The good news for MSU fans is despite this loss, Michigan State clinched a first round bye thanks to Ohio State and LSSU losing. The bad news is Miami beat Ohio State, which bumps MSU to fifth place, and on the road in the CCHA quarterfinals.
Michigan State is three points behind Michigan, and two points behind Western and Miami. MSU cannot pass Michigan in the standings, since Michigan owns the head to head tiebreaker, so the best MSU could do is third place if the Spartans win (3 points) and both Western & Miami lose (Miami would have to lose in regulation/OT, Western could still earn a point in a SO Loss).
Jeff Costello put the Irish ahead in the second period with a power play goal just 2:31 into the middle period. Peter Schneider put the game away with a goal 9:54 into the final period giving the Irish a 2-0 lead. The stats all point to an Irish victory, out-shooting Michigan State for the game, and dominating the face-off circle (nearly doubling the win total in the face-off category).
Home Sweet Home
How does MSU get home ice?
MSU cannot pass Michigan. Michigan owns the head to head tiebreaker with their 2-1-1 season series win in the CCHA. So we focus on the following:
3. Western 47 points (13 wins)
4. Miami 45 points (14 wins)
5. MSU 44 points (13 wins)
Situation One (the easiest one):
Michigan State wins in regulation or OT
Miami loses (any type) OR Western loses in regulation/OT
Western goes to Ferris tomorrow night, and Ferris is still playing for a #1 NCAA tournament seed, so the game means something to them. Miami plays at Ohio State, and that won't be easy, but man Ohio State is really falling apart right now.
What if all four teams (UM, WMU, M(NTM), MSU) all finish with 47 points?
Things get a little sticker. The first tiebreaker is conference wins. Michigan, Miami, and Michigan State would have 14 wins. Western would have 13. This would eliminate Western, put them in 5th place. The next tiebreaker would be head to head winning percentage. Michigan State went 1-4-1 against Michigan and Miami. Miami went 2-2 in head to head meetings (.500), and Michigan went 4-1-1. Michigan would be #2, Miami would be #3, and Michigan State would be #4 hosting #5 Western Michigan in 2 weeks.
What if three of the teams tie with 47 points?
It'll depend on which teams MSU are tied with. If it's Michigan and Miami, that would mean Western would have more than 47 points and be the #2 seed. Michigan would be the #3, Miami #4, and MSU #5. Ouch.
If it's Western and Miami, that means Michigan earned at least a point and is the #2 seed. Conference wins would be the next tiebreaker which puts Western at #5. Miami and MSU would still be tied with 14 conference wins, so the head to head tiebreaker is used, which Miami has and would be the #3 seed, which makes MSU #4.
If it's Michigan and Western - and Miami ends up with 48 points, Miami would be the #2 seed. At that point it comes down to conference wins which Michigan and MSU would have 14. That would make Western #5 again. MSU would be #4 since Michigan won the season series.
If it's Michigan and Western - and Miami ends up with 46 or 45 points, Michigan is the #2 seed by virtue of their season series win over MSU. MSU would be the #3 seed by virtue of having 14 conference wins to Western's 13. Miami would be the #5 seed, and Western would be the #4 seed.
What happens if it's a two way tie at 47 points?
Again, it'll depend.
Michigan-MSU & Miami has 48 points: MSU would be the #5 seed since Western & Miami would be ahead of both MSU & UM. UM wins the tiebreaker based on head to head.
Michigan-MSU & Miami has 45 or 46 points: Western would be ahead of both still, so they are #2. Michigan would be #3, and MSU would be #4 playing host to #5 Miami.
MSU-Western & Miami has 48 points: Michigan would be #2, Miami #3, MSU #4, WMU #5
MSU-Western & Miami has 46-45 points: Michigan would be #2, MSU #3, Western #4, Miami #5
MSU-Miami - MSU would be #5 since UM and Western would have at least 48 points. Miami wins the head to head tiebreaker.
What happens if it's a two way tie at 46 or 45 points with Miami?
Miami would host MSU in the CCHA quarterfinals 4-5 match-up, based on the head to head tiebreaker.
So who do we root for?
A plea from MSU Hockey Fans Everywhere Coach Daniels: Help your Alma mater out - beat Western!!!
Answer: Ferris State & Ohio State. In any situation, if Michigan State ends up tied with Western Michigan, Michigan State would host in the CCHA quarterfinals. So - go Bulldogs! If Miami were to lose, and Michigan State were to win, the Spartans would host assuming that MSU's win was at least 2 more points than Miami's loss (so if Miami lost in a shoot-out, MSU would have to win in OT or regulation).
What could make this even more fun is if MSU finds themselves in OT. Michigan State plays at 7:35 pm tomorrow. Miami & Western play at 7:05 pm. Those games should be over before MSU's. If Miami earns 1 point in a shoot-out loss, and Michigan State finds themselves in OT - Coach Anastos might be forced to pull the goalie to try to break the tie in OT. At that point a shoot-out win does nothing. Though, you have to keep in mind NCAA hopes as well. If Miami lost in regulation or OT, then MSU would just need to win in a shoot-out, so the goalie can stay in the net in OT.
But, this doesn't mean a thing if MSU doesn't at least win tomorrow.