MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn —
The St. Thomas women's hockey team should be getting used to the success they're having.
This season they're the first women's team at St. Thomas to ever be ranked number one and their senior class -- despite losing numbers since their freshman year -- won an astounding 75 games in their career.
“We started off with 13 people,” says Demi Cooper, a senior defenseman. “Of the three others that are left they are like my best friends. And I think that's a part of it.”
That group is led by senior netminder Kenzie Torpy, who has been nothing short of stellar, with an NCAA Division III-leading 13 shutouts and a goals against average of 0.92.
While the defense as a whole is giving up an average of just 1.3 goals per game this season.
But, like a well hit slap shot - she's quick to turn those superlatives aside. “As a goalie having those defense and even when girls crash the net they are there to protect me,” says Torpy. “We've worked so hard this year protecting our house.”
Being ranked number one, St. Thomas is already tough to beat, but at home it's nearly impossible. They were 15-0 here this season, so having the NCAA semifinals and finals here is pretty exciting.
“We sort of thought maybe that we'd be able to, but it was just a shock to us because we've never hosted before,” says Cooper. “So to have it at home is absolutely everything we ever dreamed of.”
“Once we score the girls really rally, which is great,” says Head Coach Tom Palkowski. “But we can’t always wait for a goal. It could be zero-zero going into the third period.”
Which is a likely scenario for Friday against rival Hamline. Of the three games St. Thomas and Hamline have played this year, all of them were decided by 2 goals or less. Chapter Four is likely to be the exact same.