St. Thomas and Hamline have met three times this women’s hockey season, with the top-ranked Tommies winning twice but suffering their only loss of the season to the No. 4 Pipers. If both teams can win home NCAA quarterfinal games on Saturday, they’ll meet in the national semifinals on March 15.
The Tommies (24-1-2) are host to Wisconsin-Eau Claire (21-5-2) at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights. St. Thomas earned an automatic NCAA berth with its 2-0 victory over Hamline in the MIAC tournament final last week and will seek is second Frozen Four berth in school history.
St. Thomas, coached by Tom Palkowski, is strong in goal with senior Mackenzie Torpy, who is 24-1-2 with a 0.84 goals-against average and .957 save percentage. The Tommies are balanced and young, with three freshmen and a sophomore among its top five scorers.
Meanwhile, Hamline (21-3-3) plays Wisconsin-River Falls (23-5) at 2 p.m. Saturday at TRIA Rink in St. Paul. The Pipers are 19-2-2 in their past 23 games, with the only losses to St. Thomas.
The Pipers are led by junior forward Bre Simon, who has 25 goals and 34 assists for a nation’s-best 2.19 points per game. She also has an eye-popping plus-49 rating. Hamline coach Natalie Darwitz started freshman Jaela O’Brien (1.15 GAA) the past three games after sophomore McKenna Hulslander (1.69) started most of the season.
NCAA Division III men
Augsburg outlasted St. John’s 2-1 in four overtimes to win the MIAC tournament title. The Auggies reward? A trip to defending national champion St. Norbert in the NCAA tournament’s first round.
The Auggies (21-3-3) will play the Green Knights (22-4-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday in Ashwaubenon, Wis. The game marks the fourth consecutive year that Augsburg will face St. Norbert in the NCAA tournament, and the Green Knights have won all three meetings. Saturday’s winner advances to play No. 1 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (26-0-2) in the quarterfinals.