St. Thomas Women's Hockey is represented on the national ballot for the Division III Coach of the Year and Player of the Year.
Both the CCM/AHCA Coach of the Year and the Laura Hurd National Player of the Year will be announced Thursday night on the St. Thomas campus at the Final Four players banquet. Adrian, Plattsburgh, Hamline and St. Thomas teams will be on hand as they prepare to play in Friday's national semifinals.
Coach Tom Palkowski and senior goalie Kenzie Torpy are among the finalists.
Palkowski has guided St. Thomas to a record-setting season. His team has reached a school-record 25 wins and the program's first No. 1 national poll ranking. The Tommies swept the conference regular-season and playoff crowns, and he was named MIAC Coach of the Year. St. Thomas earned a trip to this weekend's national semifinals, the second under Palkowski in six seasons. St. Thomas is 33-1-7 in its last 41 games since December 2017. The 2018-19 Tommies have 13 shutouts and have allowed just 37 goals in 28 games. Palkowski won his 200th game in 11 seasons at St. Thomas with a postseason shutout of Gustavus. His 11-year record is 202-85-36 with the Tommies.
Torpy has led her team to a program-record 25 wins and its first ever No. 1 national team ranking:
- She was recently named Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and led her team to a sweep of the conference regular-season and playoff championships (17-1-2 over 20 games against league opponents).
- In 2019 postseason wins over Gustavus, No. 4-ranked Hamline and No. 8-ranked UW-Eau Claire she's 3-0 with 82 saves and three goals allowed.
- In her last 54 starts since late in her sophomore year, she's allowed just 67 goals and led the Tommies to a 41-5-7 record.
- She has broken school and conference records for career wins (69), and games played (102). The 69 wins are tied for third most in D-III history.
- She has surpassed 2,000 career saves in 102 games (101 starts), and her 22 career shutouts include 13 this season. The 22 shutouts are ninth most in D-III history.
- Her .957 save percentage would put her in the top 10 for one season in D-III if she maintains that pace.
- She has allowed just nine power-play goals in 89 opponent attempts this season.
- She's a Psychology major with a 3.87 gpa; a three-time Academic All-Conference honoree, she will be a candidate for this year's CoSIDA Academic All-America at-large team.
"Kenzie Torpy is a leader in the classroom, locker room and in life," Palkowski said. "She carries a 3.87 grade-point average with a major in Psychology, and a minor in Spanish and Busoness Administration. She comes to the rink everyday with a smile, positive attitude and the idea she's going to work on some aspect of her game.
"Obviously she's having a tremendous year, but she stays in the moment, and just wants to give her team a chance to win, regardless of what that might require. She continues to push herself, but works with our goalies and helps them understand what it takes to be a starter. The energy our goalies bring to our team is fantastic, and it starts with her."