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Bracketology: Into the meat grinder

No change from last week, but now all hell is about to break loose.

The Bulldogs look to reclaim their place atop the women’s college hockey landscape.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Welcome back to The Ice Garden’s Bracketology column. You can follow along from home using the PWR calculator the BCI’s Grant Salzano created from scratch here, on the site you can edit past and future results to see where the rankings would end up.

This weekend will be providing a lot of clarity with hardware on the line. The top teams are playing each other which will make some big waves in the RPI.

Home Ice Locks

We have a lock.

Wisconsin

Nothing has changed for Wisconsin and no one stepped up to join them yet.

Home Ice Contenders

These are the teams that are in line to host alongside Wisconsin:

Boston College

St. Lawrence

Minnesota-Duluth

Clarkson

Minnesota

These five teams are still battling it out. The Saints and Bulldogs are out front and neck and neck but look to avoid Wisconsin in the semifinals. Boston College fresh off another Beanpot championship is the leader for the last home ice spot while Clarkson continues to slip into traveling.

At Large Contenders

There is a huge disconnect between the top 6 and the rest of the country so it is doubtful anyone here or below will be hosting.

Colgate

Robert Morris

Cornell

Quinnipiac

Princeton

Northeastern

North Dakota

Boston University’s bizarre tie to Harvard following their loss to Merrimack keeps them off this list but the rest of these teams are separated by about .03 in the RPI. With the conference tournaments coming up all of them have an opportunity to snag some big QWB points. Cornell is the safest while Robert Morris has been struggling of late and looks to lock up home ice for the new set up CHA Tournament.

Current Bracket

1. Wisconsin v 8. Robert Morris

2. St. Lawrence v 7. Cornell

3. Minnesota-Duluth v 6. Clarkson

4. Boston College v 5. Minnesota

This is the same bracket as last week. It won’t last past the weekend.

Likely Current Bracket

1. Wisconsin v 8. Robert Morris

2. St. Lawrence v 7. Cornell

3. Minnesota-Duluth v 5. Minnesota

4. Boston College v 6. Clarkson

Cornell and Minnesota continue to flip to make bus trips. Of the possible teams to sneak in, only North Dakota could be out west, so Boston College and St. Lawrence have the most variability of opponents. The CHA will almost certainly be flying to Wisconsin unless Syracuse wins while BC hosts.

Matchup of the Week

Minnesota-Duluth @ Wisconsin (2/11, 2/12)

The WCHA regular season title is on the line. Wisconsin can lock up the trophy with a sweep, or knock Duluth out of the running by winning the weekend. Duluth, on the other hand, can almost lock up home ice if they do well enough this weekend.