March 04, 2009

Pipers fall in MIAC championship game

The Pipers needed less than a minute to score their first goal of the game, as Ryan Kupperman (So., Canterbury, N.H.) lit the lamp just 58 seconds after the opening puck drop. Brian Arrigoni (Fy., Saint Paul, Minn.) and Jim Erickson (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) were credited with the assists.

Hamline upped their lead at 3:22 when Kyle Kurr (Jr., Elk River, Minn.) took on the Gustavus goalie one-on-one and gave the Pipers their second goal of the game. Arrigoni earned the single assist on the goal after stripping the puck and dumping it off to Kurr just inside the blue line.

11 minutes later the Gusties went on the first power play of the game and capitalized on it quickly, scoring at 14:55 to cut the Piper lead to one. They evened the score at 18:38.

The Pipers went on a power play just 45 seconds into the second period, but lost the man advantage a minute later. Chris Berenguer (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.) was called for a slashing penalty while stopping a Gustie short-handed break-away goal attempt, preserving the 2-2 tie.

On the ensuing penalty kill, goalie Beau Christian (Fy., Moorhead, Minn.) made a trio of key stops and Erickson blocked a shot out near the point to kill Berenguer’s penalty.

Shortly after the teams returned to even-strength, the Pipers drew another pair of penalties to go on a 90 second 5-on-3 penalty kill. The Piper defenseman scrambled to block pucks in front of Christian, and he did his part to preserve the tie, making three more acrobatic saves on the penalty kill to prevent Gustavus from scoring on the power play. 

The Pipers also had a little luck on their side, as a Gustie shot squirted safely across the crease behind Christian at the 12-minute mark of the period. The luck didn’t last long, as Gustavus stole the puck at the blue line from the Piper defensemen and took it in on a breakaway for a 3-2 lead at 13:33 in the second. The Gusties added their fourth goal less than a minute later at 14:22.

As the Pipers began to pressure the Gusties in the final two minutes of the second period, Hamline went on a power play at 18:47. They will begin the third period with 47 seconds remaining on their power play.

Gustavus killed off the remaining 47 seconds of the Piper power play to start the third. The two teams skated even-strength scoreless hockey for the next 12 minutes.

That ended at 13:32 when a rebound from a Gustie shot bounced out into the slot and Gustavus put it in the net to make the final score 5-2.

With the loss, Hamline ends the 2008-09 season at 16-11-1, 9-7-0 MIAC record, while Gustavus is at 17-10-0, 10-6-0 MIAC.