After spending about a half an hour running different scenarios into College Hockey News’ Pairwise Predictor, I believe that UND’s NCAA tournament fate will basically rest in the hands of three games on Saturday.
1. UND needs to beat Western Michigan. It all starts with the 3:38 p.m. game, the only afternoon game of the day. If UND doesn’t win this game, the night games don’t matter. Because it’s a third-place game, there would be a tie declared after a five-minute overtime. A tie isn’t good enough for UND, either, so we could see the strange situation of UND pulling its goalie if there’s a tie game.
2. UMass-Lowell needs to beat New Hampshire (6 p.m.). The RiverHawks, the top-remaining seed in Hockey East, needs to win that game. If UNH wins, UND is out. Lowell hasn’t played New Hampshire since Nov. 1-2.
3. Wisconsin needs to beat Ohio State (7 p.m.). If the Buckeyes win the Big Ten, UND is trouble, but not necessarily done. There is a perfect storm listed below. The Badgers split both series with the Buckeyes this season.
THE PERFECT STORM
There’s one other perfect storm of events that allows UND to get into the NCAAs even with an Ohio State win over Wisconsin. A reader found this one for me:
UND over Western Michigan; Canisius over Robert Morris in AHA; Miami over Denver; Ferris State over MSU-Mankato.
I don’t think the results in the ECAC have an impact on UND’s tournament hopes.
If you can find a scenario to prove this wrong, let me know. The Pairwise Predictor is located here.