Pioneers continue hot streak
Ryan Summerlin January 29, 2013
The Park City Pioneers slow start is now a thing of the past.
After starting the season 1-7, the Pioneers have won five straight games in blowout fashion.
This weekend, Park City continued its winning ways, defeating the Aspen Leafs 12-2 on Friday night and 9-0 on Saturday at the Park City Ice Arena.
Protecting a 3-1 lead after the first period of Friday night’s game, the Pioneers allowed the Leafs to close the gap to 3-2 only 32 seconds into the second frame.
But strong play from goalie Eric Moldenhauer and the Park City defense kept the Leafs from finding the back of the net for the final 39 minutes of the game.
Meanwhile, the Pioneer offense exploded, scoring nine unanswered goals five in the second, four in the third. Park City’s depth and unselfishness was on display in the last two periods, with nine different players scoring the final nine goals.
"All our guys are coming together and we’re starting to gel," defensive newcomer Billy Berner said.
On Saturday night, Kyle Gover made history, becoming the first goalie to record a shutout in the history of the Mountain West Hockey League.
Berner said it was important that the Pioneers maintain their intensity after an easy win on Friday night.
"You have a tendency to dip down to (the opponent’s) level," he said. "But you have to know what your capabilities are and stick to your level. We just want to keep playing hard that’s the main thing."
He added that coach Dave Decker keeps the team focused during intermissions.
"He’s giving us some good advice in the locker room in between periods," he said. "He’s making sure we’re making our plays and not breaking down."
Forward Matt Long had a great performance during the two-game series, scoring five goals and dishing out three assists. Brian Babbitt displayed some outstanding passing, picking up six assists, and Michael Spawton had two assists for his first points of the season.
The Pioneers (6-7) will be back in action at 1 p.m. on Feb. 3 against the Rebels of Salt Lake at the Acord Ice Arena in West Valley. They will be back at home on Friday, Feb. 8, against the Sun Valley Suns. The game will begin at 9:15 p.m. On Saturday afternoon, the two teams will play at the Midway Ice Arena in the 2013 Outdoor Classic. That game will begin at 2 p.m.