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Program Overview

Points of Pride

  • Two Final Four teams in last six seasons
  • 15 All-America honors in last 16 years
  • No losing seasons in last 19 years
  • 2018-19 team ranked no. 1 nationally (first time in program history)
  • Tom Palkowski, 202 wins in 12 seasons, National Coach of the Year in 2018-19
  • Nine MIAC regular-season or playoff titles in last six seasons
  • Top 3 MIAC finishes each of last 19 seasons

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St. Thomas has emerged as a conference and national power in women’s ice hockey. The Toms are 202-87-36 over the last 12 seasons under Coach Tom Palkowski, and have regularly been ranked in the top 10 nationally.

In the last 19 years, the Tommies have never had a losing season and have finished third or better in the MIAC every year. They have won All-America honors 15 times in the last 16 seasons. Kenzie Torpy became the first CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree in program history in 2019. All-America player Kathryn Larson received an elite NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 2018.

Palkowski was named National Coach of the Year after the 2018-19 St. Thomas team started 22-0-2 and won a school-record 25 games in a fourth-place national finish. The Tommies held the No. 1 national ranking for much of the last half of the season as it built a 37-game unbeaten streak over two seasons (30-0-7). After reaching the NCAA Final Four for the second time in six seasons, St. Thomas had to play their biggest games of the season without injured All-America goalie Torpy and lost 3-0 and 1-0 to finish the season. Torpy and Demi Cooper received All-America honors.

During 2013-2014, Palkowski guided the Tommies to 20 wins, a sweep of the MIAC regular-season and playoff titles, and the program’s first NCAA Frozen Four berth in its 16-year varsity history. In just their second NCAA playoff trip, the Toms’ 5-0 road victory over No. 5-ranked UW-Stevens Point was the program’s first NCAA playoff victory. The Tommies lost 1-0 in overtime to eventual champion Plattsburgh State in the national semifinals, then finished fourth in the country after falling 5-3 to UW-River Falls in the third-place game.

Despite playing most of her senior season with a torn ACL, goalie Alise Riedel set an NCAA Championships record with 63 saves in the 1-0 defeat to Plattsburgh State in 2014. Riedel became the program’s first three-time All-America.

The 2014-2015 team placed second in the MIAC and won the MIAC playoff title to advance to the NCAA playoffs for the second straight year. They lost to Plattsburgh State and ended the season tied for fifth place in the nation.

In 2015-2016, St. Thomas was a conference champion in the regular-season as they tied Bethel for first place and went on to win the MIAC playoff title to recieve the automatic berth to the NCAA Playoffs, where they fell to UW-River Falls and tied for fifth again.

The 2016-17 Tommies won the conference playoff title as the No. 4 seed with a 3-0 run and returned to the NCAA playoffs.

The 2017-18 Tommies went unbeaten in its last 13 games (8-0-5) to share the MIAC championship.

The Tommies played their first five seasons at Parade Ice Garden in Minneapolis. 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 station.

The Tommies travel every other season to the East Coast, and also play the best Minnesota and Wisconsin teams. They keep approximately 26 players on the varsity roster.

 

Recent Success

St. Thomas fielded a club hockey team with St. Catherine in 1997-98. The Tommies went varsity in 1998-99, and posted an 8-12 record. UST followed with records of 10-11-1, 16-9-1 and 14-9-3 in seasons two through four, setting the stage for the recent success.

Coach Kevin Gorg saw his 2002-03 team break through to win the MIAC regular-season and playoff championship in UST’s fifth season of varsity women’s hockey. The Tommies qualified for the seven-team NCAA playoffs for the first time, finished 19-7-2, and won the conference playoff crown on neutral ice with a 1-0 victory over St. Mary's and a 4-1 victory over Gustavus. They ended their season with a 5-1 loss at Wisconsin-River Falls in the national quarterfinals and tied for fifth place in the nation.

St. Thomas came back to win the MIAC title again in 2003-04 and finished 19-6-2 with a 16-1-1 conference record. In 2004-05, UST had a school-record 21 wins including another 16-1-1 MIAC mark, but lost a two-overtime game in the conference finals to miss an NCAA playoff berth.

They put up another 21-5-1 record in 2005-06 and lost another overtime game for a berth in the NCAA playoffs.

Tomery Stolz graduated in May 2004 and is the school's career scoring leader and No. 3 all-time MIAC scorer with 154 points in 105 games. Goalie Becky Kilpatrick made All-America two years in a row from 2003-05. Tanaya Reitz made All-America in 2005-06.

In 2007-08 in Palkowski’s first season as head coach, the Toms broke a school record for victories and finished 21-6. Sophomore goalie Lauren Bradel made All-America.

In 2008-09 senior forward, Jackie Carroll was named MIAC Player of the Year – the first Tommie to win the honor in what was then the 11-year history of the program. Carroll was also named All-America and  finished her career with 136 points (61 goals, 75 assists) in 107 games.