It’s back-to-back shootout victories for the UPEI Panthers.
The women’s hockey team knocked off the county’s eighth–ranked St. Thomas Tommies 3-2 Wednesday. The win improved UPEI to 5-6 while St. Thomas, which was playing without some key players, including captain Kayla Blackmore, fell to
8-2-1 in the Atlantic University Sport conference.
“It’s a huge victory to build off of,” said Panthers forward Christina Kelly. “It’s really big going into the final two games of (the first half of) our season.”
For photos from the game click here.
The low-scoring Panthers found themselves trailing 1-0 heading to the third period after Katie Brewster scored 3:15 into the second. UPEI goalie Marie Soleil Deschenes got a piece of the shot but the puck trickled over the goal-line.
The Panthers had their chances in the first 40 minutes but could not beat Kristin Wolfe. UPEI responded in the third with goals by Keirstin Visser at 7:13 and a power-play marker by Kelly at 11:15.
Visser took a pass from Jamielynn Donaldson as the Tommies were on a change, fired a shot on goal, went to the net and banked in the rebound.
“It was big for us because it just picked us right up,” said coach Bruce Donaldson.
Kelly fired her goal off the crossbar and in, but was quick to share the credit for the goal with her teammates.
“Laura Bradley made the perfect pass,” she said.
The lead was short-lived, as Caley Steinert tied it three minutes later.
Both teams had chances to pull ahead in regulation and win it in overtime, but each time Deschenes and Wolfe rose to the occasion.
Kelly and Ferran Brown scored in the shootout while Deschenes stopped four of the five shooters she faced.
“It’s a character builder,” Donaldson said of the second straight shootout victory.
“It shows us that it can happen,” Visser added, “We just need to keep rolling off that.”
The teams combined for 16 minor penalties with the Panthers scoring the only power-play goal.
“Anytime you can walk off the ice in (70) minutes and be 100 per cent on the PK you have to be pleased,” Donaldson said.
The Panthers are off this weekend and will not be on the ice until Tuesday’s practice as they prepare for their final two games of 2012 in Halifax against Saint Mary’s (Nov. 30) and Dalhousie (Dec. 1).