(Halifax, NS) In AUS men's hockey action the Saint Mary's Huskies faced their first loss of the season against the UPEI Panthers Friday night at the Halifax Forum in a penalty-filled matchup. The Huskies were able to stop multiple breakaways from the Panthers' strong transition game, but couldn't recover from some undisciplined penalties.
Over half of the first period was played on the man advantage, with the teams trading power plays back and forth. Possession was fairly even but the Huskies outshot the Panthers 15-5 and would get the first goal of the game.
After killing off a 5 on 3, SMU opened the scoring late in the period with a power play goal, a bullet of a one-timer from Aaron Berisha (Mississauga, ON) at the point. Alexander Peters (Blyth, ON) and Calder Brooks (Emerald Park, SK) had the assists.
The period ended with the Huskies up 1-0.
Twelve seconds into the second frame, Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) was sent to the box for charging. The Huskies killed off the penalty but just as Theede stepped back out to rejoin play, UPEI's Riley Wittingham (Calgary, AB) sent a shot that hit the pad of goalie Eric Brassard (St Hubert, QC) and bounced into the net. Nick Shumlanski (Tisdale, SK) and Brent Andrews (Hunter River, PEI) had the assists on the first goal for the Panthers.
Saint Mary's came close to pulling ahead, with both Austyn Hardie (Halifax, NS) and Calder Brooks (Emerald Park, SK) hitting the post on separate plays in the same shift, but it was the Panthers who were able to get one in the net just past the 17-minute mark.
On their fifth power play of the game, Chad Labelle (Calgary, AB) tipped in a low shot from Austin Levi (Famington Hills, MI) to take the lead. Sam Aulie (Lumsden, SK) also assisted and the period ended 2-1 for UPEI.
Going into the final frame trailing by one goal, Saint Mary's took another early penalty, this time for interference, and UPEI scored on the power play just two minutes into the period.
The puck played was played from down low out to Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PEI) at the top of the circle. With lots of time to set up his shot, he fired a shot top corner on Brassard's glove side to make it 3-1 for the Panthers.
The Huskies came within one thanks to a power play goal at the 17-minute mark. Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS) made a cross-ice pass to Jake Coughler (St Catharines, ON) for a one timer that went straight in. Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) also assisted.
SMU pulled Brassard with a minute and half left in the game and with the extra attacker, and had a chance to send it to overtime with a one timer from Dylan Di Perna (Nobleton, ON). Hofley, however, made a great pad save. He was solid for the Panthers, facing 43 shots throughout the game.
Time ran out and UPEI would take this one 3-2.
Scoring the game-winning goal for the Panthers, the Subway Player of the Game was Kameron Kielly.
It's a short turnaround for both teams as the Huskies host UNB tomorrow night at the forum and the Panthers travel to Acadia for a game on the same day. Puck drop is at 7pm.