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Panthers lose 3-2 to Moncton in overtime

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The UPEI Panthers earned one point Wednesday but watched the team they are chasing get two in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s hockey action.

Marie-Pier Corriveau cut across the front of the net and beat Panthers goalie Camille Scherger 2:38 into overtime as Moncton defeated UPEI 3-2 at MacLauchlan Arena.

Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson said while they would have liked to come away with the win, points are important as they battle for playoff spots.

“As long as we keep getting a point or two then at least . . . people are still chasing us,” he said.

Moncton improved to 7-8-2 and is two points ahead of UPEI (4-7-6) for fifth place in the AUS. Six of the seven teams make the playoffs with the Panthers currently holding a five-point lead over Dalhousie (3-10-3) for the final spot. The Tigers have a game in hand on the Panthers.

Special teams played a big role in Wednesday’s game with Moncton’s Sarah-Eve Mailhot scoring both its goals in regulation on the power play while Emma Weatherbie had a shorthanded goal on a breakaway and roofed a shot in tight for a power-play marker for the host Panthers.

Moncton went 2-for-7 with the power play while UPEI was 1-for-8, including 0-for-3 in the final nine minutes.

“We gave them too many opportunities on the power play, and it eventually comes back to bite you,” Donaldson said. “I thought at times we struggled quite a bit on the power play.”

The Panthers came out of the gate hard, set the tempo and controlled the play early, but a couple of UPEI penalties zapped the energy and tilted the ice in Moncton’s favour.

Weatherbie got the Panthers on the board 7:40 into the second period, but Mailhot tied it nine minutes later. Mailhot gave the visitors the lead 4:25 into the third, but Weatherbie tied it again with her power-play goal.

Katryne Villeneuve had two assists for Moncton while Corriveau and Mailhot each had one. Kristen MacIntyre, Faith Steeves and Lindsay Johnston had helpers for UPEI.

Gabrielle Forget had 13 saves for the win, while Scherger stopped 21 shots in the loss.

Donaldson said his team needs to generate more shots in order to be successful.

“They protect the net well,” he acknowledged, but “I thought at times . . . I felt we were trying to be a little bit fancy versus putting pucks to the net.”

The Panthers travel to Halifax Saturday to play the second-place Saint Mary’s Huskies (11-3-1) at 7 p.m.

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