Game recap by: Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In the second night of a back to back, the Dalhousie Tigers faced off against the UPEI Panthers in Saturday night hockey action. In a high scoring affair, the Panthers were able to hold on to a 5-3 win in this one.
The Tigers were able to get on the board first, midway through the opening frame with Connor Welsh (Halifax, NS) making a great rush up ice, and after his first shot was stopped, but he was able to pick up the rebound and circle around the net, all the way back to the blue line. Welsh fired a hard shot toward goal that was deflected in front by Kelly Bent (Halifax, NS) into the corner to give the Tigers an early lead.
It didn't take long for the Panthers to find an equalizer in the period, on a quick breakout play from their own end, Filip Rydstrom (Stockholm, SWE) quickly entered the Tigers zone along the left side boards and fired a quick wrist shot that took Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) by surprise and snuck under the pad to make it 1-1.
The Panthers found another one just two minutes later on a very tough pass from below the goal line from Sam Aulie (Lumsden, SK) cross-crease to Gabe Guertler (Plantation, FL) to hammer home for the go-ahead goal.
In the late minutes of the period, the Tigers got a final chance off the stick of Alex Pawelczyk (Detroit, MI) firing a hard shot from the top of the circle that got under the glove of Simon Hofley (Ottawa, ON), but rang off the post to keep it 2-1 for the Panthers heading into the second.
After some back and forth play from both teams, the Panthers were able to find the back of the net early in the second period, with Guertler picking up the rebound from Troy Lajeunesse (Dokis, ON) in front and cutting around an outstretched Pickard to tuck home his second.
Guertler completed the natural hattrick just seconds later on a very similar play, picking up a rebound in front, this time from Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PEI) and easily tapping it in to make it 4-1 for the Panthers.
The Tigers looked to counter on the man-advantage, with a faceoff win in the attacking end, Welsh hammered a one-timer toward goal that was stopped but Jonathan Cyr was there to collect the rebound. Cyr quickly put the puck back on net, but his shot also hit the post and Hofley was able to cover up.
Still battling on the power play, the Tigers were finally able to capitalize with Cyr working hard in the corner and driving to the net with a shot that was stopped, but Jackson Playfair (Fort St. James, BC) was on the doorstep to tap home the rebound and make it 4-2 late in the period.
The Tigers were able to find a quick goal in the third period, after holding pressure in the attacking end, a dump into the corner from Dillon Boucher (Head Chezzetcook, NS) was picked up by Mike Evelyn (Ottawa, ON), and Evelyn fired a shot from a very tough angle and tucked it over the pad of Hofley to bring the Tigers within one.
A costly turnover by the Tigers saw the Panthers come down on a 3-on-1 advantage with Owen Headrick (Garden River, ON) sending a hard pass across the slot to Beni Berisha (Mississauga, ON) who was wide open on the far side of the post and Berisha one-timed the pass over the outstretched glove of Pickard to make it 5-3.
The final goal from Berisha was enough for the Panthers to hold on to the 5-3 win over the Tigers.
Gabe Geurtler was an easy choice for the Subway Player of the Game, finishing with a natural hattrick, including the eventual game-winner.
The Tigers will look to bounce back next Friday when they face cross-town rival Saint Mary's, while the Panthers will host UNB next Friday.