Panthers eye repeat

Jason Malloy
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UPEI team plans to use same game plan at this year’s AUS women’s hockey championship

Some of the players have changed, but the recipe for success remains the same for the UPEI Panthers women’s hockey team.

The Panthers only scored 38 goals this season in 24 games, but they only allowed 41.

“There’s definitely pressure there,” said forward Ferran Brown said. (But) as long as we play our strong defensive game and get some goals we should be OK.”

The Panthers used that game plan to capture the Atlantic University Sport championship a year ago and will be looking for a repeat starting today in Sackville, N.B.

“We know that anything can happen and we just have to play our hardest,” said Brown, a third-year arts (history) student from Calgary. “Having that the feeling of winning will definitely drive the players that have been there before.”

But the 21-year-old said the team lost five players from last season and has a new cast of scorers and leaders.

Coach Bruce Donaldson said it rely heavily on quintet of players who have lead the team this season.

“If we’re going to win games it’s because of our four core D and our goaltending. They’re going to have to play exceptionally well,” he said. “When they play well the team has success.”

The defencemen include captain Jaimelynn Donaldson, Anja Weisser, Keirstin Visser and Laura Bradley while rookie goalie Marie Soleil Deschenes gets the call between the pipes.

She has the second-best save percentage in the conference at .938 behind only St. F.X. X-Women’s Kristy Garrow.

Veteran Kristy Dobson, who backstopped the team to last year’s conference title, is ready if called upon.

Donaldson said the team’s defence plays a big role in its offence, but the forwards can pot the puck when chances arise.

“If they skate the way I know they can skate, they should be rewarded.”

Two more keys will be setting the pace of the game and special teams play.

(www.atlanticuniversitysport.com)

***

AUS Women’s Hockey Championship tournament:

Thursday

St. Thomas 3 Moncton 2

St. F.X. 3 Mount Allison 1

Today

Saint Mary’s vs. Moncton, 3 p.m.

UPEI vs. Mount Allison, 6 p.m.

Saturday

Saint Mary’s vs. St. Thomas 3 p.m.

UPEI vs. St. F.X., 6 p.m.

Sunday

Championship game, 4 p.m.

Organizations: Atlantic University Sport

Geographic location: Sackville, Calgary, Moncton

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