Sporting their new road jerseys patterned after the iconic Montreal Canadians, the Pioneers stormed into J.F. Kennedy Arena in Trenton and earned their first win of the season with a 9-1 rout of Riverview.
The Pioneers improved to 1-3 on the season. They return to action on Wednesday against Ann Arbor Huron. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.
Junior forward Gaiden Heatly led the offensive blitz with a five-goal performance while senior captain Casmir Mankowski tallied two goals.
Wyatt Bullinger rounded out the scoring for the Pioneers.
After taking a penalty early in the first period, Pioneer fell behind early on a power play goal by Riverview. That turned out to be the only goal surrendered by freshman goalie Robbie Haviland, seeing his first regular-season action in net for the varsity squad.
Haviland handed in a masterful performance, calmly turning away 13 shots on goal and handling the puck well during scrambles in front of the net. He also got some help. In the defensive zone, Pioneer shot blockers did a great job of making sure a lot of Riverview’s shots aimed toward the net never got through.
After grabbing a 4-1 lead in the first period, the second period turned into something of a penalty festival as the Pioneers were forced to kill off two Riverview power plays with Pioneer down two men.
The turning point in the game occurred when Healty emerged from the penalty box after serving a 2 minute roughing call and Jackson Roberts executed a perfect stretch pass that sent Heatly in alone to score Pioneer’s lone goal of the period.
The contest came to an early conclusion after Pioneer exploded for four goals in the third period and officials stopped play with 5:05 remaining in regulation time.