There are 15 spots, between qualifiers and at large. One spot goes to the host. The only way to guarantee a spot is to win the States. Or to be the host.
Thunderbirds made their own issue. They could have played in the CT States (their home rink is in CT!) and certainly would have qualified for the NE Regionals and a much easier path to Nationals. Would the Thunderbirds have gotten an At Large bid if there were 16 instead of 15 spots available? Maybe? What are the odds? If they don\'t get in with 15 spots but would have taken that very last spot?
Is there some type of USA Hockey formula for at large or do they rely on MHR like everyone else?
MHR factors but doesn't necessarily decide. i think last year 3 Mass team got bids regardless of team ahead of them in MHR.