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Taylor plays hero in 5-4 overtime win over Panthers

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – As part of a rare Monday night hockey game, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UPEI Panthers at the Halifax Forum. After being down 2 goals in the third period, the Tigers were able to force overtime and come away with a 5-4 win.

After a fairly calm start to the game, the final 10 minutes of the period were full of action.

Midway through the period, Kyle Maksimovich (Oakville, ON) broke into the Tigers zone, wide along the boards, and picked a perfect spot to tuck his shot over the shoulder of Connor Hicks (Kanata, ON) on the near-side corner to open the scoring.

The Tigers were sparked with energy after giving up the goal, and after a long stint of forechecking pressure in the Panthers end, Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) made a nice give-and-go play with Dillon Boucher (Head Chezzetcook, NS) to open space in the slot to fire a shot through a crowd and even the game up at 1-1.

The excitement didn't last long for the Tigers, however, as just seconds later, Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PEI) grabbed the puck out of the air on a clearing attempt from the Tigers, gloved it down to the ice, and fired a low shot under the pad of Hicks just before the period expired.

The Panthers picked up right where they left off to start the second period, as Owen Headrick moved the puck from the point to cut back into the slot and fire a low shot through a big crowd in front and through the five-hole of Hicks to make it 3-1 in the opening minutes of the second.

Responding once again with pressure, the Tigers were finally able to break through again as Cameron Thompson (Victoria, BC) sent a beautiful pass through traffic in the slot cross-ice to Andrew Shewfelt (Dartmouth, NS) who had all kinds of time to fire his wrist shot into a wide-open net.

Just as the momentum was moving in the Tigers favour, the Panthers caught a break as Jordan Maher (Gander, NL) skated into the attacking end and sent a bouncing shot toward goal that took a hop in front and bounced high up over the shoulder of Hicks for a 4-2 lead as the teams headed into the third period.

The Tigers caught their own break early in the third period, as Shewfelt drove into the attacking zone and fired a tough-angled shot that was stopped by Simon Hofley (Ottawa, ON) but the rebound rolled behind the net where Jesse Lussier (Ottawa, ON) tried to put it back in front, but it took a deflection off the back of Hofley and into the net for a Tigers goal.

Just a few minutes later, the Tigers had a great breakout from their own end after a faceoff win for Campbell Pickard to send a nice saucer pass into the slot for Michael Dill (Windsor, NS) who was driving toward the net. Dill faked to the right and dragged back to the backhand to lift his shot over the blocker of Hofley to even it up for the Tigers on a beautiful goal.

Both teams had plenty of power play chances in the third period to find a winning goal, but to no avail, as the teams headed to a 3-on-3 overtime period.

Filip Rydstrom (Stockholm, SWE) was given an early chance to put the game away as he came down against Hicks on a quick breakaway opportunity, but Hicks was able to cut down the angle and make a great save to keep his team alive.

It was a good thing he did, as seconds later, the Tigers won an offensive zone faceoff and Chandler Yakimowicz (Kingston, PA) found Zachary Taylor making a great cut through the slot to the net and put a pass right on the tape for Taylor to find space inside the far post to complete the Tigers comeback victory, and earn himself the Subway Player of the Game title.

The Tigers will keep fighting for their playoff hopes on Wednesday as they travel to StFX before taking on UPEI again on Friday, which will be the next game for the Panthers.