ST. PAUL, Minn. — Junior Eric Wenkus had two goals and two assists and junior Jake Searles added two goals as St. Thomas beat Bethel 8-3 in Sunday’s MIAC semifinal round playoff opener at the State Fairgrounds Coliseum.
The teams play again at the Coliseum Monday night at 7 and the Tommies (15-8-3) will advance to the playoff finals against St. John’s with a victory or tie. A Bethel victory forces a 15-minute mini-game to determine the series winner.
The Toms are trying to make the MIAC finals for the 15th time in 16 seasons. The Royals (11-14-1) are in the conference hockey playoffs for the first time since 1986.
Sophomore goalie Brad Moore stopped 32 of 35 shots as the Toms ran their win streak to 10. Moore has been in net for all 10 victories.
Searles’ second goal put the Toms ahead 4-0 in the second period. Bethel answered with two goals to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Toms scored three goals in the final 5:10 of the second period to extend the lead to 7-2.