Saline Hockey Opens with Tie of Pioneer


If the 2021/2022 season opener for the Saline hockey team is any indication of the upcoming season, then it should be an exciting year for the Hornets.

The Hornets hosted rival Ann Arbor Pioneer in the opener Wednesday night and came away with an exciting 3-3 tie with the Pioneers.

Saline got off to a quick start when Aidan Granica fired a shot on net during a power-play and the rebound came right back to him and he tucked it home for a 1-0 lead at 6:15 of the first period.

Aidan Granica celebrates his powerplay goal with Griffin Clark to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. Photo by Mike Williamson

Pioneer would go on the power-play, but Saline captain Griffin Clark stepped in front of a pass and broke away on net and flipped it home for a shorthanded goal just 32 seconds later to make it 2-0 Hornets.

On the same power-play Pioneer would answer back with a PP goal 39 seconds later to cut the lead to 2-1 after one period.

Griffin Clark scores shorthanded for the Hornets to make it 2-0. Photo by Mike Williamson

Pioneer would waste no time in the second period by netting the tying goal 41 seconds into the period to tie it a 2-2.

Saline would quickly retake the lead when Blake Woodrel wristed home a shot 43 seconds later to put the Hornets up 3-2.

Pioneer would go on another power-play and tied the game when they flipped home a rebound with 9:45 left in the second to make it 3-3.

The teams would go back and forth with both having quality chances, but Saline goaltended Tyler Schroeder and Pioneer goalie Elliot Davis came up big multiple times to keep the game tied.

Tyler Schroeder makes a save in net against Pioneer. Photo by Mike Williamson

The Hornets were called for a 5-minute major for hitting in the back with 14:09 left, but the Hornets had better scoring chances in the five-minute penalty then Pioneer did. Saline had a couple of breakaways on net, but Davis came up with a pair of huge saves to keep it tied at three.

Saline would go on the power-play with 1:58 left in the third and got a couple of shots on net but was called for holding with 26 seconds left to end the threat.

Pioneer opened the overtime period on the power-play, but the Hornets killed the penalty with no harm.

Neither team would find then net in the final 6 minutes and the game ended in the 3-3 tie.

Clark picked up a goal and assist to lead Saline. Granica and Woodrel each had goals, while Mateo Iadipaolo added an assist. Schroeder finished with 22 saves in net for the Hornets.

Saline returns to action Saturday when they host Livonia Stevenson at 7:00pm at the AA Ice Cube.

Photos by Mike Williamson

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