March 05, 2011

Pipers win MIAC tournament championship and earn bid to NCAAs

For the Pipers, it was their third appearance in the MIAC championship game in four years and this time they earned the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament that begins next week.

Hamline started off quickly on their home ice, scoring three goals in the opening nine minutes and three seconds of play.

Just 52 seconds after the opening puck drop, Chris Berenguer (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) passed the puck up to Jordan Van Gilder (Jr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) in the neutral zone. Van Gilder skated all the way up through the left circle and went top shelf to score the opening goal.

Exactly five minutes after the game started, Brett Burgau (Sr., New Ulm, Minn.) chipped the puck into the net after a scramble just outside the crease. A similar play allowed Brian Arrigoni (Jr., Saint Paul, Minn.) to score at 9:03.

Austun Tavis (Sr., Grand Rapids, Minn.) and Jake Heck (Fy., Edina, Minn.) were credited with the assists on Burgau's goal. Ryan Kupperman (Sr., Canterbury, N.H.) and Alex Lundbohm (Sr., Roseau, Minn.) had the assists on Arrigoni's tally.

The Cobbers scored the lone goal of the second period 14 seconds after they began their only power play of the first two periods.

Caleb Sunderman (Fy., Winkler, Minn.) scored from Pat Deitz (So., Moorhead, Minn.) and Erick Galt (Jr., Fargo, N.D.) at 11:07.

Arrigoni scored his second goal of the game three minutes into the third period, giving Hamline a three-goal cushion once again. Lundbohm and Jay Fifield (Sr., Eden Prairie, Minn.) had the assists.

The Cobbers wouldn't go away easily, however, and scored at 10:19 in the third, one second after a Piper penalty expired. Aaron Wheeler (So., Moorhead, Minn.) scored the goal from Deitz and Braden Rahman (Fy., Moorhead, Minn.).

Hamline proved to be too much for the Cobbers, however, and Arrigoni finished off the hat trick at 19:26 with the empty-netter for the 5-2 win. Berenguer and Kupperman were credited with the assists.

The Pipers will learn on Monday morning where, when, and against whom they will play when the NCAA announces the final selections and tournament pairings. Hamline will play their first game on either Wednesday, March 9 or on Saturday, March 12.

Hamline is now 16-6-5 overall after finishing the regular season at 9-3-4 in the MIAC. Concordia finished the season at 11-11-4 overall and posted an MIAC record of 7-5-4.