Washtenaw United, playing in its inaugural season, and Pioneer skated to a 3-3 tie on Thursday in a girls’ hockey matchup at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor.
In a celebration of girls’ high school hockey, Washtenaw offered to host the game to allow Pioneer parents to attend and celebrate the team’s Senior Night. Pioneer organized a brief pre-game event, acknowledging the 13 seniors on their varsity and JV teams. Washtenaw’s Linzy Costella, who will graduate from Manchester HS this spring, also was recognized.
Pioneer opened the scoring at 7:06 in the first period with a backdoor shot behind Washtenaw’s goalie Julia Scarcella (Saline ‘22). With less than 50 seconds remaining in the first period, Washtenaw made a key line change on an offensive zone faceoff and Costella tucked the puck behind Pioneer goaltender Cody Ross with assists from her teammates Sydney Clark (Saline ‘24) and Julia Berkholz (Dexter ‘24) to tie the game at 1-1.
The second period opened with a Pioneer penalty against Bella LoPresti but Washtenaw was unable to capitalize on the power play. Pioneer’s Nadia Tuzinsky scored to give Pioneer a 2-1 lead at 4:32 of the period, but Washtenaw’s Reese Caryl (Saline ‘22) answered the challenge by scoring with only 1:43 remaining on another assist from Berkholz.
Washtenaw started the third period short-handed but successfully pushed into Pioneer’s end and, in a flurry in front of Ross, Cecilia Henrickson (Chelsea ‘24) scored a shorthanded goal on an assist from Berkholz just before the penalty expired. With Washtenaw leading 3-2, Pioneer increased their offensive pressure, tripling the shots on goal they fired at Scarcella.
At 10:58 of the period, Tuzinsky slipped a shot under Scarcella’s feet to tie the game 3-3.
Despite chances by both teams in the last few minutes of the game, the tie score held. Pioneer’s Ross made 22 saves on the night and Scarcello had 26 saves for Washtenaw.
“We’re really happy with the effort of our team,” Washtenaw Coach Adam Winters said. “Pioneer is the program with the longest history in Washtenaw County and we’re the newest team in town. To have won our first game against them and then tie is a great sign of things to come for girls’ HS hockey in this area.”
Washtenaw travels to Grand Rapids for a re-match against the Griffins on Sunday and then host Skyline/Huron at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11. Limited spectators are allowed.
Pioneer hosts Bloomfield Hills on Wednesday.
Washtenaw United is a HS girls’ hockey team skating out of the Ann Arbor Ice Cube that serves players in Washtenaw County from Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester, and Milan. The team is in its first year of play, and is an affiliate member of the Michigan Girls High School Hockey League (MGHSHL) with plans of full membership into the league for the 2021-22 season.