The odd number of teams in Atlantic Hockey makes the playoff setup just a little weird.
The bottom six teams play in a best of three series,with the bottom seed taking on the sixth seed, the tenth taking on the seventh, and the ninth facing off against the eighth.
The top 5 teams receive a bye into the quarterfinal round. Seeds four and five will take each other on while the lowest remaining seed plays the number one seed, the middle seed takes on number two, and the highest remaining seed takes on three.
- American International
- Sacred Heart
- Air Force
- Robert Morris
- Holy Cross
American International, Sacred Heart, RIT, Army, and Niagara have all earned a bye into the quarterfinal round.
2020 Atlantic Hockey Tournament Simulation
The simulation is created using a modified version of the game prediction tool.
#6 Air Force vs. #11 Mercyhurst
Mercyhurst has been abysmal this year, winning only 3 conference games outright. The model isn’t picking up what they’re putting down. Air Force takes it.
Winner: #6 Air Force 55% to 45%
#7 Robert Morris vs. #10 Holy Cross
The model likes Holy Cross in this one. Both teams are in a slide heading into the tournament with Holy Cross losing the last 5 and Robert Morris the last 2. Holy Cross is generating more chances, shooting at a higher percentage, and is benefiting from having a tougher quality of competition rating.
Winner: #10 Holy Cross 53% to 47%
#8 Bentley vs. #9 Canisius
These teams are basically a dead match using the tool. Both teams are coming into the tournament having won 2 straight and are statistically pretty similar teams. The model likes Bentley over Canisius, but just barely.
Winner: #8 Bentley 51% to 49%
Round 2 – Quarterfinals
#1 American International vs. #10 Holy Cross
American International swept Holy Cross this year on their way to the top of the Atlantic Hockey standings. They model has them as a clear favorite over Holy Cross.
Winner: #1 American International 58% to 42%
#2 Sacred Heart vs. #8 Bentley
Sacred Heart has spent the year putting together one of the most complete seasons. Without American International’s streak to clinch, would be the regular season champions of Atlantic Hockey. Sacred Heart is the heavy favorite in this match-up against Bentley.
Winner: #2 Sacred Heart 59% to 41%
#3 RIT vs. #6 Air Force
A rematch of the heated regular season finale series would have Air Force back at the Gene playing underdog to the Tigers.
RIT has been able to outpace Air Force’s scoring while also having better defensive outcomes. That combination has the model taking RIT over Air Force 59% to 41%.
Winner: #3 RIT 59% to 41%
#4 Army vs. #5 Niagara
To be honest I am not quite sure what the model likes in Niagara over Army. All I know is that both teams are extremely close both in the standings and statistically – and that the model prefers Niagara.
Winner: #5 Niagara 51% to 49%
Round 3 – Semifinals
#1 American International vs. #5 Niagara
I mean, come on. I am honestly shocked that Niagara made it through this far, they’re not making it past American International.
Winner: #1 American International 57% to 43%
#2 Sacred Heart vs. #3 RIT
As much as I want the model to be wrong in this case I just don’t see it happening. Sacred Heart put up 12 goals in two games against RIT earlier this season and has continued to roll.
They’ve scored at least 3 goals in the 15 games won (22 total games played since) after their match-up with RIT. RIT has only won 4 games where they have given up a minimum of 3 goals since that series.
Winner: #2 Sacred Heart 54% to 46%
Round 4 – Championship
#1 American International vs. #2 Sacred Heart
Who would have thought that the two best teams in the standings would also be the two best teams statistically and that they would have made it through the simulation to the Championship game?
I personally don’t see any team beating Sacred Heart, and I am glad that the model agrees with me. Sacred Heart’s offensive prowess is what got them this far, and there isn’t any reason to believe it’s going to stop now.
Winner: #2 Sacred Heart 54% to 46%