Hockey: The Wild OUA West

Just when we thought we had the division figured out, Lakehead goes and sweeps Western, throwing the OUA West into uncertainty yet again.

The top four teams are separated by only four points and even a 16 game win-streak by Western didn't give the Mustangs enough space in the standings to save them from one bad weekend against Lakehead.

Both Lakehead and Western have only one challenging game left in the regular season, both will play Laurier on the final weekend. Lakehead will be the visitor and Western the host, however, outside of those two games the other 6 all come against the bottom five teams in the division.

Waterloo, just one point behind the division leaders, have the easiest final few weeks of the schedule, they host York, Brock and Windsor before closing their season at UOIT. It wouldn't be a shock to anyone if the Warriors ran the table, putting heat on both the 'wolves and 'stangs.

Laurier has the hardest of the four schedules, they also sit four points behind the leaders, but if anyone will play spoiler it will be them. Next weekend they travel to Windsor for two games, which they absolutely need to win to have any chance, then on the final weekend they will host Lakehead and travel to Western.

Feasibly all four teams should win both games this upcoming weekend, which would mean the standings would look something like this:

  1. Western - 40 pts.*
  2. Lakehead - 40 pts.
  3. Waterloo - 39 pts.
  4. Laurier - 36 pts.
* - Western has the tiebreaker: more league wins.

Now is the time I'll mess with your brain.

Realistically, Laurier has no chance at winning the division, their play down the stretch has ensured that, as has perhaps their inability to bring in any winter recruits. However, this is not to say they do not still hold a tremendous amount of sway.

Now, if Laurier manages to beat Western but loses to Lakehead and both those teams win the weekend's other game, Lakehead wins the division.

However, considering the above, if Lakehead slips up over the last two weeks and loses just one game, Western would win the division by virtue of the first tiebreaker which is league wins. Western also has the second and third tiebreaker: both are 2-2 against each other, but Western has a +3 goal differential in those head to head matches.

Now, if Laurier manages to beat Lakehead but loses to Western and both those teams win the weekend's other game, Western wins the division.

And, considering the above, if Western slips up over the last two weeks and loses just one game, Western would still win the division by virtue of the first tiebreaker (yet again) which is league wins.

Lakehead needs to beat Laurier, then have Laurier turn around on the last day and beat Western, they lose all the tiebreakers otherwise.

So if you're a Thunderwolves fan, it doesn't look good for winning the division. If you're a Waterloo Warriors fan however, it looks great.

The Warriors as I stated earlier could very realistically win out, if they do and both Western and Lakehead lose 1 of their remaining 4 games, the Warriors will be division champions. If Waterloo wins out and Western loses a game in OT or the SO then the Warriors and Mustangs will have the same amount of league wins and Western will win the tiebreaker as they are 2-1 against Waterloo this year.

If Waterloo and Lakehead somehow wind up tied, the Warriors will be ahead of the Thunderwolves since they hold the first three tiebreakers as they went 2-0 against the 'wolves this year.

Western will win the division if they go 4-0
Lakehead will win the division if they go 4-0 and Western goes 3-1
Waterloo will win the division if they go 4-0 and Western and Lakehead go 3-1, but if Western gets a loser point Waterloo can't win, and if Lakehead gets a loser point Waterloo will win
Laurier will win the division when pigs fly

So if you're a Thunderwolves fan, you don't want to tie Waterloo.

If you're a Waterloo fan, you need to win out and hope for help.

If you're a Western fan, you've probably got a giant grin on your face.

And if you're a Laurier fan, you're doing what I'm doing and drinking.

And if you're any sort of CIS hockey fan, your brain will probably be hurting just as much as mine by the time this whole situation sorts itself out.
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  1. Please forgive any inaccuracies in the post, it really is a very convoluted situation and i tried my best to be correct the whole way through.

  2. I'll start by stating I'm a Western alumni and fan. They are in BIG trouble with their goaltending situation right now and I, for one, am not grinning. Based on comments made on other posts, it looks like they are stuck with Hunt and Unice in net the rest of the way, and I'm doubtful they can win games that count relying on these two. I'd also disagree that Western only has one tough game left. They play Guelph this week, who are playing as well as anyone in the league right now.

    As much as it pains me to say this, I think the division is going to go to Lakehead.

  3. hearing a western fan giving lakehead the division makes me smile. but the year is not over and anything can happen. If lakehead does get the no 1 seed they will be tough for anyone to beat with 3600 at the gardens cheering them on!

  4. I think Lakehead is likely the best team in the division right since their great recruits and western's current lack of goaltending. As a Laurier fan looking at my team who is likely to finish 4th, I would love to see Waterloo finish 1st. I would rather Laurier match up against Waterloo or Western right now than Lakehead. I think Waterloo is benefiting from an easier schedule, have likely the weakest or second weakest lineup of all 4 teams on paper. I still cannot figure out for the life of me how that team could potentially win the division seeing as how they have maybe a handful of major junior recruits, but give them credit, for a team that does not have the flash of a team like Lakehead, they get it done. I really didn't think Laurier would go 0 for 3 against Waterloo, but Waterloo pulled off 3 one goal wins. As a Laurier fan, I am saying....Go Warriors? Let's see Waterloo win every game and Laurier beat Lakehead and Western!! Where's my drink?

  5. @ Anonymous

    Waterloo definately had the easiest schedule

    They only played Western 3 times, and Lakehead twice, and both Lakehead games were at home if i recall

    Thats ridiculously easy

  6. For those of you wondering why Waterloo continues to linger near the top of the OUA West despite what appears to be a less impressive lineup than the other "big 3", schedule may have a bit to do with it, but really...they are a solid, boring defensive team with great goaltending. Just the kind of team that can cause you fits in the playoffs.