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Women's Hockey Frozen Four: Meet the teams

Mike Ekern photo
Mike Ekern photo

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Division III Bracket

USCHO.com recap story on Saturday quarterfinals

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St. Thomas will play host to three other institutions for the 2019 Division III Women's Hockey Frozen Four, March 15-16 in Mendota Heights at the Saint Thomas Academy rink.

There are two games each day.

There are no advance ticket sales. Gates will open Friday at 1:30 p.m.

  • Single Day ticket prices: $15 adults; $10 students and seniors; $7 youth under age 12
  • Both-Day ticket: $25 adults; $15 students and seniors

 

Friday's semifinals

3 p.m.: Adrian (Mich.) (23-4-2) vs. Plattsburgh State (27-2)

7 p.m.: Hamline (22-3-3) vs. St. Thomas (25-1-2)

 

Saturday games

3 p.m.: Friday's losing teams play for third place

7 p.m.: Friday's winning teams play for the championship

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Here's a quick glance at the teams competing in the national semifinals:

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Adrian College 

Location: Adrian, Mich.

Founded: 1859

Enrollment: 1671 undergrad

President: Dr. Jeffrey Docking

Nickname: Bulldogs

Colors: Gold and Black

NCAA Hockey All-Time Record: 5th appearance, 3-4 W-L, one 2nd place

Hockey Staff: HC Shawn Skelly (1st season, 23-4-2); assistant Kaylyn Schroka 

 

Next Game: Plays No. 2 Plattsburgh State in the national semifinals at 3 p.m. CT on Friday, March 15.

National Ranking: Currently No. 6, was No. 1 earlier in the year for the first time in program history.

Superlative: This will be the third time the Bulldogs and Cardinals have played this year, after splitting 1-1 in the regular season. November's win over Plattsburgh Sate was the first win over the Cardinals in school history. Also a rematch of the 2017 national championship game.

W-L Record: 23-4-2

Record vs. Nationally-Ranked Teams: 4-3

Conference Place: Won fifth-straight regular season title and fourth-straight and fifth-overall playoff title. The Bulldogs are 80-3-7 in conference play in the last five seasons.

Home Record: 12-0-1 (41-1-2 at home in the last three seasons, only loss coming to Plattsburgh State in the national championship in 2017)

Road/Neutral Record: 11-4-1

Postseason Record: 4-0

All-Time NCAA Playoff Record: 3-4 (1-2 on road)

Key Team Stat: Third-best combined special teams percentage (57.7) and currently the second-longest unbeaten streak in the country at 11 games, only behind Plattsburgh.

Key Individual Stat: Freshman goaltender Denisa Jandova had 50 saves against Elmira in the quarterfinal, the second-most saves in a game in program history. Her .957 save percentage is the best in the country and her 0.84 goals against average is second-best.

Did You Know? Adrian's played in seven overtime games this year, the most in school history. The conference championship game is the longest game in program history and was the first to ever require double overtime.

Season Milestones: Coach Shawn Skelly won the conference regular season and conference tournament in his first season as head coach.

Off the Radar: Freshman Jessica VonRuden didn't play a whole lot this season but has scored eight goals and has two assists in 16 games. She scored the overtime winning goal in her first collegiate game to start the season and then scored twice, including the overtime winner again, against Elmira in the quarterfinals

Flashback: This is Adrian's second Frozen Four, with the Bulldogs hosting the event in 2017. AC lost in the championship to Friday's opponent, Plattsburgh State, 4-3 in overtime.

Awards to Date: Four All-Conference (Sr. Tory Harshman, Sr. Shelly Czarnowczan, Jr. Kelly O'Sullivan, Fr. Denisa Jandova) and two All-Freshman (Jandova and Julia Barrett)

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Plattsburgh (N.Y.) State

Location: Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Founded: 1889

Enrollment: 5297 undergrad

President: Dr. John Ettling

Nickname: Cardinals

Colors: Red and White

NCAA Hockey All-Time Record: 15th appearance, 28-10 W-L, six 1st place, one 2nd, three 3rds, two 4ths

Hockey Staff: HC Kevin Houle (16th season, 395-50-25); assistant Danielle Blanchard

Plattsburgh State Women's Hockey

Next Game: Faces No. 4/5-ranked Adrian College at St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights, Minn. It marks the Cardinals' third meeting this season against Adrian (1-0 Adrian win on Nov. 24, 2-0 Plattsburgh State win on Jan. 6) and is a rematch of the 2017 NCAA Division III Tournament championship game.

National Ranking: No. 2 in both the USCHO.com and D3hockey.com polls.

Superlative: Eighth straight NCAA Division III Tournament semifinal appearance for Plattsburgh State. The Cardinals have won six national championships, the most in the history of Division III women's ice hockey.

W-L Record: 27-2-0

Record vs. Nationally-Ranked Teams: 5-2-0

Conference Place: Won regular season title, won playoff title; 16-0-0 in NEWHL play, outscoring its opposition by a 96-6 margin in conference games.

Home Record: 16-0-0

Road/Neutral Record: 11-2-0

Postseason Record: 4-0-0

All-Time NCAA Playoff Record: 28-10-0

Key Team Stat: Cardinals lead Division III in scoring offense (5.00 goals per game), scoring defense (0.79 goals allowed per game), scoring margin (+4.21), penalty kill (.965) and combined special teams (.603).

Key Individual Stat: Senior goaltender Kassi Abbott leads Division III in goals-against average (0.81) and winning percentage (.931) and is tied for the Division III lead in shutouts (13). Sophomore forward Annie Katonka leads Division III in power-play goals (11) and is tied for the Division III lead in goals (30).

Did You Know? Plattsburgh State won four consecutive national championships from 2014-17.

Season Milestones: Senior forward Courtney Moriarty has moved up to fifth on the program's all-time goals list (78) and sixth on the program's all-time points list (146).

Off the Radar: Freshman forward Holly Schmelzer scored just her third goal of the season in the quarterfinal round against Williams, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead in what was one of the biggest momentum shifts of the contest.

Flashback: Adrian and Plattsburgh State have been familiar foes in recent years, marked most notably by the Cardinals' 4-3, come-from-behind win at Adrian in the 2017 national championship game. Then-senior defenseman Julia Duquette scored the game-tying goal shorthanded with just 20.7 seconds left in regulation, while then-senior defenseman Erin Brand scored the overtime game-winner on the power play at 10:34 of the first overtime period.

Awards to Date: Courtney Moriarty: NEWHL Player of the Year, NEWHL Tournament MVP; Kassi Abbott: NEWHL C0-Goaltender of the Year; Hanna Rose: NEWHL Rookie of the Year

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Hamline University

Location: St. Paul, Minn.

Founded: 1854

Enrollment: 2,069 undergrad

President: Dr. Fayneese Miller

Nickname: Pipers

Colors: Red and Grey

Season W-L: 22-3-3

NCAA Hockey All-Time Record: 2nd appearance, 3-1 W-L, one 3rd place

Hockey Staff: HC Natalie Darwitz (4th season, 65-34-10); assistants Jake Bobrowski, Scott Darwitz, Merlin Ravndalen, Mira Jalosuo 

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Hamline Women's Hockey

Next Game: Faces No. 1 St. Thomas Friday March 15 at 7 p.m. in national semifinals (fourth Tommie-Piper meeting in 29-day span)

National Ranking: No. 4 in both national polls

Superlative: Second straight season in NCAA D-III Frozen Four

W-L Record: 22-3-3

Record vs. Nationally-Ranked Teams: 4-2-0

Conference Place: 2nd place,  14-2-2

Home Record: 15-1-1

Road/Neutral Record: 7-2-2

Postseason Record: 2-1

All-Time NCAA Playoff Record: 3-1

Key Team Stat: Pipers are second in the country in D-III on the power play (35-125, 28 %)

Key Individual Stat: Junior Bre Simon leads all D-III women skaters with 63 points (26 G, 37 A). Senior Leah Schwartzman is 3rd with 46 points (19 G, 27 A)

Did You Know? Hamline is the only school who holds a winning record over Plattsburgh (1-0).

Season Milestones: The 22 wins this season ties the school record set last year when the team finished 22-5-3.

Off the Radar: Defender Dani Perry, a junior, is playing in her fourth NCAA tournament, her second as a hockey player. She has also appeared in two NCAA D-III lacrosse tournaments.

Flashback: Pipers are in their second straight Frozen Four. They were third last year, losing to Norwich, 5-1 and defeating Plattsburgh, 5-4, in overtime.

Awards to Date: Nine Pipers were named to the MIAC postseason teams as voted on by the coaches. Molly Garin was named to two - the All-Conference team and the All-Rookie team. Madison Kolbow, a sophomore, was named the women's hockey recipient on the MIAC's Elite 22 team with a 3.95 GPA. She is majoring in biochemistry.   University of St. Thomas

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University of St. Thiomas

Location: St. Paul, Minn.

Founded: 1885

Enrollment: 6,199 undergrad

President: Dr. Julie Sullivan

Nickname: Tommies

Colors: Purple and Gray

Season W-L: 25-1-2

NCAA Hockey All-Time Record: 6th appearance, 2-6 W-L, one 4th place

Hockey Staff: HC Tom Palkowski (12th season, 202-85-36); assistants Marty Sertich, Kristi King, Drew Fielding

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St. Thomas Women's Hockey

Next Game: Faces No. 4-ranked Hamline on home ice Friday March 15 at 7 p.m. in national semifinals (fourth Tommie-Piper meeting in 29-day span)

National Ranking: No. 1, first time in program history

Superlative: Hosting Division III Frozen Four in Mendota Heights at STA rink, March 15-16, with Hamline, No. 5-ranked Adrian (Mich.) and No. 2-ranked Plattsburgh (N.Y.) State

W-L Record: 25-1-2, most wins and best win percentage in program history

Record vs. Nationally-Ranked Teams: 7-1-1

Conference Place: Won regular season title, won playoff title; 17-1-2 record so far against conference opponents

Home Record: 15-0 (20-0-2 in last 22 on home ice)

Road/Neutral Record: 10-1-2

Postseason Record: 3-0

All-Time NCAA Playoff Record: 2-6 (1-0 at home)

Key Team Stat: Tommies have allowed 26 goals in 28 games

Key Individual Stat: Senior Kenzie Torpy has played in in 102 career games in goal (69-18-12 W-L); has 22 shutouts; has surpassed 2,000 saves; has a 1.61 career GAA; has all 28 W-L decisions this season

Did You Know? Tommies are 33-1-7 in last 41 games

Season Milestones: Coach Tom Palkowski surpassed 200 wins (now 202); Goalie Kenzie Torpy broke conference record for career wins (now 69)

Off the Radar: Freshman Anna Erickson scored her first collegiate goal Saturday in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie in a 4-3 win over UW-Eau Claire

Flashback: Tommies are in Frozen Four for second time in program history: placed fourth in 2014, lost 1-0 in overtime in semifinals to eventual champion Plattsburgh State

Awards to Date: Tom Palkowski, MIAC Coach of the Year; senior goalie Kenzie Torpy, MIAC Player of the Year