After two blowout victories in the quarter and semifinals of the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament, St Thomas Academy won the championship game Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in thrilling fashion with a last minute goal, defeating the Hermantown Hawks 5 to 4.
Sophomore forward Tom Novak scored a power play goal with 6.1 seconds remaining to put the Cadets on top for good, and the team won it's third straight State Class A championship. Matt Perry scored the first three Cadet goals for a hat trick, and Henry Hart scored to tie the score at 4 in the third period. David Zevnik made 19 saves in goal for the Cadets.
The Cadets trailed 4 to 2 after the second period and the comeback victory capped a great season for the Cadets whose final record was 27-2-2. St Thomas recorded victories this season over top ranked Class 2A schools Hill Murray, Edina and Benilde St Margarets as well as perenial hockey power Shattuck St Mary's and highly ranked Class 1A teams, Breck and Totino Grace.
They lost only to Hill Murray and Minnetonka (ranked #1 and #5 respectively in the end of the regular season rankings). Team defense was a strength as their regular season goals against average was 1.28 and their goals against in the section playoffs and state tournament was 0.67.
Next season the school has elected to move up to compete for a spot at the state tournament at the big school/Classs 2A level.