Moose on the loose |

Moose on the loose

David Hampshire

On Jan. 29, in the only "away" game on their season schedule, the Jackson Moose lost a 6-5 overtime thriller to the Park City Pioneers at the Park City Arena.

Last weekend was a different story.

Playing on their home ice, the Moose handed the visiting Pioneers their hats, doling a pair of whippings, 13-4 and 11-6, Friday and Saturday

While acknowledging that the Pioneers "got blown out" in Friday’s game, David Imonti, the club’s general manager, said that both games were closer than the scores suggest.

"They’re a good team," Imonti said. "But we beat them when they were out here, so they are beatable."

Imonti offered that the five-hour drive to Jackson Hole may have put the Pioneers at a disadvantage Friday.

Recommended Stories For You

The leading scorer for the Pioneers was forward Solomon McCann, who had two goals in each game. Forward Aaron Burrell had two goals in Saturday’s game. Jeff Slack was the Pioneers’ goalie for both games.

According to the team’s season statistics (which don’t include the two Jackson Hole games), forward Adam Kostichka is the leading scorer with 19 goals and 11 assists. The leading "enforcer," with 60 penalty minutes in 11 games before he was called up to play for the Flint Generals of the IHL, is defenseman Jan Prusa. Not far behind, with 52 penalty minutes in 10 games, is Imonti.

"I’ve got to get on the scoreboard sheet somehow," he said.

After 18 games of a 23-game schedule, the Pioneers have an 8-10 record, with two of the wins and two of the losses coming in overtime. They are scheduled to play four of their remaining five games at the Park City Ice Arena, where they are 6-2. Their next opponent at home Friday at 7:45 p.m. — will be the Ogden Sabres, who lost to the Pioneers 12-4 in Park City Jan. 8. A previously scheduled Saturday home game has been changed to a skills clinic open to anyone.

Imonti described the Pioneers’ efforts to draw fans to their home games as "fairly successful" in their debut season.

"We’re getting 250 or 300 a game," Imonti said. "There’s always room for improvement, but we’re doing well." The Park City Ice Arena has a capacity of about 500. He said the Pioneers also have been getting good feedback from visiting teams.

Imonti expects few personnel changes between now and the last scheduled game on March 20. However, he said he’s already received about 40 e-mails from people interested in joining the team next year and expects to see a lot of new faces then.

"I think it will be a lot more competitive next year," he said. "I think there may be a lot more of a foreign flair."