MONCTON, N.B. – The UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team has won back-to-back games for the first time since the beginning of the season.
The Panthers took a big step towards clinching a playoff spot Friday with a 4-1 victory at Moncton. The two teams are battling with Dalhousie for the final two playoff spots in the Atlantic University Sport conference.
Cody Payne and Beau McCue each had a goal and an assist in the win while Kameron Kielly had two helpers. Ryan MacKinnon and Sam Aulie also scored while Gabe Guertler added an assist.
Matt Mahalak made 20 saves for the win while Alexi Thibaudeau allowed four goals on 33 shots in the loss.
The game was scoreless after the first period while the Panthers took a 1-0 lead to the third on Payne’s goal. MacKinnon and Aulie scored to increase the lead to three 5:13 into the final frame. Vincent Deslauriers from Alexis Roy and Robbie Graham made it a two-goal game with 1:15 left before McCue iced it with seven seconds to play.
UPEI was 0-for-4 on the power play but killed all six of Moncton’s attempts.
Friday’s win came after knocking off U Sports top-ranked team, the UNB Varsity Reds, on Wednesday.
UPEI (8-17-1) is in fifth place, four points up on Dalhousie (6-18-1) and nine up on Moncton (3-20-2). Each tam has four games remaining with the Panthers on the road next weekend at Acadia Friday and Saint Mary’s on Saturday. They finish at home against Dalhousie on Feb. 9 and St. FX on Feb. 10.