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Panthers top Tigers 6-2

Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan
Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan

(HALIFAX) – The visiting UPEI Panthers (10-13-4) skated to a 6-2 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers (8-16-3) in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) hockey action Friday night at the Halifax Forum.

The Tigers came out flying into the game. Just 0:26 into the first period Tanner Williams (Iroquois, ON) picked the pocket of the UPEI defensemen putting him on the break away but Matt Mahalak (Monroe, Michigan) was able to make the sprawling save to deny the Tigers of an early lead.
Despite the pressure from the Tigers the Panthers were the team to break the deadlock. At 4:51 Marcus Power (St. John's, NL) blasted a shot from the hash marks beating a screened Jacob Fancy (Sackville, NS), putting UPEI up 1-0.
The Tigers looked to get on the board midway through the first frame when Myles McGurty (Hoboken, NJ) sprung Felix Page (Montreal, QC) with the long stretch pass giving the Tigers another breakaway opportunity but once again Mahalak was able to make the stop.
The Panthers added to their lead in the dying seconds of the first period. At 19:41 Marcus Power (St. John's, NL) received a pass from Cody Payne (Davie, FL) before firing a shot past Fancy's glove hand for his second of the night.
Despite the Tigers outshooting the Panthers 14-12, the period ended with UPEI up 2-0.
The Panthers started the second period the same way they finished the first. Just 2:45 into the second frame Darcy Ashley (Brooklyn, PE) buried the two-on–one opportunity with Panthers teammate Marcus Power getting the assist on the play.
The Tigers responded well to the Panthers goal as they looked to get on the board themselves. 9:56 into the second frame they did just that when Andrew Rieder (Regina, SK) picked up the rebound off of the Alex Pawelczyk (Detroit, MI) shot before unleashing a no-look back hand shot past Mahalak.
The Tigers pushed to narrow the Panthers lead but the majority of the period was a defensive battle as both teams were able to shut down any generated offensive opportunities from one another. It wasn't until the last second of the period that the Tigers trimmed the Panthers lead to one, getting their second of the game with a power play goal from Andrew Wigginton (Sackville, NS).
The third period was a back and forth affair as both teams exchanged chances, but with less than five minutes remaining in the period the Panthers put the game out of reach for the Tigers, scoring three goals in less than two minutes.
The Panthers got a forth 16:33 into the third frame as Kurt Etchegary (St. John's, NL) intercepted the Tigers errant breakout pass before snapping the puck first time into the Tigers net.
Just fifty seconds later Gabe Guertler (Plantation, FL) increased the Panthers goal margin. Guertler carried the puck over the blue line, using the Tigers defensemen as a screen before firing a shot past Fancy and into the back of the net.
With less than two minutes remaining, and the Tigers net empty, 5th year defenseman Nelson Armstrong (Peterborough, ON) got the sixth goal for the Panthers.
Both the Tigers and Panther are back in action tomorrow night as the Tigers host the UNB Varsity Reds, while the Panthers travel to StFX to take on the X-Men.