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Another first for Women's Hockey: No. 2 poll ranking

Another first for Women's Hockey: No. 2 poll ranking

USCHO Division III Women's Hockey Poll


St. Thomas Women's Hockey has climbed one spot to No. 2 in this week's Division III national top-10 poll by U.S. College Hockey Online. That's the Tommies' best ranking in program history.

Coach Tom Palkowski's team (15-0-1) received eight first-place votes, with the other seven going to No. 1-ranked Elmira (13-2-1).

St. Thomas has built an NCAA hockey-leading 29-game unbeaten streak (23-0-6). The Toms' last defeat came in non-conference play against UW-River Falls in December 2017.

The Tommies closed last season on an 8-0-5 run over their last 13 games. That let them share the conference championship with Gustavus. The Toms did not accept their No. 1 seed for the MIAC playoffs -- they previously announced they would sit out the postseason as a self-imposed penalty for a March 2017 alcohol-related incident.


Smooth Start

St. Thomas has picked up this season where it left off last February. Among its accomplishments thus far are a 3-1 win over top-five ranked UW-River Falls; a win and a tie against top-10 Gustavus; and a sweep of Augsburg.

The Toms (9-0-1 MIAC) hold a two-point lead over No. 7-ranked Hamline (8-1-1) with eight games left in the conference race, and those teams still have a two-game head-to-head series next month.

Next up are two road games in Moorhead against MIAC playoff hopeful Concordia-Moorhead, on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

The Toms have allowed just 11 goals in 16 games to rank second nationally, and also rank 11th nationally in scoring with a 3.5 goals a game average.

Senior goalie Kenzie Torpy ranks second in goals-against average (0.66) and save percentage (.966). Torpy and her teammates have killed off 47 of 49 opponent power plays.

An unselfish, balanced offense has kept the Purple rolling. In last weekend's sweep of Bethel, St. Thomas' nine goals came from eight different players.

St. Thomas is also ranked in the top 10 nationally this winter in Women's Basketball (No. 4, 16-1) and Men's Basketball (No. 7, 14-1).