And Then There Were Two
Win or go home is the name of the game Saturday night when top-seeded Bethel takes on No. 2 seed St. Thomas in the MIAC playoff championship game. Despite being two of the hottest teams in college hockey, neither team has a shot at an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament, so only the winner of this game will see its season continue. Game time is 7 p.m. at the National Sports Center in Blaine.
Bethel has won 10 of its last 11 games, including a 5-1 semifinal win over fourth-seeded St. Olaf on Thursday. The Royals have been getting it done on both ends of the ice, giving up more than three goals just once in those 11 games – their 4-3 loss to St. Olaf last Friday. Offensively, Bethel may be even more dangerous. In their last 11 games, the Royals are averaging 4.91 goals per contest, and Thursday against St. Olaf, fired 39 shots on goal in their 5-1 win. Five different players scored a goal in that game and 12 different players recorded a point.
St. Thomas is tearing it up in the second half of the season as well. The Tommies extended their nation-best win streak to 10 games with a 3-1 semifinal win over Augsburg on Thursday. They’ve also won 12 of their past 13 contests. One of the biggest reasons for St. Thomas’ success has been its power play. During their win streak, the Tommies are 27-for-60 on the man advantage – a blistering 45 percent conversion rate. Augsburg found out the hard way what happens when a team takes penalties against St. Thomas, as the Tommies were 2-for-4 in the game, one of which was the game-winner.