The Pioneer boys’ hockey team held off a two-man advantage, scored three first-period goals and improved to 4-4 on the season with a 3-1 win over Dexter on Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Arena.
The Pioneers controlled much of the first period, both physically and on the scoreboard.
After trading penalties back and forth early on, Gaiden Heatley opened the scoring for Pioneer on a power-play goal at the 9:15 mark. With Dexter goalie Kris Eberly screened, Heatley’s goal came on a wrist shot from the right point that found a wide open hole in the top left corner.
Pioneer defenseman Jack Miling extended the lead to 2-0 over the Dreadnaughts with 1:42 left in the first, and Nolan Dresch collected his second assist of the night.
SEE VIDEO OF TWO PIONEER GOALS https://weloveannarbor.com/2017/12/22/hockey-video-action-including-2-goals-from-pioneers-win-over-dexter/
Moments later, Dexter’s Ryan Lotz was sent off for a 5 minute major penalty and a 10 minute misconduct. The Pioneer power play efficiently moved the puck around in the Dexter end and Jackson Roberts made it a 3-0 game.
Joe Foster and David Rudberg were credited with assists on the power play goal as the period wound to a close.
The balance of the game saw goalies at each end of the ice turning away occasional scoring chances generated by the forward lines, but neither offense was able to break through.
Pioneer coach Frank Garcia rolled the third and fourth lines on regular shifts throughout the contest as Pioneer seemed to be dictating the pace of play most of the way.
Patrick Newton was again a solid performer for Pioneer, but his bid for a shutout fell just short when Dexter’s Alex Mills tucked a shot into the net with just over a minute left in the game.
Dexter Coach Donnie Busdeker said the Dreadnaughts are improving.
“As a team we take it one period, one day and one game at a time,” he said. “We hold each other accountable and try to get better each day. It’s a work in progress but we are headed in the right direction.”
Busdeker said his team’s slow start proved costly in the end.
“We were a little flat in the first period which led to a couple undisciplined penalties and they capitalized on their power-play chances and that was the difference,” Busdeker said. “We made adjustments in the second and third periods. I thought we played a good third period.”
Dexter is off until Jan. 5.
The Pioneers return to action Friday (Dec. 22) when they travel to face off against Woodhaven. Game time is 7 p.m. at Woodhaven Brownstown Ice Center.