Wednesday, August 15, 2007

College Hockey Talking Points: League Shakedown

I wanted to post some recent work of mine that stems from a comment I posted on Goon's World (North Dakota Hockey Blog) in response to:

Goon's WCHA Pre-Season poll

And here's what I had to say:

Poll? What poll!? I thought you said there was a poll!

Now on to the debate:

"The WCHA top to bottom is the toughest league in all of college hockey"

I disagree.

Pure Parity.

There is so much parity between Hockey East, the WCHA and even the CCHA that, as we say in the east, it's not even funny. Let's look at the last 18 years of NCAA Champs and Runners Up...

2007 CCHA...HE
2006 WCHA..HE
2004 WCHA..HE
2003 WCHA..HE
2002 WCHA..HE
2001 HE......WCHA
2000 WCHA..HE
1999 HE......HE
1998 CCHA...HE
1997 WCHA..HE
1996 CCHA...WCHA
1995 HE.......HE
1994 CCHA...HE
1993 HE......CCHA
1992 CCHA..*WCHA
1991 CCHA...HE

So, hey, where was the WCHA last year? They've only ever cornered the bracket once since '90 - yeah, yeah, let's not get into the 'bracket was biased' debate. And while the WCHA admittedly and obviously owned the top spot from 2002-2006, Hockey East was right there every step of the way.

Championships Since '90

WCHA - 8
CCHA - 6
HE - 4

These three conferences account for every NCAA Championship since '90 (ECAC's Harvard won in '89)

Championship Appearances Since '90

HE - 16 (Out of 18)
WCHA - 12
CCHA - 7 (watch out if a CCHA team makes it to the Championship Game!)
ECAC - 1 (ah, how cute! Colgate in '90)

Hockey East has twice been the ONLY league in attendance at the final game since '90 and the WCHA managed that feat once near the end of it's five year reign in 2005.


While the WCHA has owned the top spot of late there is no one league that rules the roost but a triumvirate - Hockey East, the WCHA and the CCHA.

We could all stake a claim for being the top league but any honest, impartial observer would see that these three leagues are truly equals - not that there are any honest, impartial observers within 500 miles of a college hockey rink! ;)

Hockey East Rules!

Go 'Cats!

So if anyone has any clever trash talking they want to dish out on North Dakota please get over there and do so as we'll be facing them twice in Grand Forks during Winter Break!

*I've added a link for doing just this in the link section. You can't miss it!

Go 'Cats!


Blogger Goon said...

I find it funny that you took issue with my poll since it really doesn't have much to do with Hockey East. I think top to bottom the WCHA is the toughest league in the NCAA. Of course the Hockey East boys are going to like their league. If my math (I was a sociology major) is right the WCHA is 32-20-06 against the HE the last three season if Sioux_07's numbers are right...

I was home today and board so I wrote a blog in reference to a post that was on

Aug 15, 2007, 7:23:00 PM  

I was merely commenting on the lack of a traditional 'poll' - you know, asking the people to vote...

But any time someone wants to step up and try to claim hockey superiority we're going to be right there behind our boys!

You can't argue against properly tallied stats (I haven't bothered to do it myself) but I think that among the three leagues, league superiority is a debatable issue - although I'll admit that the WCHA has been doing all it can to try to best the competition.

I'm looking at most of the rankings that most are predicting and DU seventh seems to show how far the mighty can fall - it was only two years ago that they won their second straight. And look at Wisconsin.

I see HE dominance on the horizon!

Go 'Cats!

Aug 15, 2007, 8:37:00 PM  
Blogger Goon said...

I don't see a hockey East domination but I do see two leagues the WCHA and the HE racking up a lot of wins. The WCHA is doing really well recruiting the top players. Personally we don't get to see the HE very much in ND even with CTSV showing on my dial a lot of Maine and B.C. games are on but we don't get to see the other teams as much out here on the prairie...

Aug 16, 2007, 3:36:00 PM  

Yeah, mirror image of the problem here. Maybe things like UNHWildcats.TV will help improve the visibility of the sport across time zones.

What we do know is that the WCHA has some great teams and that if we want to win it all we'll have to go through one of those teams.

I've already predicted that the two games versus your Sioux will, more than likely, be a definitive series for the season.

I look forward to the showdown, that's for sure!

Go 'Cats!

Aug 16, 2007, 5:36:00 PM  
Blogger Goon said...

I am actually under the line of thinking that the real season starts in FEB, so even IF und lost two to the Cats it won't be an end all to be all series, Last year the Maine Black Bears swept us in the REA and we still ended up in the Frozen Four. That being said I just want to see good hockey... Maybe the Sioux hopefully kick some butt...

Aug 18, 2007, 6:53:00 PM  

I was thinking that it will be more definitive for us.

If we take those two games from you then I feel like we put ourselves in position for a great run down the stretch.

If we should drop a game or two but play well I think it will obviously still bode well for us but will let us know that we've got more work to do.

Take it as a compliment. Essentially I've staked that our prospects for ultimate success this year are very possibly tied to how well we compete against your Fighting Sioux.

Ultimately, as always, it will come down to which team wants it more and is willing to sacrifice more to get there. If there is one thing this year's senior Wildcats know it is this - so be prepared for a fight.

This year's team may well become known as the Fighting Wildcats.

Go 'Cats!

Aug 18, 2007, 8:48:00 PM  

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