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:
- Western - 40 pts.*
- Lakehead - 40 pts.
- Waterloo - 39 pts.
- Laurier - 36 pts.
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.