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Vulgar Statistics: NCAA Women’s Hockey Rankings 12-8


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%)


Kind of a weird shift for the USCHO poll.  Boston University moves ahead of Quinnipiac after the former defeated Vermont, and the latter tied Dartmouth and lost to Harvard.  Everyone else moves up at the expense of Clarkson who lost to a good Cornell team and handily dispatched Colgate the following day.  Is that really that much less impressive than Mercyhurst’s two wins over Lindenwood or Bemidji state’s disposing of putrid Minnesota State?

Look, I’ll probably be banging the Bemidji State is not that good gavel for the rest of the season but…they’re only controlling 46.45% of shot attempts and relying on .950 goaltending, which is best in the NCAA.  Maybe you can ride a hot player or two more in college than you can in professional sports, but at some point they just won’t have enough possession to win.


RPI is also based on an amalgam of stats, although it focuses on winning percentage versus shots.  Some thoughts:

The RPI tells a similar story in the top ten, valuing Harvard’s wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac more than the voters did.  Nice to see Union leap ahead of Colgate with their win over Brown.

stats rankings

The two columns are now movement from last week and the team’s performance over the weekend.  Some thoughts:

It’s pretty clear the ECAC is a five team conference with Quinnipiac, Clarkson, Harvard, Cornell, and St. Lawrence vying for supremacy.  (The first three are probably a slight cut above.)  Princeton and Dartmouth are plucky on the right days.

Harvard came up big this weekend beating Princeton and handing Quinnipiac their first loss.

Cornell also had a good weekend, sweeping Clarkson and St. Lawrence on the road.

Bemidji State continues to be an enigma, with unimpressive 7-4 and 2-0 wins over Minnesota State.  It clear they have talent in net, but they continue to be underwhelming on shots.  They won shots 76-58 versus Minnesota State, which sounds good until you realize the MSU Mavericks have lost shots 726-287 on the year.  The Beavers themselves have lost shots on the year 520-451.

The Union women picked up a rare win against Brown and fared okay in a 4-2 loss to Yale.  They’re still in last place, but they might not be the worst team in the ECAC.

The bottom 10-15 is a mess of really uninspiring teams.  I hope things continue to get more competitive.


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