Series now 3-0 against the Ice Kings this season
The Pioneers only had one opponent to focus on this past weekend as their only match up was a road game in Fox Creek to face the Ice Kings. Leading their season series against the Ice Kings 2-0 coming in to the game, the Pioneers were amped up to get another 2 points in the standings. The first period was a high scoring affair for both sides as the teams traded goals early with the Pioneers getting two from points leader Oliver Lovely as well as one each from Ackabee, Seth Williams and Whiteknife. Every time the Pioneers went up by 2, the Ice Kings' Beauregard responded. Despite the lead, Coach Arsenault was not impressed with the teams play feeling they weren't moving their feet and were letting too many pass them by.
The second period showed some improved defensive play and it took until almost half way through the frame before Beauregard struck again to bring the Ice Kings within one. The top line for the Pioneers continued to be productive as they saw goals from Brandon Corbeil (S. Williams, Lovely), Jayden Shott (Lovely, S. Williams) and Oliver Lovely (S. Williams, Burns) extending the scoring to 8-5 going into the room for the second intermission.
The third brought much tighter play with only 2 goals scored between the teams with the one from Kale Williams assisted by Whiteknife and Ackabee sealing the deal for the Pioneers 9-6. Ackabee has made a change to forward this season which has proven to be a productive experiment. With that assist, Ackabee is already at 4 points on the season putting him on track to beat his previous tallies from the previous two seasons with the Pioneers. "It's a little different (playing forward) than defence for sure but I still get to do my part on the ice for the guys and support everyone as much as I can. Things are way different since the first year I played. Last season is what made me believe we could do better and I wanted to stick it out. Compared to last season, we're doing a lot better in all ways - culture wise, practice, winning games. Everyone here wants to be here and play which feels nice to know that we have a committed group. Everyone shows up, gives it their all and leaves everything on the ice at the end of the day."
The win keeps the Pioneers at 0.500 on the season and third place in the standings. Captain Seth Williams reflected on the success thus far. "I believe the early success from our team has been a product of everyone buying in. The leadership group has lead by example on and off the ice and this has expanded throughout the whole team. We have been driven - maintaining focus on getting the job done while keeping things fun. I fully believe with our abilities that we are capable of being one of the top teams in the league. The 2023-2024 season being my last year of junior hockey, my goal has been to leave a lasting impression on this group of guys to carry on further as the Pioneer culture grows."
You can catch Williams and the Pioneers back in action against top ranked Edson Eagles on Friday November 3 at the Gibbons Arena. The Fox Creek Ice Kings will look for revenge the following night as the Pioneers visit them again on Saturday Nov 4th.