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Former Irondale standout headed to NCAA tournament
As a member of the Irondale High School girls hockey team, Kelsey Barnier played in a pair of state tournaments, the Holy Grail of prep hockey in Minnesota. Now a senior at the University of St. Thomas, Barnier has reached a similar height at the collegiate hockey level.
Barnier and her St. Thomas teammates have qualified for the Division III NCAA women’s hockey tournament. The Tommies clinched their spot in the tournament by winning the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs on Saturday.
This will be the Tommies’ first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2003. St. Thomas entered the weekend ranked seventh in the nation.
St. Thomas beat Gustavus Adolphus 2-0 at the St. Thomas Ice Arena in Mendota Heights. Barnier assisted on the Tommies’ second goal as they scored the only two goals of the game in the first period.
In beating the Gusties, St. Thomas snapped Gustavus’ streak of consecutive MIAC tournament titles at 10. The Tommies also won the regular-season MIAC crown, which had gone to Gustavus the previous nine years.
Barnier also played a big role in helping St. Thomas reach the MIAC title game. In the semifinals back on March 1, St. Thomas needed overtime to beat fourth-seeded Concordia and Barnier assisted on the game-winning goal.
For the season, Barnier has two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 27 games.
Last year as a junior, Barnier was all-MIAC honorable mention after scoring five goals and adding five assists.
Of the Tommies on this year’s roster, Barnier is tied for the most career games played with 103. For her St. Thomas career, Barnier has 12 goals and 20 assists.
The pairings and schedule for the Division III women’s hockey tournament were announced on Monday, past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin.
Other Bulletin-area athletes in MIAC playoffs
Two other Bulletin-area natives participated in the MIAC playoffs. Kathryn Larson and Lindsey Klein both play college hockey in the MIAC and their teams qualified for the league tournament.
Larson, a 2013 graduate of Mounds View High School, is a freshman at Bethel University. The Royals finished third in the MIAC standings and lost in the semifinals to Gustavus.
Larson was named to the MIAC all-rookie team after scoring 12 goals and adding 16 assists in 26 games. She was a plus-16 for the season and she recorded two game-winning goals.
Larson helped Bethel set program records for overall wins (17) and MIAC wins (13) and the Royals qualified for the MIAC playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Klein, a Shoreview native who attended Hill-Murray High School, is a sophomore defenseman at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. The Wildcats finished fifth in the MIAC and lost in the first round of the playoffs to Concordia.
Klein played in all 26 games this season and recorded one assist.
Brian Meyers can be reached at email@example.com.