Women hockey Panthers look to maintain scoring touch

Jason Malloy
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Summerside’s Olivia Doughart, centre, tries to beat defenceman Bria Harding as goalie Marie-Soleil Deschenes prepares for the shot Tuesday during UPEI Panthers women’s hockey team’s practice.

UPEI team hosts the Mount Allison Mounties tonight; men’s squad hits the road to take on the Moncton Blue Eagles

The UPEI Panthers look to keep lighting the lamp tonight when they host the Mount Allison Mounties in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s hockey action.

The Panthers have scored four or more goals in their last three games in compiling a 2-0-1 record. They picked up three points in two games during the weekend in Halifax, beating Dalhousie 6-2 and losing 5-4 in overtime to Saint Mary’s.

“We had a real strong weekend in terms of offensive output,” coach Bruce Donaldson said. “We need to keep it going.”

The Panthers scored half of their 10 weekend goals with the man advantage.

“This league seems to come down to specialty teams, so it’s probably going to be another one of those games where if you play real well on the power play and have success and do well on the penalty kill . . . you like your chances,” Donaldson said.

Game time tonight is 7 p.m.

UPEI (8-10-1) is one point up on Mount Allison (8-9-0) for fifth place in the AUS conference, but the Mounties have two games in hand. The top six teams make the playoffs.

“All the games are big just because the points are so tough to get,” Donaldson said. “To me this is a big one. It would certainly solidify the playoff position.”

The teams have split the two games they have played this season. The Panthers won 7-4 on Oct. 19 in Charlottetown and lost 3-1 on Jan. 12 in Sackville, N.B.

Defenceman Anja Weisser left Tuesday for Germany. She will miss the Panthers’ games for the next month while participating with the German national team at the Olympics.

Donaldson said veterans Laura Bradley of St. Teresa and Keirstin Visser of Crapaud would see a ton of ice time in Weisser’s absence. He is looking for the rest of the players to step up as well.

“I think they’re ready for the challenge.”

Goalie Marie Soleil Deschenes gets the start tonight for UPEI.

 

Men

A banged up men’s hockey Panthers cross the Confederation Bridge for a makeup game with Moncton. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Panthers will be without forwards Dana Fraser and Harrison McIver and defencemen Derek Ryckman and Spencer Metcalfe. Left-winger Cole MacMillan will be a game-time decision while new recruit Nick Czinder is not ready to play.

“We have to find a way to get through these next couple of weeks while some guys rehabilitate their injuries,” coach Forbes MacPherson said Tuesday.

It’s the start of three games in four nights for the Panthers. The coach said the semester has been fun with lots of games and “short and brisk” practices.

He said despite the injuries the Panthers would be ready tonight.

“The guys that aren’t injured like to play anyway,” MacPherson said. “Nobody has ever knocked on my door looking for less ice time.”

Moncton (13-8-0) is one point up on UPEI (11-7-3) for third in the standings. Five points separates third from fifth place in the conference.

The Panthers split two games earlier this month with Moncton in Charlottetown, losing 4-3 on Jan. 15 and winning 2-1 on Jan. 24.

“We expect every game to be a battle and go down to the last moment and I expect it to be no different tomorrow night,” MacPherson said.

****

When They Play

The Atlantic University Sport hockey season is winding down. The following are the UPEI Panthers’ remaining games.

Women

Tonight

Mount Allison at UPEI, 7 p.m.

Feb. 5

UPEI at St. F.X., 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 7

St. Thomas at UPEI, 7 p.m.

Feb. 8

Saint Mary’s at UPEI, 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 14

UPEI at Mount Allison, 7 p.m.

——

Men

Tonight

UPEI at Moncton, 7 p.m.

Friday

UPEI at Acadia, 7 p.m.

Saturday

UPEI at Dalhousie, 7 p.m.

Feb. 7

UPEI at Moncton, 7 p.m.

Feb. 8

St. Thomas at UPEI, 7 p.m.

Feb. 14

Saint Mary’s at UPEI, 7:30 p.m.

Organizations: Panthers, Moncton Blue Eagles, Olympics.Donaldson PlayThe Atlantic University Sport

Geographic location: Moncton, Halifax, Charlottetown Saint Mary Sackville Germany Weisser

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