Boys Varsity Hockey · Boys Varsity Hockey beats Ann Arbor Skyline 6 – 2


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Pioneer High School vs Ann Arbor Skyline
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Sometimes when a team scores its goals seems almost as important as how many. In that respect, the Pioneer’s timing was impeccable Monday night as they earned the right to advance in the MHSAA state playoffs with a 6-2 win over Ann Arbor Skyline.
After surrendering a goal midway through the first period, senior Jack Miling teed up a one time blast on a pass from Joe Foster to even the score with 15 seconds remaining in the opening period. As the teams headed off to their locker rooms for the first intermission, Pioneer emotions ran high as they looked to capitalize on the sudden shift in momentum.
The momentum clearly carried over. When play resumed, Pioneer skaters were looking to initiate contact and force the action at both ends of the ice. At the 6:29 mark of the 2nd period, the Pioneer’s aggressive play paid off as they grabbed a 2-1 lead on some crisp puck movement between Nolan Dresch and Gaiden Heatley that left Wyatt Bullinger open for the score. But it was Jack Miling who again stunned the Eagles with another goal late in the 2nd period. Taking a pass from Bullinger, Miling released a dart that found the back of the net and claimed a 3-1 lead with 39 seconds remaining in the period. A boisterous Pioneer student section roared their appreciation and the student celebration and didn’t begin to settle down until well after the Zamboni had completed several laps.
Starting center Jackson Roberts has been dominant force in the face off circle for the Pioneers much of this season, but it was his opening face off win coupled with a scorching one-timer off a Heatly feed that broke the Eagles back just 10 seconds into the final period. The Roberts goal revved up the Pioneer fan base as the Pioneer bench exploded in excitement as the sweet prospect of knocking a crosstown rival out of the playoffs seemed that much closer.
When Skyline cut the Pioneer lead to 4-2, the Pioneers responded with a grinding physical style of play that made scoring chances difficult to come by. What scoring chances Skyline did manufacture throughout the rest of the contest were efficiently snuffed out by Pioneer net minder Patrick Newton who was flawless through the final 15 minutes. Late goals by Bullinger and the hat-trick completion goal from Miling put an exclamation point on the win as the Pioneers advance in the region to face Ann Arbor Huron on Thursday at the Chelsea Arctic Coliseum. Game time is 7:00 PM