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Dal outlasts UPEI 2-1 in shootout

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

(Halifax, N.S.) – It was a battle of the netminders on Saturday night at the Halifax Forum as the Dalhousie Tigers outlasted the UPEI Panthers 2-1 in a shootout.

Dalhousie's Corbin Boes (Saskatoon, SK) and UPEI's Matt Mahalak (Monroe, MI) combined for an impressive 79 saves, but it was Boes who would win the battle between the posts, stopping a total of 47 shots. Mahalak made 32 saves in the loss.  

The Tigers would get on the board early in the first period, courtesy of forward Phil Gadoury (Montreal, QC) at 4:44, as he tapped home a loose puck that was fed in front by Felix Page (St-Constant, QC).

The combination of Gadoury and Page was deadly for the entire duration of the first period. Both players had a chance to increase the Tigers lead to two off of odd-man rushes, however UPEI goaltender Mahalak stood his ground.

Despite outshooting Dalhousie 14-11 in the opening frame, the majority of the Panthers chances came from outside the slot, with Boes up to the task in net.

UPEI's best chance to get on the board came at 15:23 on a deflected shot by centre Sam Aulie (Lumsden, SK), however Boes was able to get a piece of it to keep the Tigers one-goal lead intact heading into the second period.

There was plenty of action offensively in the middle frame, as the two squads combined for 28 shots, however just one puck found the back of the net.

Gadoury flashed his speed yet again in the second period, creating numerous chances – the best of which came at 3:12 on a partial breakaway – but Mahalak was able to stop his five-hole attempt.

UPEI would crack the scoreboard with the lone goal at 11:48, as winger Beau McCue (Pasco, WA) tipped in a shot from Cody Payne (Davie, FL) on the powerplay.

The Tigers had an excellent opportunity to retake the lead at 15:43, as forward Kelly Bent (Halifax, NS) broke in behind the defence, however the puck rolled just over his stick on an attempted shot to keep the game tied at one entering the final period.

Both goalies were busy yet again in the third period, making a number of stops to keep the game deadlocked at one at the end of regulation play.

Forward Tanner Williams (Iroquois, ON) had Dalhousie's best chance at 5:18 on a redirect in front of the net, but Mahalak was up to the task.

UPEI's strongest opportunity occurred at 7:15, as centre Gabe Guertler (Plantation, FL) got a shot off on a spin-move, but it rang off the post. It was the second time a Panthers player had hit the iron in the game.

The Panthers peppered Boes with a number of shots in the five minutes of three-on-three overtime play, but yet again he was ready.

Mahalak stayed on his toes as well. His toughest look in overtime came just past the midway mark as Williams sped in on a partial breakaway, but was denied as the game headed to a shootout.

Gadoury was the only scorer in the shootout, beating Mahalak over the blocker in the second round to gain the extra point for his team. Payne, Guertler and winger JC Campagna (Dublin, OH) were all stymied by Boes.

Dalhousie was able to avenge a shootout loss to UNB from the night prior and now sit at 3-1-2 on the season, the exact same record as UPEI.

The Tigers next action goes this Friday on the road against UNB, while UPEI will host StFX that same night.

By: Mike Still, Dalhousie Athletics