Pioneers looking for a late-season streak

Hank Minckiewicz

With the 2019-20 high school hockey season winding down and the Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs bearing down, the Gabriel Richard Pioneers find themselves in a pretty good position.

A late-January streak saw coach Rick DeSana’s team win four straight contests. The Pioneers knocked off Macomb Dakota, Allen Park, Roosevert and Ann Arbor Pioneer in back-to-back-to-back-to back outings. The Pioneers outscored those foes by a combined score of 19-4.

The first to fall was Dakota 5-2, then Allen Park 3-0, Wyandotte 6-1 and Pioneer 6-1. Drew Adams was the winning goalie against Dakota, Allen Park and Pioneer. Nick Abrahamson got the start against Wyandotte and stopped 12 of 13 shots for the victory.

In the win over Wyandotte, Abrahamson was backed two goals from Nathan Vazquez and one each from Sebastian Potter, Brenden Paden and Nic DiSanto/

In the win over Dakota, Richard got four goals from Vazques and one from Paden. Austin Harfrison assisted on three of the goals.

Against Pioneer, Harriosn led the way with two goals and another assist. Vazquez, Paden, Gavin Fink and Nick Palumbo also had goals.

In the win over Allen Park, Vazquez, Potter and James Monks. Adams stopped all 22 Allen Park shots to collect the shutout, his fourth of the season. He also shared a shutout with Abrahamson.

The winning streak left the Pioneers with a 13-6 record this season.

After the streak, Vazquez leads the team in scoring with 23 goals and 36 points. Harrison has 13 goals and 33. Points. Adams has played the great majority of games in goals for the Pioneers and he carries a 2.27 goals-against average and has a ,923 save percentage.

Richard has since played against Howell and Houghton at the MIHL Showcase and they will finish the regular season with games against Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day, Woodhaven and FNV Griffins.

At the end of the regular season, Richard will host a district tournament with Temperance-Bedford, Riverview, Grosse Ile, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, Carlson and Wyandotte.

The Pioneers start the tournament Feb. 26 against SMCC. If they reach the March 4 finals, there is a chance Richard could square off a third time against city rival Riverview. The Pioneers would surely relish that opportunity as they lost each of the first two games with the Bucs by identical 3-2 scores. One game went to overtime.

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