2 3×3 OT wins vs. Omaha AND CC earns 3 points vs. SCSU
- Earns 5 points (win and 3×3 OT win) vs. Omaha AND CC earns 2 points vs. SCSU
- Sweeps Omaha AND CC earns 1 point vs. SCSU