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WCHA Playoff Scenarios

This weekend will be the final weekend of the WCHA regular season, so we'll take a look at just how the standings could shake out. The first and last spots are locked in, but everything else is its usual mess, which should make for a lot of scoreboard watching this weekend.

As a quick reminder on the WCHA's tie-breaking procedures, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head, followed by most conference wins, followed by least goals allowed in games among the tied teams(only if teams have played four games against each other), followed by goal differential in WCHA games.

The series next weekend are as follows: Colorado College at Wisconsin, North Dakota at Michigan Tech, Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota-Duluth, Alaska-Anchorage at Minnesota State, Minnesota at Bemidji State, St. Cloud at Denver

Here's a look at the current standings, and the spots each team could finish in.

1. North Dakota- 39 points (1st)

2. Denver 35-points (2nd, 3rd, 4th)

3. Nebraska-Omaha-34 points (2nd, 3rd, 4th)

4. Minnesota-Duluth-33 points (2nd, 3rd, 4th)

5. Minnesota- 28 points (5th, 6th, 7th)

6. Colorado College 26 points (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th)

7, Wisconsin- 25 points (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th)

8. St. Cloud-24 points (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th)

9. Alaska-Anchorage- 22 points (7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th)

10. Bemidji State- 20 points (9th, 10th, 11th)

10. Minnesota State-20 points (8th, 9th, 10th, 11th)

12. Michigan Tech- 6 points (12th)

North Dakota is guaranteed to earn the top seed, but technically if Denver sweeps, North Dakota gets swept by Michigan Tech, and the universe doesn't collapse upon itself, Denver would still be considered the "Co-Champion" in the eyes of the WCHA.

Denver has a little bit of an advantage in that the two teams chasing them are playing each other.(Update) There is a scenario where Denver can finish in 4th, but it involves Nebraska-Omaha taking only one point from Minnesota-Duluth, and UNO maintaining their advantage in WCHA goal differential.

The next super-confusing glut of teams is in the 5-8 spot. Again, Colorado College and Wisconsin will be playing each other, and since somebody has to get points in that series, I can't come up with a scenario that gets Alaska-Anchorage into home ice. They can catch Colorado College in the standings, thanks to their sweep of the Tigers in January, but that would mean Wisconsin would have enough points to pass Anchorage.

The bottom of the standings aren't as important. Of note, in the 10th spot, Minnesota State can pass St. Cloud if the two teams finish tied, but Bemidji State cannot. I have no idea what happens if all three tie, and really, the odds of that happening are pretty slim.