The St. Thomas men’s hockey team (6-4-1 overall, 5-0 MIAC) will look to hold first place Saturday when it plays in Mendota Heights against Concordia-Moorhead (3-6-1, 2-3). The Tommies won Friday’s game 4-2. Saturday’s game starts at 2:35 p.m.
Saturday’s game will be televised live in the Twin Cities on KSTC-TV Channel 45. Dan Terhaar will be the play-by-play announcer and NHL free agent Andrew Brunette will provide color commentary. It’s the first of four Tommie live TV games in the winter season for men’s and women’s hockey and basketball.
UST men's hockey has 30 consecutive winning seasons, and is one of two current programs in Division III to have 1,000 all-time wins.
The Tommies are now 1,061-622-84 in the 90-year history of their program. Among the 68 other Division III hockey programs, the next closest in men's hockey wins is Middlebury (1,053 in 89 seasons).
St. Thomas' 30 all-time MIAC regular-season hockey titles are double the total of the next most successful program (Gustavus, 14).
Tommie men’s hockey has made 15th NCAA playoff appearances, including seven in the last 13 seasons. UST finished second nationally in 2000 and 2005, and lost in the quarterfinals in overtime in 2008.
The Toms have reached the MIAC playoffs in all 28 years the format has been in place and reached the finals 22 times.
UST hockey had had just two head coaches in the last 26 seasons, as Terry Skrypek was head coach for 23 seasons before retiring in March 2010.
The Tommies have received 34 All-American honors since 1970.
Third-year head coach Jeff Boeser has been affiliated with Tommie men’s hockey for more than 30 years. He was a standout St. Thomas player in the early 1970s and is among a select group to reach 200 career points (97 goals, 104 assists). He made the 1976 U.S. Olympic Hockey team and played professionally in Finland.
In his first season as head coach, Boeser led the Tommies to a 14-10-2 record finishing second in the conference with a 9-5-2 record. He came back in 2011-12 with an MIAC championship team that ranked as high as No. 5 in the national polls. The Tommies finished 18-6-2 overall and lost 3-1 on the road in the NCAA playoffs to eventual champion St. Norbert. Boeser was named MIAC Coach of the Year after his Toms won 11 in a row and claimed the conference title but eight points.
Two of Boeser’s assistant coaches, Tony Lawrence and Parker Burgess, were standout UST players in recent seasons.
Boeser is 38-20-5 in his three seasons.
St. Thomas is allowing just 1.6 goals a game this season after surrendering 2.3 goals a game last season.
The Tommies have 28 goals scored by 15 different players, Defenseman Michael Krieg has a team-best four goals (two on power plays). The team's last 14 goals have come from 10 different players.
After splitting four consecutive games against top-15 ranked teams, St. Thomas is ranked No. 13 in this week’s USCHO.com Division III top-15 poll.
The Tommies traveled to Northfield, Vt., for the four-team Primelink Shootout Tournament. UST lost 3-2 to No. 2-ranked Norwich (Vt.) and fell 2-0 to No. 5 Plattsburgh (N.Y).
St. Thomas won the 2011-12 MIAC championship by a whopping eight points over runner-up Gustavus with a 13-2-1 record. The Toms are off to a 5-0 MIAC start this season.
Tommie goalie Tyrone Simcoe (SR-Plymouth/Wayzata) was voted MIAC Player of the Week on Nov. 19. Simcoe allowed just one goal in a 6-0, 2-1 sweep of No. 12-ranked Gustavus, as he stopped 42 of 43 shots. With UST trailing 1-0 in Saturday's game, Simcoe and his teammates killed off a 5:00 penalty, and on the weekend Gustavus went 0-for-10 on the power play.
Simcoe also shut out St. John's the previous week. In four season performances he’s 3-1 with a .964 save percentage and an 0.75 goals-against average. He had won his last seven starts since December 2011 before losing 2-0 last weekend to No. 5-ranked Plattsburgh State.
St. Thomas goalie Drew Fielding (3-3-1, 1.99 GAA, .923 save %) has won 12 games the last two seasons in splitting time in the nets.
St. Thomas killed off 39 consecutive power-play kills in a nine-game stretch late last season. In 11 games this season, UST has allowed five goals in 38 power-play opportunities.
Senior Riley Horgan, the MIAC scoring champion last season, has 33 assists in 34 games over the last two seasons to rank among the national leaders. Overall, Horgan has 71 points in 74 career games.
Over the last two seasons, the Tommies are 9-6 in one-goal games, and also have five two-goal wins secured with late empty-net scores.
UST is 4-0-3 in overtime games over the last two seasons.
St. Thomas came into the weekend 0-5-1 against the Cobbers in the previous six meetings, with three one-goal defeats and a pair of two-goal decisions with empty-net goals.But UST won 4-2 in Friday's game, secured with a late empty-net goal.
UST lost 3-1 to the Cobbers in a non-conference game in Moorhead on Nov. 9. Jordie Bancroft scored at 17:01 of the third period to snap a 1-1 tie, and Concordia added an empty-net goal. The Toms’ Fielding stopped 22 of 24 shots.
In December 2011, the Toms used Travis Baker’s extra-attacker goal with 12 seconds left in regulation to tie Concordia, 2-2 and come away with one point on the weekend road series. The Cobbers had gone ahead on a goal recorded 61 seconds earlier.
Concordia has been outscored 30-27 this season… Chris Neamonitis started the weekend 3-3 with a 1.92 GAA and .940 save percentage… freshman Jordie Bancroft has a team-best six goals… CC has only four seniors, led by Brian Kang (86 games) and Ben Payne (83 games), who will make a run at 100 career games… Concordia went 22-22-8 in the previous two seasons… The Cobbers have nine Minnesotans as well as 17 international players from four different countries on their 31-player rosters.
Over the last two seasons, the Toms are 10-2 on home ice in Mendota Heights.
The Tommies played for 25 seasons at St. Paul’s historic State Fairgrounds Coliseum before they moved into a new practice and game facility in November 2003 -- the 1,000-seat Saint Thomas Arena in Mendota Heights. The St. Thomas men's and women's teams and the Saint Thomas Academy boys' team share the $4 million, state-of-the-art arena, which includes separate locker rooms, a weight training room and shooting stations. UST is 73-33-8 since moving its home ice to Saint Thomas Ice Arena in January 2004.
--St. Thomas is 29-4-4 in three seasons under Coach Boeser when they allow two or less goals and 9-16-1 when they surrendur three or more.
--The Tommies are 20-2 in games over the last two seasons with they score three or more goals.
--Junior forward Bryce Walker hails from Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, a town of a few hundred residents
St. Thomas has nine student-athletes in various sports who have prominent fathers or relatives from the sports world. That group includes two men’s hockey players – sophomore defender Michael Krieg and freshman forward Derek Jacobson.
Krieg, named All-MIAC as a freshman last season, is the son ex-NFL quarterback Dave Krieg. The elder Krieg attended Milton (Wis.) College. An undrafted free agent, Krieg signed with Seattle and had a 19-year NFL career.
Jacobson’s brother Larkin plays at Division I Denver University. Their stepdad Ruslan Fedotenko, who plays in the NHL with Philadelphia Flyers.
Click here to access this season and past season UST hockey statistics: