Stretch run begins

The stretch run begins this week in the NCHC and it should be quite the finish.

With five weeks to go in the season, every team has played the same number of league games. Every team plays only conference games from here on out. And no team has another week off.

If that doesn’t heat up the race enough, take a look at the standings.

Minnesota Duluth, which would be on the road in the first round if the NCHC playoffs started today, is only one game out of first place. There’s a three-way tie for second place, including UND and Nebraska Omaha, two teams that will face off in Ralph Engelstad Arena this weekend.

At this point, six of the eight teams could win the league title. Only Miami and Colorado College have taken themselves out of the race.

The other race that everyone will be watching is the Pairwise one. Right now, Duluth is surging and St. Cloud State is slipping. We’ll see where it goes from here.

Below, I posted the NCHC teams in the Pairwise alongside their record in nonconference play. You can see how if you screw up in nonconference like Omaha, even if you are in the race for the conference title (UNO is just one point out), it can kill you in the Pairwise.

NCHC in Pairwise Rankings

10. St. Cloud State (6-2-2)
11. Minnesota Duluth (5-3-2)
15. North Dakota (5-2-3)
22. Denver (6-3-3)
25. Western Michigan (6-3-3)
28. Miami (6-2-2)
30. Nebraska Omaha (3-7)
50. Colorado College (0-9-1)

10 thoughts on “Stretch run begins

    • Strength of schedule. Quality wins. They’ve beat and tied the # 1 team in the Nation UMN. That’s why they’re higher then us.

  1. Hopefully we can keep up the hard work and nice, solid play……just remember to stay out of the penalty box. Any news at all about Gothberg?

  2. they have a higher rpi and their stength of schedule is ranked 1 or 2 I believe and UND’s is 22nd. with this years pairwise for whatever reason rpi is even a bigger factor than in years past as that is what is the number one category separating und which sits in 15th and like the number 8 team inthe pairwise.

  3. With the right combination of other teams’ wins and losses, couldn’t Miami and CC still win the title? With three points per game available and ten games left each, they could garner another 30 points and place them at the top with the right combination of teams winning and losing. Or is the calculation so that there is no possible way the combinations line up for that to happen?

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