Nick MacNeil's second goal of the night, a powerplay marker late in a 10-minute overtime, lifted the UNB Varsity Reds to 3-2 win over the UPEI Panthers in AUS men's hockey action Friday night at MacLauchlan Arena.
The win snapped a five-game win streak for the Panthers, although the Island squad earned a single point from the overtime loss.
With UPEI taking on the St. Thomas Tommies in Fredericton tonight at 7 p.m., Panther captain Dylan Quaile said there's no time for the team to dwell on the tough loss.
"We wanted two points but its life and that happens, we got to keep battling. We can't be down about it of course we've got to keep going," said Quaile, adding that the team still feels confident from its recent play.
"We're not going to stop, we've got to keep going, there's no looking back and no taking any teams lightly."
UPEI forward Travis McIsaac's two goals, at 17:04 in the first period and 4:31 in the second, gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead.
However, Dion Campbell narrowed the gap 2-1 at 7:03 of the second period with a goal assisted by Alberton native Colby Pridham and Summerside native Cam Critchlow.
MacNeil brought the game into overtime for the conference-leading V-Reds with his first goal of the match at 6:02 in the third.
It looked like the game was going to be decided by shootout with time dwindling in the overtime period. But the Panthers were called for
delay of game when an attempted clearing pass off the glass went into the netting instead, leading to MacNeil's game-winner at 7:52.
With a Panthers game plan of crashing the net, the team saw more than a few golden opportunities on UNB netminder Daniel Lacosta throughout the third period and overtime but were unable to cash in.
The game saw top-notch goaltending on both sides of the ice, with UPEI netminder Wayne Savage making 31 saves. Lacosta made 29 saves.
"He's standing on his head for us," Quaile said of Savage. "He's playing his game and it's what we need right now."
The Panthers sit in fifth of the AUS conference with an 11-5-2 record.
Other AUS games Friday night saw St. FX defeat Dalhousie 5-2, Moncton beat St. Thomas 5-4 and Saint Mary's bested Acadia 3-2 in overtime.