The Gustavus men’s hockey team was unable to overcome a two-goal deficit in the first period as Hamline went on to hand the Gusties a 5-2 loss in St. Paul on Friday night. Joe Long scored two goals for the Pipers, including the final goal of the game that sealed the win three minutes into the third period. Despite the loss, Gustavus clinched a spot in the MIAC Playoffs next week, but is now tied with Hamline for third place in the league standings at 9-6-0.
The Pipers lit the lamp first when Chris Berenguer found the back of the net on a power play at the 7:23 mark of the opening period. Hamline added to its lead five minutes later when Joe Long scored his tenth goal of the season. Jared Hummel and Jordan VanGilder were credited with assists on the play. The Gusties regained some momentum before intermission when Ross Ring-Jarvi scored a power play goal to cut the deficit in half with 2:13 remaining in the period as David Martinson and Brad Wieck picked up assists.
Gustavus put increased pressure on the Pipers during the second period, but it was Hamline who scored first midway through the frame when Jared Hummel put the Pipers ahead 3-1. Seconds later, Hamline was whistled for a boarding penalty, which the Gusties took advantage of when Rory Dynan scored to again bring Gustavus to within one goal at 11:40. Casey Dynan and Spencer Campion were given assists. However, the Pipers responded on the very next shift when Dustin Fulton got the puck past Gustie goaltender Josh Swartout at the 12:05 mark to give Hamline a 4-2 advantage heading into the final period.
Joe Long scored his second goal of the game was unassisted at 3:25 in the third to give the Pipers an insurance goal. Gustavus did not score the rest of the way as Hamline clinched a spot in the post-season with the victory.
Gustie goaltender Josh Swartout suffered the loss as he made 23 saves, while allowing five goals as his record fell to 7-6-0. Piper goaltender Beau Christian stopped 27 shots and gave up two goals in the win as he improved his record to 7-5-1.
Gustavus, which moved to 14-10-0 overall, will finish the regular season on Saturday against Hamline at Don Roberts Ice Rink with the puck dropping at 7:05 p.m.