St. Thomas Academy's Christiano Versich celebrates a goal earlier this season against Minnetonka. The two-time defending Class 1A state champions have shown they are one of the best teams in Minnesota regardless of class. Photo by Katherine Matthews.
St. Thomas Academy's Tom Novak. Photo by Loren Nelson.
What St. Thomas Academy has done for nearly three consecutive seasons has been nothing but pure dominance.
The Cadets are the two-time defending state Class 1A champions and have not lost to a Class 1A team since March 5, 2010 -- an amazing 47-game streak that dates back to that 2010 Section 4A finals setback to Mahtomedi.
The Cadets will be making the move up to Class 2A next season, but they will be eyeing a third consecutive state title as their departing gift from Class 1A.
St. Thomas Academy has played seven games against teams in Section 4A this season, outscoring them by a combined total of 48-5.
The Cadets are one of the hardest teams to score on in the state. They have only allied 32 goals all season and have a 1.26 goals-against average.
Senior goalie David Zevnik has two state championships under his belt as the starting goalie and has a 19-2-2 record along with a 1.32 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.
He has an abundance of help on the blue line where the Cadets are loaded with talent.
Jack Dougherty (3-21--24) and T.J. Samec (4-11--15) lead the way with solid defensive play and can mix it up physically with anyone if so required.
Offensively St. Thomas Academy have had success from its top line of Tom Novak (25-22--47), Christiano Versich (12-22--34) and senior captain Alex Johnson (14-19--33). Near the midpoint of the season the Cadets switched up their lines, and those three have worked to near perfection.
If there has been a thorn in the side of the Cadets in recent memory it would have to be No. 2 seed Mahtomedi.
In 2009 and 2010 the Zephyrs upset St. Thomas Academy in the Section 4A finals. They are also the only team in the section to at least hang with the Cadets this season.
The Zephyrs do not have a big spark plug to ignite them, but they do have some consistent options. Matt Bonine (15-14--29) leads in both goals and points and is one of five Zephyrs with more than 25 points this season.
If Mahtomedi wants to make a run at the Section 4A title again it will need a big showing from goalie Colin Denis (10-4-0), who has a 2.93 goals-against average and a .879 save percentage.
Totino-Grace's Derek Lodermeier. Photo by Loren Nelson.
South St. Paul's Jack Pietruszewski. Photo by Tim Kolehmainen.
The two-time defending Class 1A champions are loaded once again this year and have been the state's No. 1-ranked teamfor most of the season. The Cadets have depth on defense and senior David Zevnik is as good as they come in goal. Some coaches have said St. Thomas Academy might be the best team in the state in either class, and the Cadets have made their case with victories over Class 2A powers Hill-Murray, Edina and Benilde-St. Margaret's. St. Thomas Academy also has a victory over powerhouse Shattuck-St. Mary's.
Choosing a No. 2 seed as a bracket buster might not seem like much of a stretch, but considering how heavily favored the Cadets are in Section 4A, any team could be tossed into the mix as a bracket buster. The Zephyrs have lost twice to St. Thomas Academy this season but have given the Cadets more trouble than most others in the section. There is a bit of history on Mahtomedi's side as well, as it upset St. Thomas Academy in 2009 and 2010 section finals.
2012 – St. Thomas Academy
2011 – St. Thomas Academy
2010 – Mahtomedi
2009 – Mahtomedi
2008 – St. Thomas Academy
2007 – Little Falls
2006 – Little Falls
2005 – Little Falls
2004 – Wadena
2003 – Fergus Falls
2002 – Fergus Falls
2001 – Fergus Falls
2000 – Fergus Falls
1999 – Fergus Falls
1998 – Fergus Falls
1997 – Fergus Falls
1996 – Detroit Lakes
1995 – Detroit Lakes
1994 – St. Cloud Cathedral