St. Thomas is the champion of the MIAC. The Tommies swept their weekend series against Hamline to clinch the title, their sixth in seven years and 33rd overall.
It wasn’t easy, however. Both games against Hamline were close, with St. Thomas winning 4-3 on Friday and 6-5 Saturday to close the season with nine wins in their final 11 games.
On Saturday, the Tommies trailed 3-0 after one period of play before rallying for a thrilling win that put the Tommies ahead of rival Saint John’s by a point (34-33) in the final standings.
Ben Vikich scored twice, and Andrew Rohkohl gave up only two goals in the final 51 minutes of action to preserve the victory, an impressive effort when one considers Rohkohl had only played in three games all season. He stopped 23 shots in the final 50:45 of the game.
The Tommies scored three times in just under nine minutes in the second period to go ahead 4-3 and scored twice in the third to erase a 4-4 tie.
Friday’s game was just as tight. Tanner Barnes scored with only nine seconds left in regulation to lift St. Thomas to a 4-3 win. He was one of four players to score. Gavin Payne, Jake Ahlgren, and Johnny Panvica also scored, while Benjamin Myers stopped 24 shots.
The Tommies end the regular season at 16-8-1 overall and 11-4-1 in the conference.
Johnnies settle for second
Saint John’s went into the weekend as the top team in the MIAC. It came out of it in second place after salvaging a split against Gustavus Adolphus. The 14th-ranked Johnnies won 2-1 Saturday over the Gusties, bouncing back from a 2-1 loss the night before. They go into the postseason with a 16-7-2 record and finished 11-5 in conference play.
Cole Souto scored to put the Johnnies up 1-0. It was his fourth goal off the power play this season. Rob Stautz put Saint John’s in front 2-0, scoring his eighth goal in as many games.
Andrew Lindgren came up big in goal, stopping 28 shots for his 11th win of the year. He ends the regular season with the best goals-against average in the conference (1.84). He also owns the best save percentage (.933) and winning percentage (.719).
St. Thomas will play host to Augsburg in the opening round of the tournament next Saturday. Saint John’s plays next Saturday at home against the winner of the game pitting Concordia against Gustavus, which is scheduled for Thursday night at Gustavus.
Falcons soar to semifinal round
Wisconsin-River Falls swept a first-round WIAC playoff series against Wisconsin-Superior over the weekend, finishing off the series with a 3-3 overtime tie against the Yellow Jackets Saturday. They opened the series with a 7-1 victory.
Zach Quinn was phenomenal in goal Saturday, stopping 41 shots as the Falcons improved to 8-15-4 overall on the season. He tallied seven of his saves in overtime.
Cayden Cahill scored his 12th and 13th goals of the year in the series clincher, while Aussie Miller came through with his third goal of the season. Cahill’s second goal tied the game, 3-3, to force the overtime.
Wis.-River Falls will travel to fourth-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point for the semifinal round on Saturday, while Wis.-Stout will take on Wis.-Eau Claire the same day. The championship game is set for March 3 at the home of the highest remaining seed.
Foresters are moving on
Louis-Philippe De Courcy came up big in goal in Saturday’s playoff series clincher against Concordia, stopping 43 shots to help pace Lake Forest to a 2-1 overtime win. DeCourcy made two of his saves in overtime and earned his 21th win of the season. He ranks ninth in the country in save percentage (.933) and has the 16th best GAA in the nation (1.97).
Charlie Izaguirre came up big for the Foresters, scoring the game-winner as time expired in overtime for the win. It was his 11th goal of the season. Connor Duncan also scored.
Lake Forest improved to 15-10-2 on the year. It won the opener 5-3 on a night when Kyle Magus scored his first career goal and also dished out two assists.
Sabres sweep Saints
Marian completed a playoff series sweep of St. Scholastica Saturday with a 3-2 win. The 13th-ranked Sabres, now 20-6-1 on the season and winners of nine consecutive games, saw three different players score in Saturday’s win.
Brock Weston, Curtis Lewington, and Connor Blanck all punched in goals for the Sabres. The goals by Weston and Lewington came off the power play.
Hunter Vorva made 28 saves for Marian, setting a new single-season record for wins (20).
Friday’s game wasn’t as close, with Marian rolling to a 4-1 win. The Sabres held a 34-21 advantage in shots, while Vorva made 20 saves to tie the single-season record for wins in a season at 19. Gianni Mangone paced the offense with two goals.
Impressive streak continues
Top-ranked Adrian stretched its win streak to 15 games with a series sweep of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The Bulldogs won 3-2 on Friday and then finished off the semifinal playoff series with a 6-3 win Saturday.
Taylor McCloy recorded a hat trick in Saturday’s game as he helped Adrian improve to 23-4 overall. The Bulldogs’ win streak is the third longest in program history. McCloy reached the 1,000-point milestone with his first goal and is the 14th Bulldog to reach the milestone.
It was also a big day for Kyle Brothers Saturday, who scored a goal and dished out two assists. Mathew Thompson came through with two assists, as did Cory Dunn and Dino Balsamo. Trevor Boyd helped fuel the balanced attack as well with a goal and assist.
Kevin Entmaa was sensational in goal Saturday, tallying 26 saves to set a single-season record for wins in a year (15). He is 15-2 on the season.
Green Knights top Vikings
St. Norbert is moving on in the postseason after sweeping Lawrence with a pair of 3-1 wins. The Green Knights are 22-4-1 overall and used goals by Roman Uchyn, Dominik Sacco, and Luke Karakas to finish off the series Saturday night. The goal by Uchyn was his eighth of the year. Sacco scored his 10th goal.
Tyler Andrews came through with two assists. Sacco also had an assist, while T.J. Black stepped up in goal and made 18 saves.
Lake Forest will square off with Adrian in the semifinal round Saturday. The other semifinal will pit St. Norbert against Marian in a showdown of nationally ranked teams. Adrian and St. Norbert will host the semifinal showdowns.