Friday night the No. 13 Pioneers played like a top 10 team and cruised to a 4-1 victory over the rival CC Tigers. The storyline for the Pios continues to be solid goaltending by Sam "Great" Brittain, and scoring from Shore/Zucker/"put your name here" line, and a timely goal from an upperclassmen. In this case it was defenseman John Lee getting his third career goal and Luke Salazar scoring his fourth of season. Shore has a goal and two assists, while Zucker had a goal and an assist. Zucker also drew a penalty shot in the third period, but the Pios declined the penalty shot and opted to take the two-minute power play to take time off the clock (something I bet Dan Hawkins is thinking about today).
Brittain lost his chance at a second straight shutout when the Tigers scored a power-play goal late in the 3rd period. The good news from the game, the Pioneers went 2-4 on the man-advantage where they have been struggling all season.
Saturday night brought the chance of securing the Gold Pan Trophy, but after an early score from Drew Shore, the Pios collapsed. They gave up six power play goals on the way to the worst loss in 13 years, a 9-2 drubbing by the Tigers. Again the bright spot of the night for the Pios was the Shore/Zucker/Salazer line as Zucker finished off the night with a power play goal with 12 seconds to play.
A 4-4-2 start against Vermont, BC, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and CC bodes well for the young Pioneers. With the tough 10 game opening stretch under their belt, the Pioneers will now play their next six games at home against Minnesota State - Mankato, Bemidji State, Lake Superior State and Air Force. This would be a great time for the Pioneers to get on a hot streak!
Last, senior Jesse Martin's surgery goes as planned. We continue to wish him, his family and the Pioneers the best!