UPDATED: Panthers storm back with big third period to defeat Dalhousie

Mitch MacDonald
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The UPEI Panthers line of Cole MacMillan, Travis McIsaac and Chris DeSousa proved to be a deadly combination for the Dalhousie Tigers in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men’s hockey action on Sunday night.

The UPEI line rallied in the third period to get four unanswered goals for a 4-2 win at MacLauchlan Arena. Panthers defenceman Reggie Traccitto also earned three assists in the come-from-behind win.

DeSousa said the team felt it had shot itself in the foot after the game’s first two periods.

By the second intermission, goals from Patrick Daley and Fabian Walsh had put Dalhousie up 2-0.

“We can’t be putting ourselves behind like that and then expecting to come back every game,” said DeSousa in a post-game interview. “We showed what we’re made of in the third. We showed a lot of character, but we can’t be having that.”

UPEI came back onto the ice with fresh legs in the third period, outshooting the Tigers 24-7.

McIsaac scored first for the Panthers only 37 seconds into the period.

That was followed by MacMillan’s power-play goal at 3:21.

With UPEI holding much of the momentum in the game’s final minutes, DeSousa caught a loose puck while high in the slot on a power play.

DeSousa’s stick broke on the shot, allowing Dalhousie goalie Bobby Nadeau to easily cover the puck while a collective groan filled the home arena.

However, it was only a few seconds after the next faceoff when DeSousa found himself again with the puck on the right side of Nadeau.

The left-winger fired off another shot, with the puck bouncing off McIsaac and ending up in the net at 16:10.

“I didn’t see it all, it just hit me somewhere in the body and went in,” said McIsaac, who also scored during the team’s 5-2 loss Saturday to Acadia. “(DeSousa) could have killed me if he wanted to because I couldn’t see it at all.”

McIsaac said the comeback was a result of the team regrouping between periods and talking “more about the process, doing the little things.”

He also credited his linemates.

“(DeSousa) is a pretty easy guy to play with . . . he’s on the forecheck creating time and space and he’s making plays on the power play. I’m more of a give the puck up and try to get to an open spot in front of the net,” he said. “Cole is great too. He retrieves a lot of pucks for us, he’s awesome on the forecheck. All three of us complement each other pretty well.”

UPEI netminder Mavric Parks made 19 saves in the win, while Nadeau stopped 38 of UPEI’s shots.

DeSousa said while a split weekend wasn’t what the team was hoping for upon returning from the break, they’ll continue to battle for a higher playoff seed.

“With a third period like that, we can build off of it going into next week.”

UPEI has a 7-6-1 record for fifth place in the AUS.

Other AUS games Sunday saw UNB down Saint Mary’s 6-4, while St. F.X. beat Moncton 4-2.


Organizations: UPEI Panthers, Dalhousie Tigers, Atlantic University Sport

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  • akakk
    January 06, 2014 - 07:27

    Canadian Hockey R I P