Women’s hockey skates into first place over J-Term

The St. Thomas women’s hockey team solidified its position as the MIAC front-runner this January with a 2-1 record after a team trip to Sweden early in the month.

The team left on the two-week trip Dec. 26, playing three games before returning Jan. 7.

Head coach Tom Palkowski said the trip was a great chance to play competitive hockey in another country.

“We had the opportunity to play a team that had four of the Swedish Olympians on the team, a couple Norwegian national players and a Danish national player,” Palkowski said. “It was a great trip, the chance of a lifetime to go over there and play a little hockey and tour. Just having the opportunity to play in another country is quite an experience.”

Upon returning to the United States, the Tommies endured a hard-fought overtime loss to Wisconsin-River Falls before winning back-to-back games against Hamline by a combined score of 11-2.

The wins gave the team a MIAC-leading 8-1-1 conference record with 10 conference games left to play.

With seven seniors on the team, Palkowski said he’s optimistic about his team’s chances down the stretch.

“We are in first place right now and kind of control our destiny as far as winning the MIAC,” Palkowski said. “I really think we might have the best team we’ve ever had. If we can put the pieces together, I think we’ve got a good chance to make a run in the playoffs and try to get to that national tournament.”

The Tommies continue its conference play with two games against St. Olaf this weekend. The first game starts at 7 p.m. Friday with a home match at St. Thomas Academy’s Ice Arena in Mendota Heights, Minn.

Brent Fischer can be reached at bafischer@stthomas.edu.