College Hockey Elo Ratings Most Lopsided Predictions
One of the benefits of an Elo style ranking system is that you can use the comparative difference between the two teams in order to estimate how likely either team is to win the match. While the majority
of NCAA hockey games are evenly matched contests, sometimes you have a pretty good idea of who is going to win before the puck is even dropped. Since 1999 there have been 22 games where Elo has given
one team a greater than 90% chance of winning. In these cases, the favorited team has won every match.
A review of these games are listed below.
Quinnipiac College vs. Fairfield (March 13th 1999)
This was a season where Fairfield had only won a single game, and where Quinnipiac was the top team in the MAAC. Quinnipiac College was given a 90.5% chance of winning, and they did so with a 13-2 score.
Fairfield vs. Quinnipiac College (February 18th & 19th 2000)
While Fairfield would manage three wins in the 1999-2000 season, their games against Quinnipiac College continued to be huge mismatches. Quinnipiac won both of these games by 8-0 and 6-1 scores.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan Tech (March 10th & 11th 2000)
These two WCHA teams were at oppisite ends of the conference for this season. Wisconsin was a heavy favorite, given a 92.1% chance of winning the game. Michigan Tech was unable to pull off the upset
in either game.
Princeton vs. Cornell (February 28th 2003)
An ECAC match-up gets into the mix as Cornell was on the top of their game in the 2002-2003 season and Princeton really was not. While Cornell was a 91.2% favorite, this was acutally a close game
with Cornell winning by only a 2-1 margin.
Colorado College vs. Alaska-Anchorage (March 14th & 15th 2003)
Like most of the mismatches on this list, this pair of games was also between the top and bottom teams within the same conference. In this case these were both WCHA teams at opposite ends of the charts.
Colorado College came into the first game with a 92.8% chance of winning, and went on to win both games.
Minnesota vs. Alaska-Anchorage (March 10th & 11th 2006)
These two games were the only contests between 2003 and 2011 where one team was a 90% favorite. Minnesota went on to win both of these games 7-4 and 6-2.
Michigan Tech vs. North Dakota (March 4th & 5th & 11th & 12th 2011)
Michigan Tech and North Dakota played each other two weekends in a row in order to get four straight games in which the Sioux were heavy favorites. Michigan Tech would only win two games this season and
North Dakota won all four of these in a convinving fashion with 6-1, 11-2, 8-0, and 3-1 scores.
Minnesota-Duluth vs. Alabama-Huntsville (January 20th & 21st 2012)
Minnesota-Duluth entered this pair of games as heavy favorites with a 91.6% chance of winning. While they would in fact go on to win both games, they were close matches with both games decided by a single goal.
Alabama-Huntsville vs. Boston College (December 29th 2012)
This game for Alabama-Huntsville (and the previous pair against Minnesota-Duluth) came at a time where Alabama-Huntsville was an independent team that won nine games in three years. As such it is almost a
suprise that they are not on this list more often. Boston College had a 93.4% chance of winning so their 5-2 victory came as no suprise.
Alabama-Huntsville vs. St. Cloud State (November 16th 2013)
Finally in a conference, Alabama-Huntsville wasn't much better in the 2013-2014 season with a 2-25-1 record. St. Cloud State was a much better team and won this game 4-3.
North Dakota vs. Alabama-Huntsville (January 1st & 2nd 2016)
North Dakota entered 2016 as the best team in college hockey. Alabama-Huntsville was nowhere close. North Dakota won these games 1-0 and 4-1.
North Dakota vs. Colorado College (March 11th & 12th 2016)
The opening weekend of the NCHC tournament reuired the confrence's best team (North Dakota) to play a best of three series against its worse (Colorado College). The series did not come close to needing a third game as
the 28-5-3 team beat the 6-27-1 team 5-1 in what was the closer of the two games.