College Hockey:
Men’s D-III Playoff Preview: Hamline

Hamline Pipers
Ranking: No. 9 USCHO poll,
Leading scorer: Brian Arrigoni — 19 goals, 17 assists, 36 points
Starting Goaltender: Beau Christian — 14-3-3, 2.39 goals-against, .912 save-pct.
Coach: Scott Bell (sixth season)

Hamline folks have reason to feel confident heading into the NCAA tournament this week.

For one, the Pipers have beaten both Wisconsin-Superior and St. Norbert during the regular season. Ninth-ranked Hamline travels to No. 13 UW-Superior for an NCAA first round game Wednesday. The winner advances to face No. 1 St. Norbert in the NCAA quarterfinals on Saturday.

The Pipers knocked off St. Norbert, 4-3, on Nov. 5 and beat the Yellowjackets, 4-1, on Jan. 7. Coach Scott Bell is bullish on his Pipers for other reasons.

In senior defenseman Chris Berenguer, the team has a three-time All-American who is “the best player to play at Hamline,” Bell says. “There’s not even a doubt about that.”

Netminder Beau Christian is focused on eclipsing the school’s all-time win mark and he’s only a junior. Upfront, Brian Arrigoni has put together an All-American season, Bell says.

Arrigoni netted three goals as the Pipers earned passage to the NCAA tournament by clipping a surging Concordia (Minn.) team, 5-2, in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship final Saturday.

“I don’t know where (Arrigoni) falls in with the other (All-American candidates), but as far as value to our team, he is our hardest hitting forward and he’s our most dynamic forward,” Bell says about his leading scorer. “He brings a lot of things to the table, and in the championship game, he scores a hat trick.”

Other scorers have also stepped up when needed, especially when Hamline’s needed a clutch goal to salvage a point in games the team was trailing in.
Jordan VanGilder’s third period goal rescued a 4-4 tie at St. Olaf on Dec. 4 while Kirk Olimb’s tally forged a 4-4 draw at St. Scholastica on Jan. 8. Against Bethel, VanGilder struck for a goal with 18 seconds left in regulation to preserve a 4-4 tie at Jan. 15.

Those gritty performances have defined the Pipers as much as victories over nationally-ranked teams Milwaukee School of Engineering (4-1 on Jan. 1) and St. Norbert.

The team’s self-belief hasn’t wavered since the season’s start.

“We felt we had a good team,” Bell says. “We’re as good as any team in the country and we are ready to roll.”

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  • Anonymous

    Hamline should be the home team in this affair.

  • guest

    Not going to mention that Hamline gets all the home team advantages in this one? Also, Berenguer will probably get his 3rd all american this year, but he currently is ‘only’ a 2-time AA.

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