The No. 2 seed Gustavus men’s hockey team will face No. 4 seed Hamline in the MIAC Playoff Championship on Wednesday night at Don Roberts Ice Rink with an 8:00 p.m. puck drop. The winner will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament Gustavus enters the contest at 16-10-0, while Hamline comes in at 16-10-1. The Gustavus Sports Information Department will be providing a live video broadcast of the game as well as live statistics. Tom Wheeler will be handling the play-by-play duties.
*No. 2 seed Gustavus is making its first appearance in the MIAC Playoff Championship game since 2001-02 when St. Thomas defeated the Gusties 3-2. Gustavus earned its spot in the title game by defeating the No. 3 seed Tommies 3-1 on Saturday night. This is the seventh title game appearance for Gustavus since the post-season format began in 1986-87. It also marks the first time the Gusties have hosted the conference championship game.
*No. 4 seed Hamline won its opening round MIAC game at home over Augsburg, 5-4, before defeating top-seeded St. Olaf on the road in the semifinals, 5-1. This is the second consecutive MIAC championship game appearance for the Pipers as they fell to St. Thomas 4-1 in last year’s title game.
*Gustavus leads the all-time series 89-14-1 over Hamline. The Gusties and the Pipers squared off in the final series of the regular season just 12 days ago. The home team was victorious in each game as Hamline won 5-2 in St. Paul and Gustavus won 3-2 in St. Peter. Wednesday night’s contest is the first post-season meeting between the squads.
*The Pipers are 15th in Division III in scoring offense at 4.11 goals per game, while Gustavus is close behind at 19th with 3.88 goals per contest. Defensively, the Gusties have allowed 2.77 goals per game compared to 2.96 goals allowed by Hamline.
*In the regular season series between the squads, special teams played a key role. Gustavus scored four of its five goals during the series with the extra attacker, while Hamline scored three of its seven goals on the power play. The Gusties are the fifth least penalized team in Division III averaging 11.8 minutes per game compared to the Pipers who are the tenth most penalized team with an average of 20.7 minutes per game.
*Gustavus has a power-play efficiency of 21.9 percent (37/169) and has killed off 79.3 percent of its penalties (92/116). Hamline has a power-play efficiency of 23.5 percent (38/162) and has killed off 79.2 percent of its penalties (126/159).
*Hamline started the season at 9-2-0, but lost seven of its next 11 games to drop the record to 12-9-1. However, the Pipers have bounced back winning four of their last five games to bring their record to 16-10-1. In its last four wins, Hamline has averaged 4.75 goals.
*Piper defenseman Chris Berenguer was named the MIAC Men’s Hockey Player of the Week after leading Hamline with six points on two goals and four assists in the Pipers’ two playoff victories. Against Augsburg, Berenguer had a goal and two assists in the 5-4 victory that sent Hamline to the semifinal game. In Saturday’s 5-1 win over #1 seed St. Olaf, Berenguer once again had a goal and two assists and was on the ice for all five scores.
*Both goaltenders in Wednesday’s contest have nearly identical goals against averages as Gustavus’ Matt Lopes has a 2.32 goals against average compared to Hamline’s Beau Christian, who has a 2.39 goals against average. Lopes is 9-4-0, while Christian is 9-6-1.
*Junior forward David Martinson has recorded a point in 10 of the last 11 games for the Gusties. During the stretch, he has tallied nine goals and eight assists for 17 points, bringing his season totals to 24 goals and 13 assists for 37 points. Martinson’s 24 goals are the second-highest total among Division III players.
*First-year forward Ross Ring-Jarvi is Gustavus’ second-leading scorer with seven goals and 21 assists. His 28 points are the most points compiled by a Gustie rookie since 2001-02 when Joe Ulwelling posted 32 points on 10 goals and 22 assists in his first collegiate season.
*Gustavus is 11-2-0 when Patrick Dynan registers a point.