Tommies to host Pipers in 2019 MIAC Women's Hockey Playoff Championship

HU/UST

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The 2019 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Women's Hockey Playoff Championship Game will feature two teams ranked among the nation's top-five, as St. Thomas is set to host Hamline next Saturday, March 2 with a spot in the NCAA Division III Women's Hockey Tournament on the line. Game time is yet to be determined.

The Tommies and Pipers punched their tickets to the title game with big wins in the MIAC Semifinals on Saturday. UST shut out No. 4 seed Gustavus, 4-0, while Hamline defeated No. 3 seed Augsburg, 6-1.

2019 MIAC Women's Hockey Playoffs |

Next weekend's championship game will be the rubber match for the top two seeds in the MIAC Playoffs, as St. Thomas and Hamline split their games in the final series of the regular season, with St. Thomas ending the Pipers' 17-game unbeaten streak to win the regular season conference title in Game 1 before the Pipers returned the favor with an overtime victory in the finale, snapping what was at the time the longest active unbeaten streak in all of college hockey at 37 games. The Tommies are currently ranked No. 1 in Division III, while Hamline ranks No. 4.

NO. 1 ST. THOMAS 4, NO. 4 GUSTAVUS | Box Score |
In a battle between two of the top goalies Division III has to offer, it was Kenzie Torpy whose star shined brightest on Saturday, as the St. Thomas senior goaltender stopped all 23 shots she faced to earn her first career postseason shutout and lead the Tommies to a 4-0 victory over No. 4 seed Gustavus. The playoff victory was the 10th straight for UST, which is now 18-0-2 on their home ice since December 2017. A 1-0 game through the first two periods, the Tommies exploded for three in the first ten minutes of the third frame to put the game out of reach. Gustavus senior Amanda DiNella finished the game with 21 saves on 25 shots in the game. The Gusties - nationally-ranked for the majority of the season - will now await the release of the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Hockey Tournament bracket.

NO. 3 AUGSBURG AT NO. 2 HAMLINE | Box Score |
Four second-period goals and a Leah Schwartzman hat trick have the Hamline Pipers back in the MIAC Playoff Championship Game to defend their crown after defeating No. 3 seed Augsburg, 6-1, in the MIAC Semifinals on Saturday afternoon. After a scoreless first period, Schwartzman assisted on the game's first goal - a Bre Simon score 33 seconds in the second frame - and went on to score three more herself in the victory. The Pipers held a 4-0 lead midway through the second before Augsburg defender Nikki Nightengale put the Auggies on the board with a goal in the 11th minute of the period. Hamline - the only team to defeat St. Thomas in the last 14 months - will now head to the MIAC title game in hopes of securing the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SET FOR MARCH 2
No. 1 St. Thomas and No. 2 will square off the following Saturday, March 2, in the 2019 MIAC Women's Hockey Playoff Championship game, which will be played on the home ice of the Tommies in Mendota Heights. The tournament champion will receive the postseason championship plaque and the Conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Women's Hockey Tournament.

The MIAC has a homepage dedicated to the 2019 MIAC Women'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, on the free MIAC mobile app, and on social media through the MIAC's FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts.

2019 MIAC WOMEN'S HOCKEY PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Quarterfinals | Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 |
No. 4 Gustavus 5, No. 5 Saint Mary's 0 | Box Score | Recap |

Semifinals | Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 |
No. 1 St. Thomas 4, No. 4 Gustavus 0 | Box Score |
No. 2 Hamline 6, No. 3 Augsburg 1 | Box Score |

Championship | Saturday, March 2, 2019 |
No. 2 Hamline at No. 1 St. Thomas | TBA |