Pioneers swept by St. Nicks |

Pioneers swept by St. Nicks

The Pioneers knew they probably weren’t going to win either of this weekend’s games against the New York St. Nicks, one of the top semipro hockey clubs in the country.

But Park City captain David Imonti hoped the games would serve as a wake-up call to his team, which has been struggling of late.

After a tough 13-4 loss on Friday night, Imonti was happy with the way the Pioneers played in a 7-1 loss on Saturday.

"Tonight, we’re proud of our efforts we put together a full game," he said. "It was probably the best game we’ve played all year."

Though the scoreboard was almost as lopsided as Friday night, Imonti said the game was closer than the score indicated.

"A couple bounces that were maybe questionable calls went their way, like in terms of goals that, in an NHL game, they might have reviewed," he said. "It could have been a 3-5 game or a 2-4 game, something like that."

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However, Imonti knows the Pioneers (11-11 overall, 9-3 in MWHL play) were simply outclassed this weekend, something he thinks the entire roster has learned from.

"We played great they’re just a very, very good team," he said. "If you look at their roster, every single one of them has played at an elite level. We’ve played high-level hockey too, but not on the same level as them."

If he could do it again, Imonti said he’d schedule the St. Nicks in a heartbeat.

"It’s a great test for us to play against teams like that," he said. "I think everyone had a great time playing them. It’s fun to play a team that goes 100 percent and doesn’t quit. Even until the last whistle, they were battling for loose pucks. They’re not dirty every hit they threw was clean. They’re true professionals."

But now, Imonti added, it’s time to refocus on the task at hand getting into top form before the MWHL playoffs. With one league home game against Aspen remaining (coming up Saturday at 7:15 p.m. at the Park City Ice Arena), he’s confident that the Pioneers can get back into the win column before the postseason.

"We split with them in Aspen with a very, very short bench," he said. "I’m confident in our abilities against that club. I think we just need to bring the same intensity and same fire and play as a team like we did tonight."

The proceeds from the series against New York benefited the Park City Day School. Profits from Saturday’s game against Aspen will go to the Park City Miners high school hockey program and the Park City Predators women’s hockey team.