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Vulgar Statistics: NCAA Women’s Hockey Rankings 1-5


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%)


Ohio State probably deserved to be here a little sooner.  They’re riding 4 straight wins (all on the road) including two over then-ranked Bemidji State whom they’ve now beaten four times and outscored 10-2 and they’ve played consensus ranked teams Minnesota and Minnesota-Duluth tough.  They’ll probably never break into the top 8 (and don’t deserve to), but top ten for sure.  Cornell’s inclusion is no doubt a delayed reaction to big wins over Clarkson and St. Lawrence on the road on December 5th and 6th.


Mercyhurst beat Ohio State 3-0 when they met in a weird game that saw shots finish at 16-16 for whatever that’s worth.  The rankings falling as they have is shaping something interesting.  There seems a clearly defined top 8 as listed above, but…the CHA (Mercyhurst, Penn St., Syracuse, Lindenwood, RIT, and Robert Morris) is going to put a team in the NCAA tournament.  So who among the top 8 loses out?  I’m going to assume that Boston College, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Quinnipiac are Locks.  Here are the rest:

Harvard – 1-1-2 versus ranked teams.  Right now they’re close to a lock for me.  Their only losses are to #1 Boston College and relatively solid St. Lawrence in overtime.  But they have at least 5 more ranked teams on the schedule plus tough matchups on the road against Dartmouth and Princeton and a home game against St. Lawrence.

Boston University – 2-1-1 versus ranked teams.  Credit to BU for supplementing a weak Hockey East schedule with out of conference games versus Clarkson (2 wins), Harvard (tie), Cornell, Quinnipiac, and Harvard again.

Minnesota-Duluth – 3-5-0 versus ranked teams.  That mark doesn’t include a sweep of then unranked Ohio State or a sweep of then unranked Cornell.  They’ve basically folded against Minnesota and Wisconsin and done okay against everyone else.  Their remaining schedule features Bemidji State, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio State, all twice.  If they go .500 in those games or worse, I’m leaving them home.

Clarkson – 1-4-1 versus ranked teams.  They’ve lost to Quinnipiac twice now, but I’m not convinced they’re not the best team in the ECAC.  It was about this time that Clarkson turned it on last year and they’ve got Cornell, Wisconsin (twice), Quinnipiac, and Harvard to show what they’re made of.  They’ve also got most of the bottom half of the ECAC to pile up wins and confidence.

Prediction: Quinnipiac @ Clarkson (Feb 14) and Clarkson @ Harvard (Feb 21) decide the ECAC.  Minnesota-Duluth wilts down the stretch and stays home.  They’re never relevant again after firing longtime coach Shannon Miller.  Mercyhurst becomes a chic pick to get upset in the CHA tournament and then lays waste to everyone.

Also, Vermont beat Colgate twice which apparently merited the week’s biggest jump.

my rank

St. Lawrence lost 10-0 and got outshot 40-15 to Minnesota, so it’s really not fair that they dropped four spots, although their win over Minnesota St. was not very impressive.  Certainly 7-5 and 14-10 are not the shot totals you want in first and second periods against a team that’s still in the game that you know you should beat.

Other than that I don’t have much to say.  This feels about right, at least until the teams ranked between 5 and maybe 12 play some quality opponents.

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