Denver’s Henrik Borgström (Photo Credit: Russ Hons)
Two weekends ago, Air Force Academy head coach Frank Serratore sounded off on the NCHC officials after his team lost 6-0 to the Denver Pioneers. First, I do know that the NCHC conference head of officials was at the game the in question and according to Southpaw from Sioux Sports:
The game against AF falls solely on the shoulders of new NCHC ref Nathan Weiler. He called all but one of the penalties on AF. The conference is very aware and Don Adam apologized to Frank.
Personally, I trust Southpaw’s word, he does video work for the NCHC. Southpaw is well connected and in the know. He also broke the story about the NCHC was moving the conference tourney back to the Xcel Energy Center. This was before the media had “officially” reported the story in question. But I digress, I don’t want to get off message here.
After the aforementioned press conference in question, I decided to dig deeper and take a look at the NCHC penalty numbers. I did find statically, that the Pioneers are getting significantly more power play opportunities than their opponents. I wasn’t satisfied, and I’ve been digging even deeper. Things keep popping up.
Digging through the box scores, one thing that I did notice; the Pioneers have lost the opening game of three NCHC series and in the second game of the series, the Pioneers have received more power plays opportunities than their opponents.
In the second game of those NCHC series, DU opponents had 20 penalties called against them for 51 PIMs. During those three games, Denver went (6/19) 31% on the man advantage. During those same three games, Denver was assessed nine minor penalties for 18 PIMs. Denver’s opponents went 1-8 12.5% on the man advantage. And finally, during those three games, Denver went 2-1-0.
The Pioneers are a good hockey team, but they’re nowhere near as good as they were last season. They’re probably the second or third best team in the NCHC. Also, fans are starting to take notice of the penalty minute disparity and asking questions.
Again, there’s a huge disparity in the number of penalties the Pioneers opponents are taking. After this weekend’s play, I took a look at the eight NCHC team’s season PIM/G. I also took a look at their NCHC conference games PIM/G. If you want to see what it look like, I posted the numbers below.
Miami (121/318) 15.90 PIM/GP
Western 135/284 14.20 PIM/GP
UND (116/262) 11.91 PIM/GP
UMD (103/239) 11.38 PIM/GP
CC (101/232) 11.60 PIM/GP
SCSU (97/219) 11.53 PIM/GP
UNO (103/214) 10.70
DU (80/171) 7.77 PIM/GP
What’s even more puzzling, DU’s PIM/G actually went down after last weekend’s series against the Miami Redhawks. The first numbers are from last week’s blog post in question.
During their two-game conference series against the Miami RedHawks, the Pioneers were whistled for 7/14. The Miami RedHawks weren’t as fortunate, they where whistled for 10 minor penalties and 20 minutes in penalties. What’s even more remarkable, after their series against the Redhawks, the Pioneers PIM/G dropped.
Here’s something to think about, WMU is taking 50 percent more penalties than DU. I put the PIM/G national ranking below.