Sunday, March 13, 2011

Engineers' hopes still alive

SCHENECTADY -- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute still needs more from far and wide in its hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA Hockey Tournament -- but the Engineers have gotten plenty so far.
As of this writing -- early in the second period at Union (the Dutchmen are tied in their quarterfinal series-deciding game with Colgate 1-0) -- the Engineers are tied for the No. 15 spot in the Pairwise Rankings, which generally picks the top 15 teams of the 16-team NCAA field, as long as seeds hold throughout the various league tournaments -- ECAC Hockey, the WCHA, CCHA and Hockey East.
The final berth is an automatic bid awarded to the Atlantic Hockey conference playoff champion. That berth, you'll remember, went to RIT, which shocked both Denver and New Hampshire at the Times Union Center.
Thus, Rensselaer could have used Dartmouth losing at Harvard but the Big Green won, 4-3.
The Engineers also need Ferris State to win at Western Michigan and Wisconsin to win at Colorado College. Western Michigan and Colorado College share the No. 12 rating in the Pairwise.
A Cornell loss to Quinnipiac would remove the Big Red as a Team Under Consideration and wipe out two RPI losses. Record against TUC teams is a key element to the Pairwise ratings.
The Big Red led 1-0 midway through the third period in their deciding Game 3.
"There's still a lot that happen (both tonight) and next week," RPI coach Seth Appert said today. "We're hoping."
More later.


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