1. Miami: 26 GP, 66 Pts., 20 W
2. Ferris St.: 26 GP, 46 Pts., 13 W
2. Michigan St.: 26 GP, 46 Pts., 13 W
4. Alaska: 28 GP, 45 Pts., 11 W
5. Nebraska-Omaha: 28 GP, 44 Pts., 13 W
6. Northern Michigan: 26 GP, 42 Pts., 11 W
7. Michigan: 26 GP, 40 Pts., 13 W
8. Ohio State
9. Lake Superior
10. Notre Dame
11. Bowling Green
12. Western Michigan
Tiebreakers: 1. Conference Wins; 2. Head-to-Head Record; 3. Head-to-Head Goal Differential
CCHA Series' This Weekend: Notre Dame vs. Michigan, Bowling Green vs. Michigan State, Western Michigan vs. Ferris State, Lake Superior at Northern Michigan, Ohio State vs. Miami
So, what does this mean for everyone else?
1. Miami has the top spot locked up
2. Michigan State and Ferris State are playing this weekend for the number two seed. If their respective series' this weekend don't settle things, Ferris State will get the number two seed by virtue of a 6-4 goal differential in the teams' only series (played last weekend).
3. Alaska and UNO are done playing CCHA games - UNO cannot get a first-round bye, and Alaska would be the beneficiary of failures from Northern Michigan and Michigan
4. Northern Michigan can clinch the #4 seed with five points this weekend at home against the Lakers
What does Michigan need for the #4 seed?
1. Two wins - In order to jump Alaska and UNO, Michigan needs five points. Michigan would win a tiebreaker over Alaska by virtue of Michigan's 13 conference wins, so Michigan could receive the #4 seed with one regulation win and one shootout win
2. NMU must lose at least one game - if Michigan picks up all six points available to them against Notre Dame, NMU would be forced to gain at least five points against Lake Superior, as Michigan owns the conference-wins tiebreaker over the Wildcats. If Michigan wins once in regulation and once in a shootout (five points), NMU would need four points (one regulation win and one shootout loss or two shootout losses).
And then we're in?
Not even close. But, in order to have a chance at making a run in the CCHA Tournament, Michigan would be greatly aided by a first-round bye and a home series in the Quarterfinals. If Michigan can get to the Semis, they'll need two wins in front of a favorable crowd at Joe Louis Arena in order to extend their streak of consecutive tournament appearances to 20.
It won't be easy, and it's far from likely. Miami is one of the best teams in the country, and Michigan has been tremendously inconsistent this season. But this is a talented team with the best coach in the country, and our job, as fans, is to keep hope alive.