2018–19 C3 Playoff Preview

Now that winter is a long-forgotten memory in the State of Hockey, it’s time for the AHA Winter Season playoffs. Except for the Spiders of course, who were able to make their April golf vacation plans way back in November.

The AHA’s overall playoff scheduling format is a bit different than past years. Instead of trying to cram five games in 45 hours, they pace will be a little more leisurely, with round robin games starting this weekend going until Saturday, though the teams unlucky enough to advance to the semis and championship still end up with a double-header next Sunday.

The AHA Winter playoffs begin tomorrow, so here’s how the C3 matchups ended up.

Seeding for C3 Tier:

  • Pool A:
    • East #1 (Moose C3)
    • South #2 (Spartans C3)
    • West #3 (Bulls)
    • East #4 (Knights C3)
  • Pool B:
    • South #1 (Marauders)
    • West #2 (Leafs C3)
    • East #3 (Les Étoiles du Nord C3)
    • South #4 (Hooligans)
  • Pool C:
    • West #1 (Fighting Piranhas C3)
    • East #2 (Maroons C3)
    • South #3 (Gold Rush)
    • West #4 (Anchors)

Last season’s C3 champs, the C3 Troopers, who had won back-to-back in D1 and C3, failed to make the cut in C3 West, finishing 8–9–2–1 in 6th place. Though their C2 team, comprising many of the players from that championship squad, went 17–2–1–0 for a dominating 35-point finish in C2 East, the second-best record in all of the AHA (behind the D1 LED Nord).

The rest of the C3 field has a bit of turnover from past seasons. While some of the usual suspects are back, with the Spartans, Marauders, LED Nords, Maroons and Gold Rush (with Spider sub Dave Sommerness) all having been in last season, some fresh faces (and sweaters) will grace the BIG ice this April in the the Bulls, Knights (no thanks to the Spiders), Leafs and Hooligans. Notably, the remainder of the teams — Fighting Piranhas and Anchors — moved down from C2. Or in the case of the Moose, up from D1, and still ran the C3 table.

Final regular season C3 standings:

2018–19 C3 East Standings (Regular Season)
Team GP W L T OTL P GF GA PIM
Moose –y 20 15 4 1 0 31 82 40 100
Maroons –x 20 11 1 4 4 30 81 51 91
Les Étoiles du Nord –x 20 12 5 2 1 27 68 47 68
Knights –x 20 11 7 1 1 24 63 60 96
Wildcats 20 11 8 1 0 23 73 59 126
Royals 20 10 8 2 0 22 66 66 92
Arctic Wolves 20 7 9 3 1 18 77 78 98
Ak Bars 20 7 11 2 0 16 55 78 110
Icedogs 20 6 13 1 0 13 56 77 149
Spiders 20 1 18 1 0 3 37 102 100
  • y = clinched division
  • x = clinched playoff berth
2018–19 C3 South Standings (Regular Season)
Team GP W L T OTL P GF GA PIM
Marauders –y 20 15 3 2 0 32 97 40 56
Spartans C3 –x 20 14 5 1 0 29 88 47 133
Gold Rush –x 20 13 7 0 0 26 95 68 120
Hooligans C3 –x 20 12 7 1 0 25 70 58 146
Pines 20 12 7 1 0 25 75 57 114
Blade Runners 20 9 9 2 0 20 70 77 162
Nordeasters 20 7 10 1 2 17 68 75 118
Fighting Loons C3 20 5 13 2 0 12 68 95 68
Wolfpack 20 4 14 1 1 10 46 109 114
Nighthawks 20 3 16 1 0 7 57 108 110
  • y = clinched division
  • x = clinched playoff berth
2018–19 C3 West Standings (Regular Season)
Team GP W L T OTL P GF GA PIM
Fighting Piranhas C3 –y 20 15 5 0 0 30 78 49 96
Leafs C3 –x 20 14 5 0 1 29 88 47 155
Bulls –x 20 11 8 0 1 23 72 61 106
Anchors –x 20 11 8 1 0 23 72 68 146
Black Ice 20 10 7 1 2 23 68 69 102
Troopers C3 20 8 9 2 1 19 67 75 90
Shame On Ice C3 20 5 11 4 0 14 36 57 74
Boomsticks 20 6 13 0 1 13 63 77 94
Stars 20 6 14 0 0 12 35 76 82
  • y = clinched division
  • x = clinched playoff berth

Regular season tiebreakers:

In the event of a tie in the regular season standings, the following criteria are used to determine post-season seeding:

  1. Total points in the regular season.
  2. Number of wins in the regular season.
  3. Head-to-head record between teams in the regular season.
  4. Fewest total penalty minutes in the regular season.
  5. Fewest goals allowed in the regular season.
  6. Most goals scored in the regular season.
  7. Coin toss.

The post-season schedule matchups for the C3 tier:

2018–19 C3 Post-Season Schedule
R Date Time Arena Pool Home (Seed) Away (Seed)
1 Sunday, April 7 3:30 p.m. Highland N A Spartans C3 (2) Bulls (3)
Sunday, April 7 4:15 p.m. Tria C Maroons C3 (2) Gold Rush (3)
Sunday, April 7 5:10 p.m. Highland N A Moose C3 (1) Knights C3 (4)
Sunday, April 7 6:00 p.m. Tria C Fighting Piranhas C3 (1) Anchors (4)
Sunday, April 7 6:50 p.m. Highland N B Marauders (1) Hooligans C3 (4)
Sunday, April 7 8:30 p.m. Highland N B Leafs C3 (2) Les Étoiles du Nord C3 (3)
2 Thursday, April 11 7:30 p.m. Highland N A Moose C3 (1) Spartans C3 (2)
Thursday, April 11 8:00 p.m. VMCC E C Fighting Piranhas C3 (1) Maroons C3 (2)
Thursday, April 11 8:30 p.m. BIG 2 A Bulls (3) Knights C3 (4)
Thursday, April 11 9:00 p.m. Vadnais 1 B Marauders (1) Leafs C3 (2)
Thursday, April 11 9:00 p.m. Woog 2 B Les Étoiles du Nord C3 (3) Hooligans C3 (4)
Thursday, April 11 9:40 p.m. VMCC E C Gold Rush (3) Anchors (4)
3 Saturday, April 13 10:00 a.m. BIG 3 C Fighting Piranhas C3 (1) Gold Rush (3)
Saturday, April 13 11:45 a.m. BIG 3 B Marauders (1) Les Étoiles du Nord C3 (3)
Saturday, April 13 1:30 p.m. BIG 3 B Leafs C3 (2) Hooligans C3
Saturday, April 13 3:15 p.m. BIG 3 A Moose C3 (1) Bulls (3)
Saturday, April 13 5:00 p.m. BIG 3 A Spartans C3 (2) Knights C3 (4)
Saturday, April 13 8:15 a.m. BIG 3 C Maroons C3 (2) Anchors (4)
SF Sunday, April 14 9:00 a.m. BIG 2 SF #1 vs. #4
Sunday, April 14 10:45 a.m. BIG 2 SF #2 vs. #3
C Sunday, April 14 6:00 p.m. BIG 3 Championship

Playoff rules/tiebreakers

  • There will be no overtime in round-robin pool play. Pool play games will end in ties and will count in the standings.
  • If at any time the score differential is six or greater in the third period, the clock will convert to running time. If at any time the score differential goes below six goals, the clock will revert back to stop time.
  • In championship games, if at the end of the three periods the score is tied, the teams shall play one overtime period of five minutes, running time. If at the end of the overtime period the score is still tied, a shootout will take place. Shootout rules are as follows:
    • Three players from each team participate in the order the team captain selects. The home team will elect whether to shoot first or second.
    • Each team takes three shots in alternating fashion. The team with the most goals after those six (or fewer) shots is the winner.
    • If the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a “sudden death” format. No skater may participate more than once until all other skaters have participated.
  • Tiebreakers for pool standings:
    1. Most points
    2. Wins
    3. Head-to-head
    4. Goal differential (six goals maximum per game)
    5. Fewest goals against
    6. Fewest minor penalties
    7. Fewest total penalty minutes
    8. Earliest goal scored
    9. Coin toss

    (Note: If three teams are tied, once a team is determined as the higher seed, the tiebreaker reverts to step 1 of the criteria between two remaining teams, if necessary.)

For more information, see the full AHA Winter Playoff info page and the full AHA Winter Playoff schedule.

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