With a huge third period rally, the #1 seeded St. Thomas Tommies topped the #2 Wisconsin Badgers to lift the Carla Berg Cup as the 2022-2023 WCCHA Champions.
The Tommies finished the regular season as the Southeast Division Champions, #1 ranked in the league KRACH, and highest rated WCCHA team in the ACHA Rankings. Still, the team arrived with every motivation to prove themselves and push forward in what has already been a record-setting season. With three big-time performances, UST earned their third overall WCCHA title – joining St. Cloud State, Minnesota State, and UW-Eau Claire in second place all-time in WCCHA history.
The game wasn’t decided, however, until late in the third period. After a scoreless first period, it was the Badgers who took the lead in the second and held the narrow advantage into the third. With their backs to the wall, the Tommies responded, dominating the final 20 minutes to eventually take the 5-1 victory. Coupled with the 8-1 quarterfinal victory over St. John’s and a 4-2 semifinal win over Minnesota-Crookston, St. Thomas went 3-0 on the weekend with an AGD of 4.33.
While they fell just short in their bid for back-to-back titles, Wisconsin still impressed in staying firm to their #2 overall seed. The Badgers went 2-1 overall on the weekend, joined at that record by Minnesota-Crookston and Minnesota. All four teams are likely representatives in the ACHA postseason, although that won’t be confirmed until the final ACHA D2 Rankings are released this week. As no league autobids were earned by teams not currently in the top 14, the final rankings will hold to true qualifying status.
With Sunday’s final, another fantastic WCCHA season has come to an end – our 18th season of league play. A massive thank you to the players, coaches, administrators, volunteers, officials, family, friends and fans who made this year one to remember. Although this season isn’t yet over, we’re already looking forward to 2023-2024.
10:30 AM, SR#1 – 3rd Place | #5 Minnesota-Crookston (4) vs. #6 Wisconsin-Eau Claire (0)
11:00 AM, SR#2 – Consolation | #3 Minnesota-Duluth (2) vs. #4 Minnesota (3)
1:00 PM, SR#1 – Championship | #1 St. Thomas (5) vs. #2 Wisconsin (1)
2023 WCCHA Tournament All-Tournament Team:
Josh Hermes, UST | Tyler Zahradka, UMC | Dominic Valentini, UW
Michael Scherer, UMN | Toran Dobchuck, UST
Samuel Haupfear, UST