Vulgar Statistics: NCAA Women’s Hockey Rankings 11-30
As the NCAA season progresses, I’m going to publish weekly rankings in conjunction with the USCHO poll. These rankings will be entirely statistics based with the explanation as to how those stats are developed here. As I prefer to do when compiling rankings, a team’s final ranking will be determined by a summation of their rankings in various statistical categories:
- Overall winning percentage (pct)
- Percentage of shots taken (S%) – (Editor’s Note – This is essentially the best imitator of Corsi %. I’m told that shot attempts (Shots on goal plus missed shots plus shots taken that get blocked) are recorded but that data is not available anywhere.)
- Percentage of shots taken relative to Opponents’ S% (Rel S%)
- S% versus teams with an S% of 50% or more
- Rel S% versus teams with an S% of 50 or more
- Shooting Percentage (Sht%)
- Save Percentage (Sv%)
The top four teams are pretty inarguable, what order they should go in…
- Boston College is 15-0-1 with their lone tie coming against St. Lawrence. However outside of Cornell (#5 at the time), St. Lawrence, and Harvard, their schedule has been underwhelming.
- Minnesota is 14-1-2 with losses to Bemidji State (Regulation, Shootout) and Minnesota-Duluth (shootout). They won shots 118-68 in those games.
- Wisconsin is 15-2-1 with losses to Minnesota (Regulation, Overtime) and North Dakota (shootout).
- Quinnipiac is 13-0-2 and obliterating opponents on shots (534-216 or 71.2%), but also has played a soft schedule, although they now have two wins over Clarkson.
I think Minnesota is the best team in the country. After that…who knows.
RPI is also based on an amalgam of stats, although it focuses on winning percentage versus shots. Some thoughts:
Bemidji State is not that good. Their shot numbers are below average (375-462). They’re riding wins over Minnesota, North Dakota, and a split with Minnesota-Duluth (outshot 205-141 in those games) and an 8-5-1 overall record beating Robert Morris twice, Rensselaer, and Vermont. Ohio State beat them twice. At some point their lack of possession will doom them, or I’ll be forced to admit that their quality of wins override their actual play.
I don’t think Penn State is either. Other than a miraculous tie versus Quinnipiac (outshot 46-18), they have a smattering of wins and losses mostly versus teams ranked between 20th and 30th above.
Princeton is getting obliterated on shots (397-329) and sinking like a stone.
I added teams’s performances from this past weekend because I wanted to see if the metric properly rewards teams for winning games, and for the most part it does. It does not like Maine, who beat Vermont twice, but was outshot 70-49, or Princeton who was outshot 96-37 in two losses to Minnesota.
Clarkson’s weekend loss to Quinnipiac also probably doesn’t mean they’re worse than Mercyhurst but every game affects the strength of opponent metric for every team so a weakening of one of their previous opponents is probably what bumped them down.
I think, as USCHO pollsters do, that Harvard is a top ten team and that will be borne out once they’ve played more games. I also think St. Lawrence is top ten, and I don’t trust Dartmouth or Bemidji State.