February 28, 2009

Pipers head to MIAC championship game

The #4 seed Pipers, who won the 2007-08 MIAC championship, traveled to Northfield to take on the 2008-09 MIAC champion and #1 seed Oles in the semifinal game on Saturday night.

With the win over St. Olaf, Hamline moves on to play #2 seed Gustavus, who defeated St. Thomas in the other semifinal, in the MIAC championship game. The winner of that game will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

That championship game will be in St. Peter on Wednesday, March 4. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.

The Pipers wasted little time in scoring once they got to Northfield, as Brian Arrigoni (Fy., Saint Paul, Minn.) scored the first goal just 67 seconds after the opening puck drop. Ryan Kupperman (So., Canterbury, N.H.) earned the assist.

Kupperman then upped the lead to 2-0 when he scored at 3:25 off of a a pair of passes from Kelly Plude (Fy., Elk River, Minn.) and Chris Berenguer (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.).

St. Olaf scored their lone foal at 12:56 in the first to send the teams into the locker room for the first time at 2-1 in favor of the visitors.

Hamline then scored three unanswered power play goals to win the game by the final 5-1 score.

Jared Hummel (So., Eagan, Minn.) lit the lamp for the first of those three goals at 13:39 in the second. Berenguer and Dustin Fulton (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) were credited with the assists. The goal was the only score of the second period, as Hamline carried a 3-1 lead into the final 20 minutes.

Berenguer then added a goal to his two assists already tallied when he scored at 13:02. Andrew Birkholz (Sr., Maple Grove, Minn.) had the assist.

Kupperman then scored his second goal of the game at 19:10 to give the Pipers the four-goal margin of victory. Arrigoni and Cory Krogen (Jr., Marshall, Minn.) were credited with the assists.

Beau Christian (Fy., Moorhead, Minn.) made 27 stops in goal, including 13 in the final period of play, for Hamline.

The Piper power play unit was 3-for-6 in power play chances. The penalty kill unit stopped St. Olaf from scoring on all four of their power play opportunities.

With the win, the Pipers take a 16-10-1, 9-7-0 MIAC record into the MIAC title game.