A super puzzle in Super 8 pool
Tiebreakers could determine winners
Trying to make sense of who moves on and who goes home in the Division 1A hockey tournament is enough to drive a person crazy.
Once thing is certain - take note, Springfield Cathedral and St. John’s of Shrewsbury - everyone is still alive.
Now we must try and make sense of it all as we head into the final day of Super 8 pool play.
First and foremost, the top two teams in each bracket will advance, with the top teams crossing over to play the second-place teams from the opposite bracket Wednesday night.
If two teams finished tied for a spot, their head-to-head result from the tournament will determine which team advances and which gets the higher seed.
The tricky part comes when three teams finish tied, which lines up numerous tiebreaker scenarios.
The first tiebreaker in a three-way deadlock is goal differential (goals scored minus goals allowed), the second goals quotient (goals scored divided by goals allowed) and the third and fourth tiebreakers involve the same as the first two, but only in games played against each other.
If somehow nothing has been decided after that, the fifth and final tiebreaker would be won by the team seeded highest coming into the Super 8.
Both Malden Catholic (plus-3 goal differential) and St. John’s Prep (plus-2 goal differential) are 2-0 atop their respective brackets and will advance with victories.
If those two win out, the next simplest formula would involve BC High (even goal differential) and Central Catholic (even goal differential), both currently 1-1, advancing with wins.
Hingham (minus-1 goal differential) and St. Mary’s (even goal differential), also 1-1, will be facing the 2-0 teams, and if they can pull off victories, then we will surely see tiebreakers come into play.
Which brings us back to Springfield Cathedral (minus-2 goal differential) and St. John’s of Shrewsbury (minus-2 goal differential), who both sit at 0-2 and need big wins to help their chances, and in doing so bring their opponents down to 1-2 with them.
If either, or both, win they will need the top seeds to finish 3-0 and force the three-way tiebreakers to be implemented.
Last season, there was a three-way tiebreaker, with Weymouth needing the second tiebreaker, goals quotient, to get into the crossover round.
BC High and St. John’s (Shrewsbury) kick off Sunday’s action at noon, followed by Malden Catholic vs. Hingham at 2:15 p.m., which will clear up the Bracket 1 picture early in the day. If BC High wins in the first game then Hingham must beat Malden Catholic, and by more than one goal for the purposes of tiebreakers.
St. Mary’s and St. John’s Prep cap pool play at 7 p.m., preceded by Central Catholic and Springfield Cathedral at 4:45 p.m. A Central Catholic victory will force St. Mary’s hand in the nightcap.
If your head is not spinning after all of this, then you are more than ready for a full day of action at Lawler Arena.