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Varsity Reds score two late goals to eliminate Panthers in AUS women's playoffs

UPEI to host nationals in March after first-round exit from conference post-season


The UPEI Panthers playoff run came to an abrupt ending Sunday at MacLauchlan Arena.

Emma Borbandy scored a power-play goal with 1:54 left in the third period to tie it and Tamina Kehler tallied the winner with 27 seconds to play as the UNB Varsity Reds defeated the Panthers 4-3 in Atlantic University Sport women’s hockey quarter-final action. The Reds won the best-of-three series 2-0.

“Honestly, I thought we played a very good 60 minutes of hockey, but it just didn't line up at the end of the day,” UPEI head coach Bruce Donaldson said.

The Panthers roster includes 14 first- and second-year players and he said discipline cost them a bit in Game 2.

“We have to remember these situations,” Donaldson said. “We need to learn from this.”

The Panthers controlled much of the play and outshot the Reds 38-15, but Kendra Woodland rose to the occasion in the UNB crease, making 35 saves.

“She made some real, real key saves tonight,” Donaldson said. “They’re a very nice hockey team. They’re very well balanced, they defend well and, give them credit, they kept pushing back.”

Camille Scherger stopped 11 shots in the loss.

UPEI led 2-1 after the first period but went to the third tied 2-2.

Donaldson said he is proud of his team, which he called a young program with a nice skill set that works hard.

Hayley Hallihan and Paige Grenier also scored for the Reds. Hannah Green and Ashley Stratton each had two assists while singles went to Sage McElroy-Scott and Kehler.

Rookies Taylor Gillis and Jolena Gillard each had a goal and an assist for UPEI while fellow freshman Kelly Clements gave the Panthers the lead with 5:10 to play. Kristen MacIntyre, Leah Byrne, Rachel Colle and Sophie Vandale had the assists.

UNB was 1-for-5 on the power play while UPEI was 0-for-3, but Clements goal came just after a man advantage ended.

The Panthers will host the U Sports nationals championships March 14-17. The squad will take the remainder of the week off as it is reading week on campus.

“I just think mentally and emotionally . . .  they just need a little time away from the rink,” Donaldson said.

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