Women Panthers face pair of snipers tonight on home ice

Jason Malloy
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UPEI to host St. Thomas Tommies

Samantha Sweet of the UPEI Panthers and Megan Cameron of the Mount Allison Mounties chase down the puck in front of Mounties goalie Meghan Corley-Byrne during AUS women’s hockey action Sunday at MacLauchlan Arena. Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

Two of the top four scorers in the Atlantic University Sport women’s hockey conference come to town tonight to play the UPEI Panthers.

Forwards Katie Brewster and Kayla Blackmore lead a St. Thomas Tommies (8-2) team which has scored twice as many goals (34) as it has allowed (17) this season.

“They have a couple of very good high-end forwards that offensively are very gifted,” Panthers coach Bruce Donaldson said Tuesday.

Brewster is tied for second in league scoring with 11 points in 10 games while Blackmore is fourth with 10 points in nine games.

Donaldson said it would be key not to give the Tommies many power plays while capitalizing on their chances. UPEI (4-6) has scored 12 goals and allowed 22 this season.

“We’ve been working really hard in practice,” Donaldson said of the team’s scoring prowess.

He would like to see his team drive to the net more looking for rebounds.

“We need to do more in front of their net,” Donaldson said of tonight’s game. “We need to make both their goaltender and their defencemen work harder.”

The Tommies are in second place in the seven-team conference while UPEI is fourth, one point behind Saint Mary’s and one ahead of Mount Allison.

The Panthers split two exhibition games with St. Thomas this fall. The Tommies won the only regular season meeting 3-0 in Fredericton on Nov. 3.

Game time is 7 p.m. at MacLauchlan Arena.

Other than the third period of the first game of the season, Donaldson said the team has been very competitive.

The Panthers enter tonight’s game after defeating Mount Allison Sunday in a shootout.

“I think they’re frustrated that they can’t get a string of victories going and I think they see this as an opportunity to get that going,” the coach said.

Marie Soleil Deschenes, who won Sunday, starts tonight.

The Panthers will have eight days off after tonight’s game before closing 2012 against Saint Mary’s (Nov. 30) and Dalhousie (Dec. 1) in Halifax.

Organizations: Atlantic University Sport

Geographic location: Saint Mary, St. Thomas, Fredericton Halifax

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