After a 4-2 semifinal playoff loss to Concordia-Moorhead Saturday night at home, the St. Thomas men’s hockey season ended.
Senior captain Andrew Kappers had a goal and an assist to end his career with 96 points.
“We gave it everything we got, but it wasn’t in the cards this year,” Kappers said.
After Concordia -Moorhead forward Ben Payne scored in the first period, St. Thomas answered back in the second when Kappers found the back of the net and tied the score 1-1.
St. Thomas outshot Concordia-Moorhead 12-2 in the second, but was only able to score once. The Tommies had 14 more shots than the Cobbers through two periods.
Payne’s second goal of the game came in the third period, and it broke the 1-1 tie.The Cobbers struck again minutes later, when forward Brian Kang managed a breakaway goal with 9:02 left in the game.
Tommie forward Chris Hickey brought St. Thomas within one goal with 3:08 left in the game. But after a faceoff in the Cobber zone, a Tommie player fell down, allowing Concordia-Moorhead’s Aaron Wheeler a clear shot on an empty net with 25 seconds left, giving the Cobbers a two-goal lead.
“You have to feel bad for the seniors, but I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Coach Jeff Boeser said. “They have unbelievable leadership on and off the ice. We are a tight team.”
Senior Rob Johnson agreed.
“It was painful ending the season like that, but I’m proud of the guys,” Johnson said.
Both Kappers and Johnson said the locker room will be what is missed the most.
“Every day in the locker room just being with the guys,” Kappers said. “It’s the best part about a team sport.”
Though the Tommies’ season is over, the Cobbers will advance to the conference finals against top-seeded Hamline. The game is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 5, at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Katie Lescarbeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.