Antigonish, NS - The UPEI Panthers overcame the U SPORTS No. 5 ranked StFX X-Women in overtime by a 3-2 score Friday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
After tying the game late in the third period, Panthers defense Kristen MacIntyre (Sydney, NS) netted the game winner 55 seconds into overtime to seal the come-from-behind victory for the visiting Panthers.
The X-Women had the better of the Panthers in the first period as they played the majority of the period in the UPEI zone and outshot them by a 14-3 margin. Panthers goalie, Camille Scherger (Lloydminster, AB), however, was solid in net.
The lone goal of the frame came courtesy of Brooke Noseworthy (St. Anthony, NL) who deposited a rebound of an Amy Graham (Nepean, ON) shot. Lindsay Donovan began (Miramichi, NB) the scoring play by controlling the puck in the Panthers zone then feeding a nice pass cross-ice to Lacey Dimaulo (Okotuks, AB) who passed to Amy Graham (Nepean, ON). Graham fired a good shot on net and Noseworthy was there to finish off the play.
The second period was a more balanced contest with the Panthers finding their legs and going shift for shift with the X-Women. StFX's best chance of the period came five minutes into the period when forward Emily Power (Airdrie, AB) hit the crossbar. StFX had the first powerplay of the evening, but it was short lived and the table was soon turned into a short five-on-three for the Panthers. The Panthers, while they did not score, moved the puck around well and forced X netminder, Cassidy McEwen (Lloydminster, AB) to make some important saves.
The quality UPEI effort was rewarded with 4:39 remaining in the second period when Maria Clinton (Souris, PE) scored to even the game, with assists coming from Faith Steeves (Havelock, NB) and Katelyn Nice (St. John, NB). The Panthers began the scoring play by controlling the puck along the perimeter. The puck eventually landed on the stick of Steeves who put a low hard shot on net and Clinton was there to deposit the rebound.
The third period began with both teams looking for the go-ahead marker. The Panthers began the period with a slight edge in play, but StFX used their speed and skill on the counter-attack to regain the lead. Kristen McKinley (Rothesay, NB) flew down the wing and fed a pass on to the stick of Kate Gotaas (Sherwood Park, AB) who finished the play, giving Scherger no chance on the shot.
UPEI were unrelenting in their efforts to tie the game and freshman forward Jolena Gillard (Deer Lake, NL) looked increasingly dangerous as the game went on. The X-Women were able to kill off a late period penalty against the league's leading power play, but the Panthers were rewarded with the game-tying goal with 2:21 left in the game as Clinton notched her second goal of the night.
She came down the wing and gave herself an extra foot of space and an extra second to fire a wrist shot that rifled through the pads of MacEwen. Kelly Clements (Murray River, PEI) drew the assist on the goal.
The overtime period didn't last long as Kristen MacIntyre (Sydney, NS) unleashed a shot from the blueline 55 seconds in that went through a sea of players and into the StFX net. Clinton, with her third point of the evening, drew the assist. MacIntyre actually has a StFX connection as her grandfather Duncan MacIntyre is an X-Men hockey alumnus and member of the StFX Sports Hall of Fame.
With 38 saves on the night, Panthers netminder Scherger was awarded Subway player of the game and first star honours. X-Women forward McKinley was the second star, and Panthers Panthers forward Clinton was the third star for her three-point effort.
The X-Women will be back on home ice on Sunday as they host Saint Mary's in a 2:00 pm game. The Panthers next see action when they travel to Sackville on Wednesday evening to play against Mount Allison.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information