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NCAA Fantasy Hockey: It gets real

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...while still staying fantasy

Lake Louise Pond Hockey Classic
playing here would be a fantasy
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Good morning fantasy fans! Puck drop on the first games is today at 6 p.m. Eastern — excited yet?

The signing deadline for our NCAA fantasy league was 11:59 p.m. Eastern yesterday, Thursday September 27th, and as of that deadline we have an amazing 31 teams. Our Spreadsheet Gnomes are working busily to complete the spreadsheet, as well as putting little rocks on it so it won’t blow away, and everything should be ready for the first set of results at the end of the weekend.

I’ll reveal the full set of teams at the same time as that first set of results, basically because everything will be in the same Google Sheet. If you don’t want your name used as your manager name, and you haven’t already said so or given me a different manager name, let me know by Monday October 1 at tigFantasyHockey@gmail.com.

Some opening stats for you:

  • Number of teams: 31. Wow.
  • Top players picked: The following were all picked by ten managers or more: Daryl Watts (16), Loren Gabel (16), Sophie Shirley (16), Elizabeth Giguère (15), Taylar Cianfarano (15), Annie Pankowski (14), Caitrin Lonergan (13), Jincy Dunne (12), Maddie Rooney (11), Natalie Snodgrass (11), Alina Mueller (11), Kassidy Sauvé (10), Kelly Pannek (10), Sarah Potomak (10), Taylor Heise (10).
  • Top schools by picks: Here’s the top ten schools by total picks: Clarkson (68), BC (59), Wisconsin (57), Minnesota (51), OSU (26), Northeastern (26), Minnesota-Duluth (22), UConn (20), Colgate (20), Maine (10), Quinnipiac (10). (Actually eleven because of a tie for tenth) No disagreement about the big four out there, but compared to the USCHO Top Ten, our managers like UConn, Maine and Quinnipiac and don’t like Cornell and Mercyhurst. Cornell may move up as they start to play of course.
  • Top player for each school:
    Clarkson: Loren Gabel (16 picks, 23.53% of total picks for school)
    BC: Daryl Watts (16, 27.12%)
    Wisconsin: Sophie Shirley (16, 28.07%)
    Minnesota: Kelly Pannek (10, 19.61%)
    OSU: Jincy Dunne (12, 46.15%)
    Northeastern: Alina Mueller (11, 42.31%)
    Minnesota-Duluth: Maddie Rooney (11, 50.00%)
    UConn: Natalie Snodgrass (11, 55.00%)
    Colgate: Jessie Eldridge (9, 45.00%)
    Maine: Tereza Vanisová (7, 70.00%)
    Quinnipiac: Abbie Ives (5, 50.00%)
    As you might expect, the fewer picks a school has the more its picks are dominated by a single star. It’s very noticeable that Minnesota has more depth (or, alternatively, managers are more confused by Minnesota) than any of the other top schools — managers picked 12 different players in Minnesota with their 51 total picks for that school, while Clarkson on the other hand saw only 7 players picked for its 68 total picks.
  • Highest-cost player who wasn’t picked by anyone: Amy Potomak. Way to give her little sister syndrome, everyone.
  • Highest-cost player who wasn’t picked by anyone and isn’t Sarah Potomak’s sister: Becca Gilmore (Harvard). She was very good for Harvard last year, but Harvard weren’t very good, so.
  • Lowest-cost player who was picked by more than one manager: Taylor Wemple (St. Cloud, $0.4). Two picks for dark horse Wemple! Going by her official bio, she’s enormously tall and missed several games last season; it could be that the managers who picked her are expecting her to play the full season and maybe get even taller.
  • Lowest-cost player who was picked : Also Taylor Wemple! Other interesting low cost picks are Chantal Burke (Penn State, $0.85), who’s one of Penn State’s potential starting goalies and certainly has upside over her $0.85 cost, and Rachel Herzog (St. Cloud, $1.7), who is more expensive than Taylor Wemple and yet shorter.
  • A #rivalry #narrative: Natalie Snodgrass (UConn, $34.7) was picked by 11 managers and Maureen Murphy (Providence, $32.1) was picked by only 4, even though both are in Hockey East, both got national camp invites, and Providence are traditionally more big-scoring than UConn. We’ll track that #rivalry this season as part of our #content.
  • Top players by team names that are puns on their name: Daryl Watts (3); Aerin Frankel, Loren Gabel, Maddie Rooney, Sophie Shirley (2 each). I was particularly happy to get both “Shirley You Can’t Be Serious” AND “And Don’t Call Me Shirley”.
  • Best team name, league runner’s choice, no backsies no do-overs: Our own Mike Murphy’s “Rooney Tunes”, which gets extra points because you get extra points if your name sounds good in a Scooby Doo voice, sorry if I forgot to say that.

Send trade requests, team name or manager name changes, and any other thoughts to tigFantasyHockey@gmail.com. Talk to you on Tuesday!