Scott Steffen, the newest head hockey coach in the MIAC, is finding out what his contemporaries already know. Every game is a dogfight. In this case, the dogfight had a happy end. Steffen's first game as Hamline coach was a tense one but ended well as HU was a 3-2 win over Bethel at Fogerty Arena as part of the MIAC Hockey Showcase.
Ryan McElhone (So., Zimmerman, Minn.) provided the margin of victory, taking feeds from Jordan Van Gilder (Sr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) and Cory Belisle (So., Andover, Minn.) for the winner with just 1:58 left in regulation time. Zach Johnson (So., Mound. Minn.) and Brian Arrigoni (Sr., Saint Paul, Minn.) added the other markers for the Pipers, who outshot the Royals, 34-23. Beau Christian (Sr., Moorhead, Minn.) recorded 21 saves in the HU net to earn the win.
HU was down 1-0 in the second period when Tyler Johnson (no relation) connected with Zach at 14:26 of the second period to tie the game at 1. Arrigoni then picked up where he left off from last year's All-American pace by breaking the deadlock in the first minute of the third period. But the Royals tied the game midway in the period. Belisle had an assist on that play as well.
McElhone, who had just returned to the ice after serving a penalty, then picked an excellent time to score his first collegiate goal late in the final period to break the tie for good.
Hamline (1-0) will face Augsburg Sunday at 4 p.m. at Fogarty Arena. The Auggies (1-0) defeated Bethel, 3-2, Friday night.