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Thread: Ahc > wcha

  1. #1
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    Ahc > wcha

    It's a legit question. They seem pretty adept at winning tournament games, and clearly do not.

    Tech/SCSU was a valiant effort ****ed by the refs + a brutal broken stick.
    Tech/ND was a broken stick that hurt me real bad
    BGSU/UMD took a greasy goal, but it happened

    Mankato... Well they just keep doing Mankato things.

    Meanwhile 16s get upsets. Those easy wins. Obviously it's not as big of a gap in regionals as the shooty hoops, but it is interesting to compare and contrast their success.

    Edit to add: Tech nerd through and through. Hard to watch the WCHA continuously fail like they do
    Last edited by Crocodile Tears; 03-30-2019 at 06:39 PM.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodile Tears View Post
    Hard to watch the WCHA continuously fail like they do

    Amen to that.
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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Mankato whiffed two years in a row, there’s no doubt about that. However, BG had the defending national champs in to overtime...coulda woulda shoulda but they were one shot away from advancing. Tech was right on the doorstep a year ago, too.

    Reality of it is, anything can happen in these one-off games. Just ask St. Cloud. I loved watching AIC win that game, but the reality is if those teams played 10 times, SCSU probably wins 8 or 9. AIC’s goalie also stood on his head both of those games against SCSU and Denver.

    If the WCHA was getting trucked in these NCAA games I’d be more worried, but for the most part we’ve been right there, just snakebit. The conference needs to focus on getting better top to bottom and getting away from this have/have-not situation that we’ve had in the standings for the last few years.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    The WCHA hasn't been a complete failure. So far Ferris State has been their best dancer. They've made the second round twice, and took North Dakota to double OT.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by Squarebanks View Post
    Mankato whiffed two years in a row, there’s no doubt about that. However, BG had the defending national champs in to overtime...coulda woulda shoulda but they were one shot away from advancing. Tech was right on the doorstep a year ago, too.

    Reality of it is, anything can happen in these one-off games. Just ask St. Cloud. I loved watching AIC win that game, but the reality is if those teams played 10 times, SCSU probably wins 8 or 9. AIC’s goalie also stood on his head both of those games against SCSU and Denver.

    If the WCHA was getting trucked in these NCAA games I’d be more worried, but for the most part we’ve been right there, just snakebit. The conference needs to focus on getting better top to bottom and getting away from this have/have-not situation that we’ve had in the standings for the last few years.
    Been sorta following AIC the last few years...and yes. What they did this year was holy crap. Total Cinderella run.
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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    This is silly. Mankato went, what, 30-7 this year before running into a really good Providence team that underachieved a bit in the regular season and were a seed line or two (or three) below where they should’ve been based on talent. AIC is a great story and that conference has had some really great upsets lately, but Mankato has earned multiple 1 seeds in the tournament in recent years as well as a couple of at large bids. The AHA has never had a realistic shot at an at large berth.

    It’s a short tournament. Flukes happen.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    I don't get the point. Is the WCHA supposed to pack it in because other conferences have had more success? When all the conference re-alignment crap took place, the WCHA was left with a group of small market teams that were shoved to the side by all the elite schools. Given the situation, I think the WCHA has done fine. Anybody can see that other conferences will have more success than the the WCHA, heck, that was the whole point of the re-alignment, wasn't it?
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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by kdiff77 View Post
    This is silly. Mankato went, what, 30-7 this year before running into a really good Providence team that underachieved a bit in the regular season and were a seed line or two (or three) below where they should’ve been based on talent. AIC is a great story and that conference has had some really great upsets lately, but Mankato has earned multiple 1 seeds in the tournament in recent years as well as a couple of at large bids. The AHA has never had a realistic shot at an at large berth.

    It’s a short tournament. Flukes happen.
    First, to take care of the factual errors in your post. Atlantic Hockey has not only had a realistic shot at an at large bid, they've received one when Niagara failed to win the conference tournament in 2013 yet received a 3 seed in that year's NCAA tournament. Air Force's 2017 squad just two tournaments ago was also seeded 3rd and likely would have received an at large bid had they lost the conference's championship game (this despite the fact that they did not even win that year's regular season title in Atlantic Hockey, which is a testament to how much the AHA's teams beat up on each other). In fact, in 2017 the WCHA winner was the 16th overall seed (27th in pairwise) while Air Force was ranked 12th in pairwise. The 2017 season is also the only season in the past 3 where the 16 overall seed did not topple the top seed.

    Secondly, it's not nearly as silly as you claim. There's a legitimate question to be asked here. A conference's strength is not just measured by the teams at the top, it's also measured by the team's in the middle and the bottom of the conference, and the latter is where Atlantic Hockey has made significant strides over the last few seasons, while certain teams in the WCHA seem to be hurting from the after effects of the realignment that happened a few years ago. Right now, I don't think there's any doubt whatsoever that the bottom of Atlantic Hockey is better than the bottom of the WCHA. And while yes, it's almost certainly true that Minnesota State is better than the top of Atlantic Hockey (NCAA failures notwithstanding, including, I might add, a loss to RIT), their overall record is also benefited from having to play teams like Alabama-Huntsville and Alaska twice a year each. Meanwhile, the team that finished in last place in the AHA this year swept North Dakota (one of the few times a big program has agreed to visit an AHA team's home barn for two).

    The two conferences H2H records are fairly close over the last 3 seasons, with the AHA actually holding a 10-8-2 advantage, and the overall non-conference records are fairly similar over those 3 years combined:
    AHA: 51-125-23 (.314)
    WCHA: 56-122-17 (.331)

    When you add in playoff games into those records, the records get even closer (the AHA is 3-3-0 over the past 3 years, while WCHA is 0-5-0), and the last matchup in the tournament between the conferences was the aforementioned RIT upset of Minnesota State.

    TL;DR version: Yes, the top of the WCHA is almost certainly better than the top of Atlantic Hockey. But I see no evidence that as a whole conference that the WCHA is any better than Atlantic Hockey, and the AHA is clearly stronger at the bottom of the league now that teams that have long been cellar dwellers (*cough* *cough* AIC) have made a renewed commitment to their hockey program.
    Last edited by jflory81; 04-01-2019 at 10:49 PM.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Since the realignment (2014 tournament onwards):

    Total Apps 1s FFs NCs W L % Conference
    6 0 0 0 4 6 40.0% AHA
    21 4 6 1 22 18 55.0% HE
    19 4 3 1 11 18 37.9% ECAC
    10 2 0 0 2 10 16.7% WCHA
    16 5 5 0 15 16 48.4% B1G
    23 9 10 3 33 18 64.7% NCHC
    1 0 0 0 0 1 0.0% Ind

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Two one seeds, four more at large bids, and waaaaaaaay fewer wins.

    This argument has some merit. It’s been pretty close for regular season Inter-conference records between the two conferences since the conference shakeup as well. (WCHA was 9-0-1 in the first seasons, it’s been close since).

    WCHA is definitely a better conference overall (by overall Intra-Conference regular season records), though, so the at-large bids for the WCHA and none for the AHA are justified.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    Two one seeds, four more at large bids, and waaaaaaaay fewer wins.

    This argument has some merit. It’s been pretty close for regular season Inter-conference records between the two conferences since the conference shakeup as well. (WCHA was 9-0-1 in the first seasons, it’s been close since).

    WCHA is definitely a better conference overall (by overall Intra-Conference regular season records), though, so the at-large bids for the WCHA and none for the AHA are justified.
    The OOC gap is signficantly closing in recent seasons, as I pointed out above. In fact, if you include post-season play over the past 3 years, the inter-conference winning %'s are almost identical (.319 to .322). I think some of the schools that ended up in the WCHA has been significantly hurt from not being affiliated with the bigger Western schools and that has contributed to the squishy middle and bottom of the league. Combine that with the bottom of the AHA getting significantly better (although the OOC record took a step back this year), and the gap between the conferences overall strength (not just the top) is without a doubt closing, if not closed already. You could argue the increased competitiveness night in and night out prepares Atlantic Hockey teams for the tournament better than the extremely top-heavy WCHA does, resulting in the AHA upsets and WCHA playoff failures we've seen in the past few years.
    Last edited by jflory81; 04-01-2019 at 05:10 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Ah yes, the "How do you measure your conference 'members' relative to the 'members' of other conferences" discussion. Can we save time and carpal tunnel by referring everyone to this incredibly conclusive thread?

    Big Ten > NCHC

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    Since the realignment (2014 tournament onwards):

    Total Apps 1s FFs NCs W L % Conference
    6 0 0 0 4 6 40.0% AHA
    21 4 6 1 22 18 55.0% HE
    19 4 3 1 11 18 37.9% ECAC
    10 2 0 0 2 10 16.7% WCHA
    16 5 5 0 15 16 48.4% B1G
    23 9 10 3 33 18 64.7% NCHC
    1 0 0 0 0 1 0.0% Ind
    I believe the B1G has only had 4 Frozen Four appearances. Minnesota in 2014, and then the triumvirate last year. Notre Dame in 2017 was in Hockey East, correct?

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Correct, I was pulling from “current” conference alignment for that table.

    Since ND To B1G was the only change since realignment, just take 3 appearances, a FF, two wins, and three losses from the B1G ledger and add it to the HE one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
    First, to take care of the factual errors in your post. Atlantic Hockey has not only had a realistic shot at an at large bid, they've received one when Niagara failed to win the conference tournament in 2013 yet received a 3 seed in that year's NCAA tournament. Air Force's 2017 squad just two tournaments ago was also seeded 3rd and likely would have received an at large bid had they lost the conference's championship game (this despite the fact that they did not even win that year's regular season title in Atlantic Hockey, which is a testament to how much the AHA's teams beat up on each other). In fact, in 2017 the WCHA winner was the 16th overall seed (27th in pairwise) while Air Force was ranked 12th in pairwise. The 2017 season is also the only season in the past 3 where the 16 overall seed did not topple the top seed.

    Secondly, it's not nearly as silly as you claim. There's a legitimate question to be asked here. A conference's strength is not just measured by the teams at the top, it's also measured by the team's in the middle and the bottom of the conference, and the latter is where Atlantic Hockey has made significant strides over the last few seasons, while certain teams in the WCHA seem to be hurting from the after effects of the realignment that happened a few years ago. Right now, I don't think there's any doubt whatsoever that the bottom of Atlantic Hockey is better than the bottom of the WCHA. And while yes, it's almost certainly true that Minnesota State is better than the top of Atlantic Hockey (NCAA failures notwithstanding, including, I might add, a loss to RIT), their overall record is also benefited from having to play teams like Alabama-Huntsville and Alaska twice a year each. Meanwhile, the team that finished in last place in the AHA this year swept North Dakota (one of the few times a big program has agreed to visit an AHA team's home barn for two).

    The two conferences H2H records are fairly close over the last 3 seasons, with the AHA actually holding a 10-8-2 advantage, and the overall non-conference records are fairly similar over those 3 years combined:
    AHA: 51-125-23 (.314)
    WCHA: 56-122-17 (.331)

    When you add in playoff games into those records, the records get even closer (the AHA is 3-3-0 over the past 3 years, while WCHA is 0-5-0), and the last matchup in the tournament between the conferences was the aforementioned RIT upset of Minnesota State.

    TL;DR version: Yes, the top of the WCHA is almost certainly better than the top of Atlantic Hockey. But I see no evidence that as a whole conference that the WCHA is any better than Atlantic Hockey, and the AHA is clearly stronger at the bottom of the league now that teams that have long been cellar dwellers (*cough* *cough* AIC) have made a renewed commitment to their hockey program.
    To distill your argument into a sentence, you’re basically saying that because the bad teams in the AHA might be slightly better than the bad teams in the WCHA, it’s a better conference? I don’t agree. You can’t ignore Mankato’s success, as much as it doesn’t fit your narrative. I’ll happily concede that they’re the only top-tier program in that conference, but because of that, they help elevate the conference as a whole. BGSU’s success this year and Tech’s and Northern’s occasional forays into the top-20 over the past few years are further support.

    I have no dog in this fight; I’m an ECAC fan. But I will continue to think it’s silly to try to equate the AHA with the WCHA on the basis of fluky NCAA tournament wins.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by kdiff77 View Post
    To distill your argument into a sentence, you’re basically saying that because the bad teams in the AHA might be slightly better than the bad teams in the WCHA, it’s a better conference? I don’t agree. You can’t ignore Mankato’s success, as much as it doesn’t fit your narrative. I’ll happily concede that they’re the only top-tier program in that conference, but because of that, they help elevate the conference as a whole. BGSU’s success this year and Tech’s and Northern’s occasional forays into the top-20 over the past few years are further support.

    I have no dog in this fight; I’m an ECAC fan. But I will continue to think it’s silly to try to equate the AHA with the WCHA on the basis of fluky NCAA tournament wins.
    Don't misrepresent my point. I never said AHA was better, I said they are closing the gap and may have already closed it (ie the leagues are approximately equal). And it's because the "bad/mediocre" teams in AHA are clearly better than the bad/mediocre teams in the WCHA. This results in a more stratified conference, which makes it easier for the teams at the top of the stratified conference to compile a higher RPI (since it is based on winning percentage, most of a team's games are played inside of their own conference, and teams are not punished in their RPI for playing truly awful teams as long as they win the game.) Minnesota State's "success" has come almost exclusively in the regular season post-realignment, based on beating teams up within their own conference (their non-conference record was 3-2-1, and they were 0-1-1 against other tournament teams. Not exactly the profile of a #1 seed). I mean, you can scream "fluke" all you want, but maybe if Minnesota State was such a top-tier program they would have found their way to winning a single NCAA tournament game by now?

    If you want to measure an entire conference's strength against another, I can think of no better metric than H2H results and inter-conference records, and those two methods provide a snapshot that the conferences are almost dead even at this point. (AHA with a slight small-sample size lead H2H over the last 3 years, and WCHA with an extremely slight lead in inter-conference record). That's not using "fluky" NCAA tournament wins to prove a point (although at some point 7-7 against mostly top seeds over the past 14 years is less fluke and more evidence that the team playing the best in the AHA at the end of the year can play with anyone), that's using regular season results to show that the results on the ice throughout the two conferences have not been much different over the last 3 years.
    Last edited by jflory81; 04-03-2019 at 01:42 PM.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
    Don't misrepresent my point. I never said AHA was better, I said they are closing the gap and may have already closed it (ie the leagues are approximately equal). And it's because the "bad/mediocre" teams in AHA are clearly better than the bad/mediocre teams in the WCHA. This results in a more stratified conference, which makes it easier for the teams at the top of the stratified conference to compile a higher RPI (since it is based on winning percentage, most of a team's games are played inside of their own conference, and teams are not punished in their RPI for playing truly awful teams as long as they win the game.) Minnesota State's "success" has come almost exclusively in the regular season post-realignment, based on beating teams up within their own conference (their non-conference record was 3-2-1, and they were 0-1-1 against other tournament teams. Not exactly the profile of a #1 seed). I mean, you can scream "fluke" all you want, but maybe if Minnesota State was such a top-tier program they would have found their way to winning a single NCAA tournament game by now?

    If you want to measure an entire conference's strength against another, I can think of no better metric than H2H results and inter-conference records, and those two methods provide a snapshot that the conferences are almost dead even at this point. (AHA with a slight small-sample size lead H2H over the last 3 years, and WCHA with an extremely slight lead in inter-conference record). That's not using "fluky" NCAA tournament wins to prove a point (although at some point 7-7 against mostly top seeds over the past 14 years is less fluke and more evidence that the team playing the best in the AHA at the end of the year can play with anyone), that's using regular season results to show that the results on the ice throughout the two conferences have not been much different over the last 3 years.
    MSU's non-con record was 5-2-1, with road wins at MN and NoDak. Of all the things I thought we'd have to defend, I didn't think our non-conference opponents would be one of those. We play a steady diet of NCHC schools, the Gophers, and BU the last 2 years. Gimme a break. There isn't a team in AH playing a non-con schedule like that and coming out with a winning record.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Apologies, I missed the sweep of Minnesota somehow when I went through the schedule. Most teams only play 6 non-conference games. And again, I'm not saying that anyone is better than Minnseota State in Atlantic Hockey, but they're not some behemoth that clearly makes the entire conference superior to the AHA because of their presence. The bottom is just as important as the top when defining the overall strength of a conference, and the advantages at the top for the WCHA are not so significant that they clearly overcome the weakness at the bottom - as evidenced when you compare overall H2H records and inter-conference records of the two conferences.

    As for "not an AHA school playing a non-conference schedule like that and coming out with a winning record"....I'd say Canisius (the last placed school in the AHA's regular season) came pretty close: they swept NoDok, split with Clarkson in a home and home, and went 0-1-1 at a Union team that was ranked at the time. That's a winning record (3-2-1) against a pretty comparable schedule - their opponents ended 8, 18, and 19 in the pairwise (all for 2 game series), while the Minn State opponents were 2 (1 game), 11 (1 game), 19 (2), 21(2), and 24(2).

    Canisius's non-conference opponent's RPI averaged .5388, while MnState's averaged .5332. So yeah, comparable non-conference schedule, and Canisius factually did play it over .500 (albeit not as strong a record as MnState).

    I think some posters are overlooking just how much better the bottom of the AHA has gotten over the last few years (which makes it extremely hard for any team to run away with the regular season title, which in a below average conference makes it difficult to get at large bids / high rankings)
    Last edited by jflory81; 04-03-2019 at 09:30 PM.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post

    I think some posters are overlooking just how much better the bottom of the AHA has gotten over the last few years (which makes it extremely hard for any team to run away with the regular season title, which in a below average conference makes it difficult to get at large bids / high rankings)
    Not denying what Atlantic Hockey is or isn't, but I do think a lot of things have been said about MSU in the last few days -including on this thread- that just don't jibe with the facts. We've failed in the NCAAs; that much is undeniable, and we need to own that and figure it out. But we haven't been a fluke. We've played consistently tough non-conference schedules, and have done quite well against those schedules in 4 of our 5 NCAA tournament years under Hastings (exception: 2013-2014). Just last year, we beat UMD, the eventual national champion, in the regular season, before losing to them in OT in the tournament. And our conference likewise has tough competition; there have been multiple WCHA teams in the tournament in our last 3 appearances. We've definitely earned our way into the tournament, and have earned the top 4 seedings we had in 2015 and 2019.

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    Re: Ahc > wcha

    Quote Originally Posted by devildog View Post
    I don't get the point. Is the WCHA supposed to pack it in because other conferences have had more success? When all the conference re-alignment crap took place, the WCHA was left with a group of small market teams that were shoved to the side by all the elite schools. Given the situation, I think the WCHA has done fine. Anybody can see that other conferences will have more success than the the WCHA, heck, that was the whole point of the re-alignment, wasn't it?
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