Grosse Ile and visiting Riverview Gabriel Richard closed out a busy weekend of hockey on Saturday night with an intense battle on the ice at Kennedy Recreation Center.
The two Metro League squads went to overtime and ultimately wrapped up with a 2-2 tie.
Richard (4-2-1) had played earlier in the day and knocked off Woodhaven 5-0. It followed up a 2-1 loss on Friday night at Chelsea.
“It’s good playing tired because when it comes to the playoffs you’re going to play tired and you’ve got to makes decisions and make good decisions, said Pioneers coach Rick DeSana. “When you’re tired that’s when the team makes the most mistakes and makes mental errors with the puck.”
The Red Devils (3-2-1) were coming off a 5-0 win at home over Divine Child the previous night.
As for Saturday’s action, Richard was up 2-1 late in the second period when Grosse Ile got a goal from Adam Kargenian to even things up.
The Pioneers had several scoring chances in the third period, including two 5-on-3 power plays, yet couldn’t put another puck in the net. Devils goaltender Owen Bonham stopped all 16 shots he faced in the period and for the night turned away 37 of 39 shots.
“Owen is a solid goalie,” said Grosse Ile coach Jason Durbin. “He got all of last year, for the most part, to get his experience when our senior goaltender when down with an injury last year. He’s carrying that into this year. He’s our captain, he’s our leader. We’re going to go as he goes.”
Richard’s Nicholas Abrahamson also came up big between the pipes, stopping 29 of the 31 shots fired at him.
It was the Pioneers who opened the scoring, thanks to a first-period goal from Brendan Pane. He struck with 3:49 remaining and was assisted by Nick Wisniewski.
For the Devils, Luke Auger tied the game less than two minutes into the second, assisted by Ben Carter and Travis Symons. It was a solid period overall for Grosse Ile, as it got off 13 shots on goal, scored twice and stayed out of the penalty box.
Just three minutes later, Auger skated in on Abrahamson and scored to make it a 2-2 game, assisted by Jack Cislo and Symons.
The Pioneers applied quite a bit of pressure in the third period, and skated with a two-man advantage twice for more than a minute, but couldn’t cash in.
Grosse Ile’s penalty kill went to work once more in overtime to keep the Pioneers off the board.
There was a flurry in front of the Richard net in the final seconds of the extra period but the Devils couldn’t push a puck across the line and the clock hit zero with things knotted up at 2-2.
Grosse Ile is scheduled to host Allen Park Cabrini on Thursday and face Riverview on Saturday.
The Pioneers were set to host U-D Jesuit on Monday and then play two games on Saturday again, facing host Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett in the morning at Warren De La Salle in the evening, also at Liggett.
In Richard’s 5-0 win over Woodhaven earlier in the day, Ryan Rainey was in goal and had 54 saves in the shutout. Offensively, Sebastian Potter had two goals and one assist while Chiles netted two goals and Nic DiSanto had a goal and an assist. Matthew Vazquez and Vinny Sensoli each had an assist, as well.
On Friday night, the Pioneers lost 2-1 in overtime at Chelsea. The lone goal game came from Jimmy Monks, assisted by Potter and Aiden Wishart. Abrahamson started in goal and stopped 25 of 27 shots.
For Grosse Ile, in its 5-0 win over Divine Child on Friday, Patrick Karn scored twice and had one assist Kargenian had a goal and an assist. Symons and Aiden Hennessey also scored while Luke Miller assisted on four of the goals and one assist each came from Auger, Carter, Presley Hubler and Nolan Karn.