The Cinderella team at the 2013 Frozen Four might also be the hands-down favorite to win the whole thing. Massachusetts-Lowell has overcome a horrific start to the season to become the hottest team in the NCAA, rolling through the postseason on the way to a Frozen Four game against Yale on Thursday.
This will be the River Hawks' first appearance in the Frozen Four after winning their first ever Hockey East regular season and tournament titles, as well as the NCAA Northeast Region championship. Riding a call from coach Norm Bazin to work to improve every single game, no matter how successful, the River Hawks have been on fire since the holiday break leading into the spring schedule and have overcome a near-disastrous 2-6-1 start to the season.
Now, after a big shutout win over powerhouse Boston University in the Hockey East championship and relatively easy wins over Wisconsin and New Hampshire in the NCAA regional, the River Hawks just might be the most dangerous team in a Frozen Four field made up of relative newcomers to the tournament. At 26-10-2, Massachusetts-Lowell finished the season No. 3 in the USCHO men's rankings -- coming just two years after winning only five games in 2010-11.
How they got here:
The River Hawks won eight of nine games to finish the regular season before winning three straight close games in the Hockey East tournament to take the divisional title. A 6-1 trouncing of Wisconsin and a 2-0 shutout of New Hampshire secured their spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.
Look out for:
Sophomore forward Scott Wilson leads the team with 16 goals and 37 points in 40 games this season, with junior forward Joseph Pendenza also sharing the team lead with 37 points and plus-15 rating.
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck led the NCAA this season with a stellar 1.31 goals-against average and an astronomical .953 save percentage in 23 games.