More often than not in playoff hockey, the team that takes advantage of its advantages ends up moving on and the team that doesn’t ends up going home. In simple terms, Saline took advantage of its man-advantages while Pioneer failed to convert and that ended up being the difference in Saturday’s Division 1 Regional semifinal hockey game at the Kennedy Ice Center in Trenton.
The Hornets broke a 1-1 tie with two power-play goals in the third period and skated to a 4-1 win over Pioneer. Saline gets the momentous task of facing Trenton in the championship game. The Trojans beat Woodhaven 9-1 in the second semifinal game.
Let’s pick this up at the start of the third period.
With the game tied at 1-1, Pioneer started the final period with a man advantage for 4:28 after Saline was called for boarding late in the second period. The Hornets, however, continued to play solid defense and kept the Pioneers out of the net despite being down a player.
Pioneer was given a 5-minute major penalty for charging and the Hornets not only scored, but they scored twice during the man advantage.
Mateo Iadipaolo scored with assists from Joe Raupp and Griffin Clark to make it 2-1 with 11:45 left in the game. And with just 15 seconds left on the power play, Clark scored (from Raupp and Aidan Granica) to push Saline’s lead to 3-1 with 9:31 left in the game.
Pioneer had a few chances to get the game back to one goal but couldn’t convert, including during a power play late in the game. Saline added an empty-net goal with 51.9 seconds to finish the scoring.
After a scoreless first period, Raupp started the scoring with an unassisted goal with 6:09 left in the second period to give Saline a 1-0 lead. Pioneer answered on an unassisted goal by Thomas Kreske with 1:19 left in the period.
Saline had 28 shots on Pioneer goalie Elliot Davis, who played a solid game in net for the Pioneers.
Each team had four penalties in the game.