get some crowds, I suppose they are doing OK (they are still playing), but I don't think there are many college hockey programs around that actually support themselves.
They can stick around because hockey in the East is more of a tradition. It has tradition in certain places in the Midwest and further West, but it's certainly not universal. There are certainly some uncertain teams in this years Frozen Four, but they are drawing attention because it is unusual. They are having some success this year, but the real test will be to see if they can maintain that over the course of 5, 6, 10 years.