With 8 minutes to play in the third period and going on the power play, Riverview decided to pull its goalie in an attempt to get back in the game against a strong Pioneer team on Saturday afternoon at the Ice Cube. The Pioneers led 5-2 at the time and the Pirates needed all the firepower they could muster to try and at least make it a two-goal game.
It was a good strategy. But the Pioneers, led by goalie Robby Haviland, turned Riverview away and maintained the three-goal lead. Even after the Pioneers killed the power play, the Pirates kept their goalie on the bench and tried to get that third goal. It would never happen.
With 47.5 seconds left in the game, Pioneer’s Adam Karibian scored an empty-net goal to finish off Riverview and send Pioneer to a 6-2 win.
Haviland made 39 saves in the game, including 18 in the final period. Riverview goalie Josiah Dembrosky wasn’t quite as busy but the Pioneers made the most of their 22 shots on goal.
Ethan Kotre (from Jack Ceccacci and Francis Roderique) put Pioneer ahead with a goal at 10:04 of the first period. But Riverview got a goal from Luke Lenden (from Ryan Herzog and Gavin Holmes) to even the score at 13:06.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one.
Holmes scored in the first 2 minutes of the second period to put the Pirates ahead 2-1. But less than 2 minutes later, Gabe Resnicow scored with assists from Ceccacci and Jack Martin to tie the game at 2-2. It turned out to be the first of four straight goals from the home team in the second period.
Resnicow scored again at 8:25 with an assist from Martin to give Pioneer a 3-2 lead.
Then came the goal of the game. Ceccacci, a junior forward, slid the puck between a Riverview defender’s legs and cut around him to regain the puck and then fired a perfect shot past Dembrosky to give Pioneer a 4-2 lead at 13:48. Tristan Wilkins earned the assist on the goal that sent the Pioneer crowd and bench into a frenzy.
At 15:03 of the second period, Liam Schaefer scored with an assist from Ceccacci to give the home team a 5-2 lead after two periods.