HOCKEY: Pioneer Defeats Saline in Regional


The Saline hockey team's post-season ended quickly, as the Hornets lost to Pioneer, 5-2, in a pre-regional game played at the Kensington Valley Ice House.

Mateo Iadipaolo scored a first-period goal for the Hornets. Blake Woodrel scored in the third to cut Pioneer's lead to 3-2, but the Pioneers scored twice to close out the game.

Saline coach Kyle Zagata said Saline was slowed by an illness making its way through the team, but he also credited Pioneer for playing a great game.

"We've got a lot of guys sick. Only 10 players were at practice yesterday. We didn't play our best, Zagata said. "But credit coach Drew Collins. He had a good game plan and the kids over there stuck with it."

Saline opened the scoring late in the first when Captain Mateo Iadipaolo got the puck inside his own blue line, raced up the ice, and turned a defender inside out to create just enough room to beat the Pioneer goalie with a wrist shot.


Things looked pretty good for the Hornets as they went into the second period with the lead and a carry-over powerplay. Unfortunately, Pioneer scored the next two goals, turning misplays in the neutral zone into breakaway goals. Pioneer led 2-1 after two.

The Pioneers scored a powerplay goal early in the third to take a 3-1 lead.


The Hornets climbed back in the game momentarily when Jack Boyle set up Captain Blake Woodrell on the faceoff dot for powerplay one-timer that made it 3-2.

Pioneer replied within the minute, however, to make it 4-2, and then scored an empty-net goal to seal the victory. Pioneer will play Brighton on Saturday.

Saline's season is over - but not before the Hornets won the SEC Red.

"It is tough, losing to a rival like that. We had a different team this year with so much growing to do. We did a ton of that growing," Zagata said. "For us to pull through that adversity and win the conference, that was awesome. We were chugging along and it was a tough time to get sick. We hit a rut and we were fighting the puck all night."

Zagata credited the seniors for leading the young team throughout the season.

Pictured above are Blake Woodrel, Aidan Rumohr, Owen Warner, coach Kyle Zagata, Tyler Schroeder, Brehima Sissoko and Mateo Iadipaolo.

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