Charlottetown, PE - UPEI's special teams units did all the damage Saturday afternoon as the Panthers toppled the StFX X-Women 3-2.
Their penalty kill unit shut the X-Women down, allowing just a single goal on five penalties, while the Panthers capitalized on their opportunities scoring twice on three chances with the man advantage.
"When you get a power play opportunity, it's crucial that you make the most of it," said Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson. "We spent a lot of time on it this week, so it's nice to see the work pay off."
It didn't take long for the Panthers to jump on StFX. Just 4:50 into the game, Kiana Strand fried a shot off the skate of an X-Woman that was redirected to Maria Clinton, who hammered the puck in the cage for the 1-0 lead.
The Panthers didn't have long to celebrate, though, as X-Woman Connor Garagan tied it up 1-1 just 15 seconds later.
After knotting the score, StFX continued to put pressure on the Panthers defence, outshooting them 12-4 in the period. But Megan Sullivan, who made her third consecutive start, was steady in net making big stops for UPEI, including two key saves during the X-Women's only power play of the period.
StFX again had an opportunity to pull ahead in the second with the man advantage, but Sullivan, who's been on a winning tear lately, stood tall buying the Panthers time to get back on the scoreboard.
Unlike the X-Women, the Panthers made the most out of their opportunities with the man advantage. At 9:05, Faith Steeves broke the deadlock on a strong individual effort, stick handling her way past the defenders and placing the puck in the top right corner for the 2-1 advantage.
Two minutes later, on their second power play of the afternoon, Panthers' defender Madison Clarke connected on a pass in front the net and wristed it home, giving UPEI a 3-1 lead.
The X-Women drew another Panther penalty to begin the third period, resulting in a 5-on-3 opportunity, but UPEI's penalty kill unit came up big eliminating the threat.
But StFX wouldn't be denied on their final power play of the afternoon, as Sarah Bujold pulled her team within one with her eighth goal of the season. That's as close as they would get, as the Panthers held on for the 3-2 final.
The Panthers (5-2) next see action against the St. Thomas Tommies (6-0-1) Sunday at 2 p.m. in Fredericton.
The X-Women (3-4) will play the same St. Thomas squad on Saturday, Nov. 12th at home in a 2 pm game.
Courtesy Thomas Becker, UPEI Sports Information