With only three weekends left in the ACHA regular season, the race for the conference tournament is heating up. Three teams joined Robert Morris last weekend and punched their tickets to the playoffs. Pittsburgh swept the weekend over Duquesne and Robert Morris, IUP had a non-conference weekend against kent State, but still clinched thanks to Slippery Rock’s Friday night victory over West Virginia. The Pride, in turn, clinched a spot with Duquesne’s Saturday victory over the Mountaineers.
This weekend, John Carroll and Mercyhurst have opportunities to clinch the final two playoff spots, but each will have to get through one of the top two teams to do so. John Carroll finishes their conference slate against Pitt on Wednesday, Feb. 12 and Mercyhurst has games against Duquesne and Robert Morris on Friday and Saturday night.
All races are calculated to an out-right points win. Any ties for the final playoff position are subject to the conference tiebreaker rules. Tiebreakers are: 1st: Most conference wins, 2nd: Head-to-Head (total points in head-to-head matchups), 3rd: Most conference non-shootout wins, 4th: Head-to-Head goals for/goals against differential, 5th: Goals for/goals against differential in conference games. GR- Games Remaining, PR- Points available in remaining games, MP- Maximum points a team can achieve.
Robert Morris still leads the conference with 18 points, though Pitt sits two points behind with two games in hand. Tha Panthers are ranked 15th nationally in the ACHA. The IUP Hawks and Slippery Rock Pride each have 13 points, with IUP holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pride, with one matchup between the clubs remaining. John Carroll can finish no higher than fifth place, with only one conference game remaining, but the Blue Streaks can clinch a playoff berth in that final game with a win over Pittsburgh.
Robert Morris clinched a playoff berth. The Colonials clinch a first-round bye with two wins and a Slippery Rock regulation loss.
Pittsburgh clinched a playoff berth.
IUP clinched a playoff berth.
Slippery Rock clinched a playoff berth.
John Carroll can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Duquesne loss OR an overtime loss and losses by Duquesne and West Virginia
Mercyhurst can clinch a playoff berth with two wins and a West Virginia loss.
Friday, Feb. 28 (first round)
No. 3 IUP vs. No. 6 Mercyhurst
No. 4 Slippery Rock vs. No. 5 John Carroll
Saturday, Feb. 29 (semifinals)
No. 1 Robert Morris vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
No. 2 Pittsburgh vs. Highest Remaining Seed
Sunday, Mar. 1 (championship)
Friday, Feb. 7:
Robert Morris @ IUP, 8:05 p.m. S&T Bank Arena
Mercyhurst @ Duquesne, 9:30 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex
Pitt @ West Virginia, 9:30 p.m. Morgantown Ice Arena
Saturday, Feb. 8:
Mercyhurst @ Robert Morris, 2:35 p.m. RMU Island Sports Center
Slippery Rock @ Duquesne, 7 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex
IUP @ Pitt, 9;20 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex
Wednesday, Feb. 12:
John Carroll @ Pitt, 7:20 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex