Genoa’s Pietrowski siblings make college hockey scene

J. Patrick Eaken

Of 43 seniors playing sports this year at Genoa High School, 14 will be going on to the next level to play collegiately.
        On the average, 1.8 percent of senior athletes play sports at the next level. At Genoa, that percentage this year is over 32 percent.
        “That’s unheard of. I think that is an exceptional class that we have here at Genoa. It’s a testament not only to the ladies up on the stage, but to the people here in the stands — getting them to and from practices, camps, paying thousands of dollars for AAU and all that good stuff,” Dan Hartsel, Genoa’s athletic director, said.
        Of course, there is one who has gone under the radar — Reaghan Pietrowski will play NCAA Division I women’s hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.
        She is not the only Pietrowski playing college hockey — her brother Tyler Pietrowski is a 6-2, 185- pound right winger for Utica College. The siblings, who are from Curtice, are both successful goal scorers in their current domain.
        Reaghan, who has been playing hockey since she was 4-years-old, has been with the 19 and under Detroit HoneyBaked Tier 1 team that is based in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
        Reaghan, a forward, has been the leader in points scored three years in a row as the team is a two-time Michigan hockey state champion and national qualifier two years in a row. She says she owes her talents to her brother.
        “Before my brother started playing, I didn’t know much about hockey,” Reaghan said. “My brother started playing hockey and I just played on the driveway with him. I was in ballet and I didn’t want to do that.”
        HoneyBaked is a tournament team that does not play in any league, and their biggest rival is Detroit area-based Little Caesars, well known for their youth travel teams.
        Last December, the 19U HoneyBaked Girls rolled to six straight victories to claim the STX Windy City Elite Tournament Championship. Round-robin victories over Madison (3-1), Colorado (3-1) and Gentry Academy (3-0) led to a quarter-final win over Syracuse (4-1) and a semi-final victory over Meijer (3-2) before the Championship game win over Chicago Young Americans (3-1).
        When Genoa High School held a celebration for her signing to RIT, she was already preparing for a tournament in Chicago that weekend.
        To get her game this good meant a lot of practice and a lot of travel.
        “Obviously, my rink is an hour and 15 minutes away. It’s pretty stressful but the closest rink for me that I train out of is in Sylvania, so that is 30 minutes, but my team has never practiced or played out of there,” Reaghan said.
        At RIT, Reaghan will be the only Ohioan on the team as most of the roster consists of Canadians.
        This past season, The No. 5 seed RIT women's hockey team finished its season 12-18-5 after falling to No. 4 seed Penn State University (13-13-9), 4-1, in the College Hockey America quarterfinal.
        Meanwhile, Tyler is a sophomore business management major at Utica College who played in 22 games last year, getting three goals and eight assists. He had 35 shots and Utica was a plus-four when he was on the ice. He had played junior hockey with the Odessa Jackalopes of the NAHL.
        This past season, the Pioneers wrapped up the season ranked 14th in the poll. Utica finished the season with 20 wins on its way to the UCHC regular season title and a runner-up finish in the UCHC tournament. The team set a new school record for games while posting one of the most well-rounded seasons in team history. Five players were named to the All-UCHC teams.


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