St. Scholastica and Wisconsin-Superior are among four teams, including three ranked in the top 15 nationally, that will take the ice for the second annual Superior Showdown this weekend at Wessman Arena in Superior.
No. 10 St. Scholastica (8-2-1) opens play at 4 p.m. today against No. 13 Marian (6-4-2), the defending tournament champion. The Saints had their nine-game unbeaten streak end with a 6-3 loss to No. 5 Augsburg on Dec. 15. Sophomore Nate Pionk of Hermantown has recorded a point in five straight games, while sophomore defenseman Jordan Fralich (Duluth Marshall) has six assists in the last two games. Marian is winless in its last three games. Senior Nick Monfils leads the Sabres with six goals and 11 points.
Host UWS (4-8-2) follows at 7 p.m. against No. 12 Trinity College (4-2-2) of Hartford, Conn. The Yellowjackets are coming off a series split with St. Mary's three weeks ago in Winona, Minn. Sophomore Troy York (9-6-15) is tied for the NCAA Division III lead with seven power-play goals. Trinity, like Marian, is winless in its last three games. The Bantams are balanced, with five players having scored four goals, and defensive, only allowing 1.75 goals per game, fifth-best in the nation.
"When we made the decision to host a tournament at Wessman Arena, we envisioned something that would bring really good teams to our campus and community," UWS coach Rich McKenna said in a release. "I didn't expect it to happen as quickly as it did, but to be able to ice a tournament with three teams coming in that are all nationally ranked is a great thing for hockey fans in the Twin Ports. People here have a chance to come out and watch four really great games right in their own backyard."
The tournament concludes Sunday with the third-place game at 4 p.m. followed by the championship at 7 p.m.
• There will be a tournament banquet at 11:30 a.m. today at the Yellowjacket Union, with Joe Polo, member of the gold-medal winning U.S. men's curling team, being the keynote speaker. It's open to the public with tickets $25 at the door.