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Pioneers end losing streak

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

Park City’s semi-pro hockey team, the Pioneers, ended a four-game losing streak by defeating the Ogden Sabres 12-4 at the Park City Ice Arena on Jan. 8.

The Pioneers had been missing several key players due to injury and some players who had other obligations over the holidays. David Imonti, Pioneers manager and forward, said the team had also become complacent after winning the majority of its games in the first half of the season. The answer, he said: bring in Jason McCrimmon, a defenseman from Detroit.

"An acquisition like Jason was huge," Imonti said. "He’s an intimidating player. He’s very physical and a good skater. I think that he’s someone that not only the fans will love, but the guys on the team are already very impressed with."

And the fans definitely responded Friday night with nearly 250 people cheering on the Pioneers. Parkite and defenseman Scott McKay started off the night with the Pioneers’ first goal, and McKay’s first for the season. The Pioneers followed with four more goals in the first period and kept the Sabres scoreless.

Ogden was able to score one goal in the second period, but couldn’t keep up with the Pioneers who scored four more. In an attempt to get the momentum going on Ogden’s side, a Sabre began a fight with Pioneers’ defenseman Jan Prusa with four minutes left in the period.

"It was an even fight with Jan coming out on top," Imonti said. "The (Sabre) put up a good fight. There were a lot of blows exchanged. Jan did his victory lap around the ice and everyone made a lot of noise."

Imonti said it is Prusa’s job to stand up for the Pioneers.

"He’s definitely our heavyweight tough guy," he said. "He’s the goon. I mean that in the most sincere way. He lets everyone know that if they take liberties with (any of the Pioneers), he’ll be there."

Ogden was able to score three more goals in the third period with the Pioneers matching that with three of their own.

"They got better as the game went along," Imonti said of the Sabres. "They started to gel a little bit. We’re going to play them a couple more times this year and I expect them to get better. The score did not reflect how close the game was. They played amazing but we just capitalized a little more on our chances than they did. They didn’t quit and they kept going hard all night."

The Pioneers will travel to McCall, Idaho, on Jan. 22-23 before playing another home game against Jackson Hole on Jan. 29.

"They’re going to be a very good team," Imonti said of Jackson Hole. "I think that will be a very close game. They’re a very physical team and it should be an entertaining game to watch. A lot of hard hitting."

SCORING SUMMARY

1st period

(PC) Scott McKay. Assists: David Imonti, Jeff Jacobs

(PC) Tom Gatta. Assists: Mike Adamek, Adam Kostichka

(PC) Kevin Labatte. Assists: Mike Spawton, Aaron Burrell

(PC) Colton McDonald. Assists: Jeff Jacobs

(PC) Mike Spawton. Assists: Aaron Burrell

2nd period

(PC) Kevin Labatte. Assists: Aaron Dufford

(Ogden) Dave Lorenzen. Assists: Scott Lam, Reid Mayer

(PC) Adam Kostichka. Assists: Tom Gatta

(PC) Scott McKay. Assists: Adam Kostichka, Clint Lucas

(PC) Clint Lucas. Assists: Adam Kostichka, Mike Adamek

3rd period

(Ogden) Ian Soldano. Assists: Steve Soto, Kyle Welty

(PC) David Imonti. Assists: Colton McDonald, Adam Campbell

(Ogden) Ricky King. Assists: Jon Berry, Eric Gibb

(PC) Adam Kostichka. Assists: Jason McCrimmon, Tom Gatta

(PC) Jason McCrimmon. Assists: Aaron Dufford, Tom Gatta

(Ogden) Dave Lorenzen. Assists: Kyle Welty, Steve Soto


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