X-Men fall to Panthers

Photo courtesy Dylan Lawrence
Photo courtesy Dylan Lawrence

(Antigonish, N.S.) - The visiting UPEI Panthers (6-6-1) scored a 2-1 win over the CIS #6 ranked StFX X-Men (9-2-2) in AUS hockey action Saturday night at the Keating Centre.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the X-Men.

On their first shot of the game, at 1:45 of the first period, the Panthers opened the scoring on a tally by Brent Andrews (Hunter River, PEI). Marcus Power (St. John's, NL) and Guillaume Rioux-Legault (Beloeil, QC) notched the assists. 

The visitors doubled their lead with the lone goal of the second period. At 9:10, Nick Parker (Windsor, ON) capitalized on an X-Men turnover. He broke into the StFX zone before cutting in front of Drew Owsley (Lethbridge, AB) and roofing a wrist shot over the X-Men goaltender. Brock Beukeboom (Port Penny, ON) collected an assist on the marker.

In the middle frame, the X-Men had two 5-on-3 power plays, but they could not solve the Panther defense or netminder Matt Mahalak (Monroe, MI).

For the most of the third period, UPEI protected their two-goal lead, while icing the puck on several occasions.

At 17:32, Steven Kuhn (Oyen, AB) sliced the X-Men deficit in half, on assists from Jagger Dirk (Penticton, BC) and Brad Cuzner (Glace Bay, NS).

With the net empty for an extra attacker, the X-Men could not get the equalizer in the final 1:10. 

Mahalak made 37 saves for the win, while Owsley turned aside 22 shots in the loss.

The Subway player of the game and first star was Mahalak, while Parker and Kuhn collected second and third star selections, respectively.

Both teams will return to the ice Wednesday, Nov. 25, with the X-Men facing the Dalhousie Tigers in Halifax, while the Panthers will be in Fredericton to play the St. Thomas Tommies.

Puck drop for both games is 7 p.m.