University of New Hampshire Wildcats
Even as the Hockey East regular season champion, New Hampshire was one of the last at-large teams in the tournament, sitting in a 4-way tie for 11th in the Pairwise with Michigan, Vermont, and Alaska. The Wildcats were left on the sidelines, unable to influence their own destiny, after losing a crazy first-round series to Vermont. UNH won the first night 7-4, then consecutive 0-1 losses gave Vermont the series win. But things broke the right way, and they're headed to Albany. Senior forward Bobby Butler is a Hobey Baker finalist and leads the Wildcats in most of the big statistics. He's first in goals (27), points (50), and even +/- (+23). He's putting up 1.35 points per game. Junior forward Paul Thompson (17-19--36) is the runner up in points, and sophomore defenseman Blake Kessel (9-26--35) is the leader in assists. Junior defenseman Mike Beck is second in +/- (+13) and seems like the stay-at-home type (1-6--7). New Hampshire has not been an elite defensive team this year. They let in 3.08 goals per game overall, with senior Brian Foster at .910/2.95. He's seeing about 33 shots per game.