The UPEI Panthers will look to advance to the second round of the Atlantic University Sport women’s hockey playoffs on home ice tonight.
The Panthers host the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues at MacLauchlan Arena at 7 p.m. in the deciding game of their best-of-three quarter-final.
“They worked hard all year to get that home-ice advantage and hopefully it will be the difference,” Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson said Monday. “It certainly helped us in Game 1 and I’m hoping it will help us in Game 3.”
The Panthers won the opener 8-0 on home ice Thursday before Moncton won Game 2 1-0 on Sunday.
Samantha McLaughlin’s unassisted goal 5:41 into the second period was the only goal of the game. Audrey Berthiaume made 32 saves for the shutout while Camille Scherger stopped 28 shots in the loss.
Donaldson said he expects another tight game tonight.
“Game 1 was really an anomaly,” he said Monday. “They definitely tightened up yesterday and their goaltender played very, very well. We had some opportunities, but I thought they defended very well.”
He also pointed to the Panthers inability to score on five power plays as another determining factor.
The Panthers, he said, have played well after losses and he expects the leadership group will have the team ready to go for game time. No lineup changes are expected from Game 2.
UPEI will host the U Sports nationals in mid-March for the second straight year.