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Honouring the past: UPEI Panthers looking to make alumni proud during two home games this weekend

UPEI Panthers third-year defenceman Tanner McCabe prepares to fire a shot on net during Wednesday’s practice at MacLauchlan Arena.
UPEI Panthers third-year defenceman Tanner McCabe prepares to fire a shot on net during Wednesday’s practice at MacLauchlan Arena. - Jason Malloy
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The UPEI Panthers will be looking to feed off the energy in MacLauchlan Arena this weekend while honouring those who wore the jersey before them.

The men’s hockey team will host the Acadia Axemen tonight and Saint Mary’s Huskies on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.

Head coach Forbes MacPherson said the team marks this week on the calendar as soon as the Atlantic University Sport schedule is released.

“Nobody does alumni weekend or alumni night like UPEI and that’s a credit to the alumni,” MacPherson said. “We can very confidently stick our chest out and be proud of the alumni’s accomplishments but also their commitment to this night and to the program.”

There will be alumni games Saturday afternoon with a record 75 or so alumni taking part.

The UPEI Panthers men’s hockey program will recognize Dave Shellington’s contributions next week. From right are Shellington and his wife Cathy, who are staples in these seats during the hockey season.
The UPEI Panthers men’s hockey program will recognize Dave Shellington’s contributions next week. From right are Shellington and his wife Cathy, who are staples in these seats during the hockey season.

The 1984-85 Atlantic championship-winning squad, which was inducted into the UPEI Sports Hall of Fame in mid-November, will be recognized before Saturday’s 7 p.m. puck drop. A special banner will also be raised to the rafters in honour of all-time leading scorer Dave Shellington. He joins Joel Ward and Wilf MacDonald as the only Panther to receive the honour.

MacPherson said there’s a special bond between the alumni and existing players. While the team plays hard each time they pull the jersey on, there’s an extra bump of energy during alumni weekend.

“As much pride as each alum has from the time they were here, their pride is also a reflection of the current team’s effort,” MacPherson said. “Regardless of the outcome of the game, we want their chest to swell.”

The Panthers (8-12-3) are one of four teams fighting for one of the three remaining playoff spots while Acadia (17-7-1) and Saint Mary’s (14-11-0) have already clinched their spots.

UPEI has been banged up all year and only had 17 skaters on the ice for Wednesday’s practice. Exactly how many will dress for tonight’s game was not known as guys tried to get healthy enough for the weekend.

MacPherson said the team went through a similar situation a couple of years ago when injuries ravaged the roster.

The 1984-85 UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team was inducted into the UPEI Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. “We were truly a wonderful family,” captain Doug Currie said in thanking the university for the honour on behalf of his team. “You gave us all a tremendous foundation to launch us in our lives and career and we are forever grateful.” Front row, from left, are UPEI director of athletics and recreation Chris Huggan with team members Garth Arsenault, Randy Muttart, John Butler, Darwin McCutcheon, David Reid, Bobby MacDonald and Norman Beck. Second row, Rob Moffat, manager/trainer Kevin MacNeil, Ron Carragher, Gordie Roche, assistant coach Mike Ready, Dennis Clough, who read the team’s citation and is a former UPEI vice-president of finance; head coach Vince Mulligan, captain Doug Currie, Donnie Clow, trainer Paul Peacock and Albert Roche. Missing were Greg Gravel, Steve Fulton, Tony Haliduck, Bob Hicks, John Pocock, Dan Revell, Kevin Skilliter, Jeff Steffan and Todd Sutcliffe.
The 1984-85 UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team was inducted into the UPEI Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. “We were truly a wonderful family,” captain Doug Currie said in thanking the university for the honour on behalf of his team. “You gave us all a tremendous foundation to launch us in our lives and career and we are forever grateful.” Front row, from left, are UPEI director of athletics and recreation Chris Huggan with team members Garth Arsenault, Randy Muttart, John Butler, Darwin McCutcheon, David Reid, Bobby MacDonald and Norman Beck. Second row, Rob Moffat, manager/trainer Kevin MacNeil, Ron Carragher, Gordie Roche, assistant coach Mike Ready, Dennis Clough, who read the team’s citation and is a former UPEI vice-president of finance; head coach Vince Mulligan, captain Doug Currie, Donnie Clow, trainer Paul Peacock and Albert Roche. Missing were Greg Gravel, Steve Fulton, Tony Haliduck, Bob Hicks, John Pocock, Dan Revell, Kevin Skilliter, Jeff Steffan and Todd Sutcliffe.

“The best you can do is fight through it an everybody come together and become galvanized as a team,” he said.

MacPherson wants his plays to feed off the energy but stick to its game plan against two of of the conference’s top teams.

“It will be important for our guys to stay focused,” he said. “We still have a task at hand and that’s getting two points in the standings.”

It was this time last year, the Panthers quietly started talking about the possibility of hosting nationals. It is now a reality as the team has been awarded the hosting rights for 2021.

MacPherson already has six players committed for next year. They will be announced at a later time. Two of the players will not be true freshmen.

Related links
    • Bleeding green: Dave Shellington is a UPEI Panther for life

    • UPEI Panthers 1984-85 Atlantic championship team received tremendous support: Captain Currie


Alumni rosters

A look at the men’s hockey rosters for Saturday’s UPEI green and white alumni games. They will take place at 4 p.m. at MacLauchlan Arena.

Over 45

Team A

Coaches – Dave Shellington, Terry McKenna, Dave Reid, Rich Little, Mike Ready, Jamie Blanchard, Marc Gallant, Craig Jenkins, Wayne MacPhee, Ron Hennessey, Mark Gallant, Jason Malone and Gary Trainor.

Goalies

Jamie Cudmore

Jamie Blanchard

Skaters

Andrew Bartlett

UPEI Panthers forward T.J. Shea, left, protects the puck from defenceman Owen Headrick during Wednesday's practice at MacLauchlan Arena.
UPEI Panthers forward T.J. Shea, left, protects the puck from defenceman Owen Headrick during Wednesday's practice at MacLauchlan Arena.

Jason Denomme

Wilf MacDonald

Paul Crabbe

Keith Ford

Kent MacDonald

Brian Cameron

Norman Beck

Donnie Clow

Brad Campbell

Ron Carragher

Team B

Coaches – Ronnie MacKinnon, Ronnie Clough, Tucker Flannigan, Kevin MacNeill, Darren Murphy, Doug Currie, Ron Annear, Rob Moffatt, Steve LeCoure, Garth Arsenault, Randy Muttart and Bert Weir.

Goalie

Jason Flick

Skaters

John Trainor

Al MacAdam

John Butler

Derek Quinn

UPEI Panthers men's hockey head coach Forbes MacPherson speaks to his players during Wednesday's practice.
UPEI Panthers men's hockey head coach Forbes MacPherson speaks to his players during Wednesday's practice.

Ricky Cameron

Brent MacDougall

Brent Thompson

Jeff Gallant

Dave Murnaghan

Paul Murnaghan

Don Brown

Bobby MacDonald

Todd James

***

Under 45

Team A

Goalies

Wayne Savage

Paul Drew

Skaters

Scott Cameron

Darcy Harris

Darcy Ashley

Travis MacIsaac

Cole MacMillan

Kris MacPhee

Doug Clarke

John Murphy

John Brioux

KJ White

Calvin Chaisson

Team B

Goalie

Connor Wilkinson

Skaters

Mike White

Aaron Dawson

Tyler Kenny

Harrison McIver

Colin Beck

Brent Andrews

Greg O’Brien

Thomas Waugh

Jeremy Pierce

Gordie Walsh

Kris MacDonald


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