© Jason Malloy/The Guardian
UPEI Panthers captain Sam Sweet delivers a pass under Dalhousie Tigers forward Sarah Robichaud Sunday at MacLauchlan Arena.
Fifth-year players Sweet, Bradley both record points, play big games for UPEI
The UPEI Panthers women’s hockey team has been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Dalhousie Tigers defeated the Panthers 3-2 Sunday at MacLauchlan Arena in Atlantic University Sport action. Laura Brooks scored the winner with 5:50 remaining after two Panthers collided behind the Tigers net, leading to an odd-man rush.
“We had to press. We had to get them in (regulation) time, so you have to take a few chances and every once and a while it comes back to bite you,” said Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson.
Panthers captain Sam Sweet gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead 49 seconds into the game. UPEI controlled much of the play in the first, but were unable to make it 2-0.
The lead held up until Brooks scored 6:36 into the second. Courtney Sheedy put the Tigers ahead less than two minutes later on a shorthanded breakaway.
“Those are killers,” Donaldson said. “You just can’t give up those odd-man situations.”
Ashtyn Bartlett tied the score with a power-play goal with 5:55 to play in the second period. Emma Martin and Laura Bradley had assists.
“The girls worked real hard. They continued to push as much as they possibly could,” Donaldson said.
Jessiva Severeyns made 21 saves for the win while Marie-Soleil Deschenes stopped 20 shots in the loss.
UPEI was 1-for-2 on the power play and killed both of Dalhousie’s opportunities.
Dalhousie improved to 8-13-1 while UPEI is 5-14-3 with each team having two games remaining. Dalhousie holds the tiebreaker.
Donaldson said before entering the dressing room after the game he was proud of his players work ethic.
“They’ve got nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “It’s a tough, tough league and you have to come to play every night.”
Sunday was the Panthers seventh one-goal loss. They also lost two games by two goals, including empty-net markers, and another contest by two when the opposition scored with a second remaining.
“It’s kind of the way the year’s gone,” Donaldson said. “We’ve been just shy a goal pretty well throughout.”
The Panthers finish the season with home games against St. FX on Saturday at 3 p.m. and Saint Mary’s Sunday at 2 p.m.
It will be the final games for fifth-year players Sweet, of O’Leary, and Laura Bradley, of St. Teresa, as well as fourth-year Maggie Grimmer, of Charlottetown. Bradley and Grimmer are assistant captains.
“We’ll be sad to see them all move along. They’ve been a big part of the program,” Donaldson said. “Work ethic alone is the key piece. All of them have that ingrained in them.”