From Pittsburgh Hockey Digest
By Ed Major II
With the Penultimate weekend of ACHA regular season play here, it is an opportune time to look at the CHMA standings and playoff picture. There are nine CHMA games remaining over the next two weekends. Five games are this weekend and four games are next weekend. The CHMA Tournament is scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2022 at Gilmour Academy Ice Arena in Cleveland, with John Carroll acting as the host.
Last weekend, John Carroll joined Pitt, IUP, and Robert Morris in clinching a playoff berth, with Pitt having also clinched a first-round bye.
Pitt still leads the conference with 23 points, though IUP sits three points with a huge matchup between the Panthers and Hawks looming on Friday, Feb. 4 at S&T Bank Arena. The Panthers are ranked 14th nationally in the ACHA. Robert Morris sits behind IUP with 17 points. IUP and Robert Morris each have a shot at the No. 2 seed for a first-round bye and a chance to avoid a matchup with Pitt until championship Sunday.
While John Carroll is unable to earn a first-round bye, the Blue Streaks locked up a playoff berth thanks to Duquesne’s loss Monday against Pitt. John Carroll can still jump to the No. 3 seed with two wins and two Robert Morris losses (a showdown between the two on Feb. 4 looms as well).
Kent State, Mercyhurst, and Duquesne are all contenders for the final two playoff spots. Duquesne has the toughest road to the playoffs. The Dukes control their own destint, but must win all three remaining conference games . The club could still earn the No. 5 seed by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker with Kent State. Alternatively, Duquesne could earn the No. 6 seed by winning two of their last three conference games (Feb. 4 at Robert Morris, Feb. 11 versus John Carroll, Feb. 12 versus Kent State) if West Virginia drops both of their final contests (Feb. 5 versus IUP, Feb. 6 at Pitt).
Mercyhurst has been eliminated from playoff contention. West Virginia would have one more win, and Duquesne holds the head-to-head points tiebreaker with a win and an overtime loss to the Lakers.
CLINCHING SCENARIOS (WEEKEND OF FEB. 4-6)
Pittsburgh clinched a first-round bye.
IUP clinched a playoff berth. The Hawks can clinch a first-round bye with a win versus Pitt on Feb. 4 or a Robert Morris loss versus John Carroll on Feb. 4.
Robert Morris clinched a playoff berth. The Colonials can clinch a first-round bye with two wins and two IUP losses in regulation.
John Carroll clinched a playoff berth.
Kent State can clinch a playoff berth with a Duquesne loss in any fashion.
West Virginia can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a Duquesne loss in any fashion.
Duquesne can clinch a playoff berth with two wins and two West Virginia losses in regulation.
Friday, Feb. 4:
Pitt @ IUP, 8:00 p.m. S&T Bank Arena
Robert Morris @ John Carroll, 8:10 p.m. Gilmour Academy Ice Arena
Saturday, Feb. 5:
Duquesne @ Robert Morris, 8:30 p.m. RMU island Sports Center
IUP @ West Virginia, 4:00 p.m. Morgantown Ice Arena
Sunday, Feb. 6:
West Virginia @ Pitt, 2;30 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex
Friday, Feb. 11:
Mercyhurst @ Kent State, 7:30 p.m. Kent State Ice Arena
John Carroll @ Duquesne, 9:30 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex
Saturday, Feb. 12:
Kent State @ Duquesne, 7:10 p.m. Alpha Ice Complex
Mercyhurst @ John Carroll, 6:00 p.m. Gilmour Academy Ice Arena
Friday, Feb. 28 (first round)
No. 3 Robert Morris vs. No. 6 West Virginia
No. 4 John Carroll vs. No. 5 Kent State
Saturday, Feb. 29 (semifinals)
No. 1 Pittsburgh vs. Lowest Remaining Seed
No. 2 IUP vs. Highest Remaining Seed
Sunday, Mar. 1 (championship)
(Originally published at http://burghhockey.com/acha-college-hockey-mid-america-playoff-picture-scenarios/)