October 29, 2011

Kastner, Jones Stand Tall As Pipers Outlast Yellowjackets, 3-2

It was the type of win that can even make a bus ride from Superior seem like a lot of fun. Erin Kastner (Sr., Faribault, Minn.) snapped a 2-2 tie in the third period and Nicole Jones (Sr., Mora, Minn.) kicked out 43 shots as Hamline's women's hockey team earned a split of their weekend series with a 3-2 win over  Wisconsin-Superior at Wessman Arena. Haley Johnson (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.) and Jessica Kraus (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) also scored for the Pipers, who came back strong after a closer-than-it-looked 5-1 loss Friday night.

The trend for the day was set in the first period. UWS outshot the Pipers, 17-2 but left the ice with a 1-1 tie. The Yellowjackets scored first but Johnson responded with an unassisted goal at 19:34.

Kraus put the Pipers ahead in the first minute of the second period. The lead held until the 'Jackets, who held a 13-8 edge in shots on goal, tied it up late in the period.

The next goal would be the big one. At 9:02 of the final frame, Johnson knocked a puck free that rolled to Kastner, who whipped a backhander into the top of the net to break the tie for good. UWS kept Jones busy in the session but she kicked away 15 shots, surviving a frantic last-minute after the 'Jacket goalie was pulled for a sixth attacker. The victory evened Hamline's 2011-12 record at 1-1 and marked their first triumph in six tries against Wisconsin-Superior.

The Pipers are off next week. They open up MIAC conference play November 11 at St. Mary's. The teams will play Nov. 12 at Drake Arena in St. Paul.