UST wins title on final day to lead Men's Hockey Playoff field

UST wins title on final day to lead Men's Hockey Playoff field

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Though the final weekend of the 2017 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) wasn't quite as wide open as usual regarding the conference title and five MIAC Playoff bids, there was still plenty to play for. St. Thomas' and Augsburg's battle for the championship came down to the final day, and the last weekend locked in the final two teams and all five tournament seeds.

St. Thomas and Augsburg entered the regular-season's final day tied atop the standings, but the Tommies used a decisive 6-0 win at St. Olaf coupled with an Augsburg loss (4-2) at Saint John's to claim the MIAC's regular-season title, No. 1 Playoff seed and home-ice advantage. Head Coach Jeff Boeser's UST team finished with 33 points and an 11-3-2 MIAC record (13-7-5 overall) to win its 31st overall MIAC title, and its fifth in the last six years. Meanwhile, Augsburg just missed out on a second-straight title and will settle for the No. 2 seed with 33 points and a 9-2-5 MIAC record (15-4-6).


There was one team that didn't have to sweat out much of the final-weekend drama, as Saint Mary's wrapped up its regular season a week earlier than the rest with 29 points, a 9-6-1 MIAC record and a 13-9-3 overall mark. The Cardinals locked up their Playoff spot prior to the final weekend, then saw their No. 3 seed lock into place following Friday's results.  

Hamline (10-9-6, 7-5-4 MIAC) and Concordia (13-10-2, 7-7-2 MIAC) each entered the final weekend still hoping to secure a trip to the postseason, and both clinched their bids thanks to Friday night's results. However, each had a big game Saturday to see who would host the other in the No. 4 vs. No. 5 quarterfinal game. Concordia played an afternoon finale at Bethel, and the Royals used a trio of third-period goals to stun the Cobbers and lock in Concordia at No. 5 and Hamline at No. 4. The Pipers closed their regular season knotted 4-4 with Gustavus after overtime, and the Gusties won the shootout to give Hamline a point, and a 27-25 edge over the Cobbers in the standings' points column.

The 2017 MIAC Men's Hockey Playoffs will begin with the quarterfinal game on Thursday. No. 4 Hamline will host No. 5 Concordia in St. Paul, Minn., with start time yet to be announced. The winner of that game will have a quick turnaround and a tough opponent waiting, as the No. 4-5 victor is headed to Mendota Heights, Minn., on Saturday to take on top-seeded St. Thomas in one semifinal at St. Thomas Ice Arena. The other Saturday semifinal will feature No. 3 Saint Mary's traveling to Minneapolis to face No. 2 Augsburg. Semifinal teams have yet to be announced.

The two semifinal winners will square off the following Saturday, March 4, in the 2017 MIAC Men's Hockey Playoff championship game, which will be played on the home ice of the highest remaining seed. The tournament champion will receive the MIAC Playoff championship plaque as well as the conference's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Men's Hockey Tournament. The NCAA will announce the national tournament field on March 6 at 9 a.m. with a live online selection show. Augsburg is the defending MIAC Playoff champion.

The MIAC has a home page dedicated to the 2017 MIAC Men's Hockey Playoffs, containing schedules, links and information on each of the five teams in the field. Throughout the tournament, the page will be updated with scores, stats, updated schedules and more. Fans can also follow the action on the MIAC Scoreboard or on the free MIAC mobile app. Connect throughout the Playoffs on social media through the MIAC's FacebookInstagram or Twitter accounts, using the hashtag #MIACWH.


Seed    Team    Points    MIAC    Overall   
No. 1  St. Thomas    36 11-3-2 13-7-5
No. 2
Augsburg 33 9-2-5 15-4-6
No. 3
Saint Mary's    29 9-6-1 13-9-3
No. 4
Hamline 27 7-5-4 10-9-6
No. 5
Concordia 25  7-7-2 13-10-2


Quarterfinals | Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 |
No. 5 Concordia at No. 4 Hamline | St. Paul, Minn. | Time: TBA |

Semifinals | Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 |
No. 4/5 Winner at No. 1 St. Thomas | Mendota Heights, Minn. | Time: TBA |
No. 3 Saint Mary's at No. 2 Augsburg | Minneapolis, Minn. | Time: TBA |

Championship | Saturday, March 4, 2017 |
Semifinal winners at highest remaining seed | Location: TBA | Time: TBA |

2017 MIAC Men's Hockey Playoffs