Timing is, indeed, everything. Ryan McElhone was in perfect position as he drilled a rebound of a Nick Widing shot home 43 seconds into OT to lift Hamline to a 4-3 men's hockey victory over a stubborn St. Mary's team Saturday night in Winona. The defending champs are tied for first place in the MIAC with a 2-0 record and are 4-2 overall. It was also their second extra session win of the young season.
The Pipers fell into an early hole, trailing 2-0 after one period. But McElhone set up Austin Cihak for a power play goal 1:54 into the second and Joe Rubbelke scored for the second night in a row 35 seconds later to quickly tie the game at 2. It stayed that way until late in the second period when Cory Belisle connected on a power play for a 3-2 lead.
But the Cardinals tied it up early in the third period and put some late period pressure on HU goalie Beau Christian, who ended up with 26 saves.
In overtime, though, Widing had the first chance. SMU goalie Andy Scheib stopped him but McElhone swooped in and made no mistake with the rebound to finish off the series sweep.
The Pipers return to action next Friday in Northfield against a St. Olaf team that defeated and tied highly considered Concordia at home this weekend. The Oles are 3-1-2 overall. The teams will face off Saturday night at the Vadnais Heights Sports Complex, the Pipers' new home rink.
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