Brendan Murphy scored three goals and Logan Dejanovich added a pair as Saline defeated Pioneer, 9-1, in the annual Thanksgiving eve game that ended due to the mercy rule just a moment into the third period.
But for a slow start – Pioneer scored first – it was utter domination.
Saline scored five powerplay goals and added a shorthanded tally.
The Hornets improved to 2-0.
Pioneer scored 24 seconds into the game after a giveaway in the Saline zone. Wyatt Bullinger beat Cam Crawford (15 saves on 16 shots) through the five hole.
It took the Hornets a little more than a minute to tie the score. Yanic Sadek raced up the right wing and fired a tough-angle shot that somehow squeezed between the pads of Robert Haviland.
With Mikhail Lozovyy in the box for charging, co-captain Gordie Niethammer scored the game winning goal. He raced up the middle for a breakaway and scored midway through the first. Late in the period, with David Packard in the box for an elbowing major, Saline took a commanding lead with two powerplay goals by Murphy.
On the first goal, Murphy collected a rebound in his own zone, rushed through traffic up the middle, deked the defenseman and then, one-on-one, beat the goalie five-hole as he crashed into the goal. Less than a minute later, Murphy scored again, taking a pass from Ben Wild and wiring a wrist shot into the top corner.
Saline led 4-1.
A little more than two minutes into the period, Wild scored to make it five one. Midway through the period, on the powerplay, Mason Ausmus rushed up the left wing, curled and pass to the oncoming Dejanovich, who buried a wristshot from the slot. Dejanovich scored another powerplay goal a little more than two minutes later. Connor Wright won the faceoff. Dejanovich passed to Ausmus on the point. He dealt it back to Dejanovich on the half-wall. Dejanoch skated in through the circle and sniped the far low corner to make it 7-1.
Wright added a powerplay goal 25 seconds later.
Early in the third period, Murphy took a pass from Will Wynn and ended the game with another hard shot from the point.
The Saline Post 3 Stars
- Brendan Murphy – The all-state defenseman rejoined the hockey team after a long football season and scored the hat trick and delivered a couple hard hits.
- Logan Dejanovich – Scored two goals, won faceoffs and helped keep the ice tilted toward Pioneer’s goal all night long.
- Connor Wright – Lots of options here, including Crawford (Stopped 15 of 16 shots), Mason Ausmus (two assists), Will Wynn (three assists) and Wild (1 goal, 1 assist), but Wright gets the nod with a goal and two assists.