Charlottetown, PE – The U SPORTS No. 3 ranked StFX X-Men wrapped up AUS regular season play with a 5-0 loss to the UPEI Panthers Saturday night.
Panthers freshman Kameron Kielly followed up Friday's three-point effort with another three points against StFX, but it was his teammates who did the damage early.
After a hard fought opening 10 minutes, the Panthers broke through when Marcus Power found Darcy Ashley racing down the slot where he deposited the puck past X-Men netminder Brandon Hope.
With three minutes remaining in the first period, UPEI took control in the offensive zone and had a couple chances to add to their lead, but Hope came up big to keep it at a 1-0 game after 20 minutes.
The Panthers carried their strong play into the second period and the goals quickly followed. First it was Power, who scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season at the 5:40 mark, and then it was Cody Payne who pushed the lead to 3-0 a minute later.
Kielly came alive in the third period and closed the game out with back-to-back goals at 3:30 and 7:37.
Matthew Mancina got the starting nod between the pipes and turned aside all 23 shots he faced for his first shutout of his young AUS career.
The Panthers now have their sights set on the postseason and their quarter-final opponent the Saint Mary's Huskies. Playoff schedule will be announced in the coming days.
The X-Men finish the AUS season with a 22-4-2 record in second place, earning a first round playoff bye. They will await a quarter-final winner for their best 3-of-5 semi-final series. Game 1 is slated for Thursday, February 22nd at 7:00 pm at home at the StFX Keating Centre.
Courtesy Thomas Becker, UPEI Sports Information