It took the Hamline's men's hockey team less than a minute to get accustomed to their new home ice. Jordan Van Gilder scored 37 seconds into the game, starting a night of offense that ended with the Pipers claiming a 6-4 victory in their conference opener at the their new home ice, the Vadnais Heights Sports Complex. Five other Pipers also scored as the defending conference champs improved their overall mark to 3-2-0 under first year head coach Scott Steffen.
The Pipers outshot the Cardinals, 35-22 before an appreciative crowd. In addition to Van Gilder, Joe Rubbelke, Brian Arrigoni. Nick Widing, Zach Johnson and Ryan McElhone also scored.
Van Gilder stuffed a shot from the short side on the game's first shot to get the game off to a roaring start. The Cardinals (0-5) tied it up but Rubbelke floated a shot through traffic for his first collegiate goal to make it 2-1 at 12:24. Arrigoni broke away to make it 3-1 but SMU came back to tie the game early in the second period on a power play goal. Widing then jammed his third goal of the season home at 1:40 of the middle frame to give HU a lead they wouldn't give up. Johnson and McElhone scored 2:05 apart in the third period to put the game out of reach.
12 different Pipers had at least one point in the balanced offensive attack.
Beau Christian had 18 saves in goal to earn the win.
Box Score Here
The teams will see each other again Saturday night in Winona. Game time is 7:00 p.m.