Hamline News

Former Piper signs pro hockey contract

While at Hamline, Long helped lead the Pipers to the 2007-08 MIAC regular season championship - the school's first in 60 years. In both his junior and senior seasons, he was integral in guiding the team to within one game of the NCAA tournament.

Long was named a first team all-American and the MIAC co-player of the year at the end of the 2007-08 season. In his first-year campaign he was named all-MIAC honorable mention before bringing home three straight all-MIAC first team nods to finish his career.

"Joe obviously did some wonderful things at Hamline and this is a great opportunity for him to move on and play at the professional level," said Hamline head coach Scott Bell. "He will be involved with hockey for a long time, and as a professional player he will learn a lot about the sport to prepare him to be a successful coach down the road."

In 102 games as a Piper, Long scored 103 points on 52 goals and 51 assists. He was the NCAA statistical champion in power play goals in his junior season (13), helping the Pipers finish the season with the second-best power play percentage in the country (32.1). Long also had the most goals (19) of any defenseman in the nation that season.

"I'm excited to get more experience with hockey and to test out the pro level," said Long. "I've been told that the pro game is more controlled than the college game, that the players are more well-positioned on the ice. It will be interesting to see the difference once I get there."

Long leaves Minnesota for training camp during the first week of October. The PrairieThunder open their season on October 17.

The Pipers will open the 2009-10 season at the MIAC Showcase at the Bloomington Ice Gardens over Halloween weekend.