The Pioneer hockey team skates into the new season with high expectations and their season opener only confirmed that this could be a pretty exciting year for Pioneer boys’ hockey.
The Pioneers opened the season last Thursday with an impressive 5-0 win over Riverview. Robby Haviland had the shutout in the net for the winners. Wyatt Bullinger had two goals to lead the offense.
Pioneer then knocked off Dearborn Divine Child 3-1 on Saturday. Gaiden Heatley scored twice and Wyatt Bullinger netted the other goal for Pioneer.
The Pioneers are coming off a solid season from a year ago in which they skated to a 17-10 overall record and landed second in both the SEC and the Metro League. Many of the key players from that impressive team are lacing up the skates again this year.
Top returners includes senior forward Gaiden Heatley, a First Team SEC and Metro League selection and Second Team All-State pick last year and the team captain this season. Senior forward Wyatt Bullinger, First Team Metro League; senior forward Jackson Roberts (Second Team Metro); and senior defenseman Joe Foster (assistant captain) also are back on the ice for the Pioneers.
Top newcomers include Adam Karbian (sophomore forward), Sean Fitzgerald (sophomore forward) and junior goalie Robby Haviland, who is getting the start this year in the pipes.
“Our strength will be depth at each position,” said Coach Frank Garcia. “We need to continue to improve our team defense, consistency, speed and perfect our team systems. The key will be team defense.”