2024 WCCHA Tournament – St. Thomas Goes Back-to-Back in Dramatic Fashion

The Tommies faced down the top two teams in the Northwest Division, but in finding an extra gear in two consecutive overtimes, St. Thomas reclaimed the Carla Berg Cup for back-to-back WCCHA Championships on Sunday.

It was far from a foregone conclusion that St. Thomas – last year’s WCCHA title winners and National Semifinalist – would retain the title. After breezing through North Dakota in the first round, they faced off against a Jamestown team that had lost only 3 times all year. The Jimmies play a high intensity style of hockey that pushes their opponents to the limits, and the semifinal game between the pair lived up to the billing. The division winners battled back and forth, with St. Thomas building a 3-1 lead in the third. However, the Jimmies stormed back to tie the game 3-3 by the end of regulation. In the overtime period, it was the Tommies that found the breakthrough to earn a spot in the championship game.

On the other side of the bracket, Minnesota-Crookston’s credentials were on display with two highly impressive wins against league juggernauts. In the opening round against Minnesota, the Golden Eagles relentlessly attacked the Gophers, ultimately building an insurmountable lead and earning the 4-1 victory. In the semifinal, UMC once again shutdown – and this time shutout – their opponents, #1 seeded Wisconsin, in earning a 2-0 victory.

Thus, the finals matchup was a tantalizing one for fans and neutrals alike, and the game did not disappoint. Minnesota-Crookston took an early 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals and held strong through the first intermission. Early in the second, St. Thomas found life with a tally and just before the second intermission, tied the game at 2. Despite chances at both ends in the third, the game remained tied – and the tournament and conference title would be decided in overtime. Then, for the second game in a row, it was the Tommies who made the decisive play as a fast break ended with the puck in the Crookston net sending St. Thomas into celebration with a conference-clinching victory.


In other tournament games, Jamestown bounced back from their narrow semifinal defeat with an impressive 3-1 win over #1 Wisconsin in the third place game. Jamestown had advanced to the semifinals with a narrow 1-0 win over St. John’s, while Wisconsin overcame #8 St. Cloud State 6-3 in the first round before their semifinal loss to Minnesota-Crookston.

In the consolation bracket, #5 Minnesota earned the honors with a massive 11-1 victory over #7 North Dakota. The Gophers recovered from their first round loss to beat #8 St. Cloud State in the consolation semifinals, while North Dakota won a shootout over St. John’s on Saturday to earn a third game on the weekend.


Forwards: Drew Fisher (St. Thomas), Anthony Madigan (St. Thomas), Braeden Thomas (Jamestown)
Defense: Toran Dobchuck (St. Thomas), Jake Huska (Minnesota-Crookston)
Goalie: Adam Goody (Minnesota-Crookston)