Men’s hockey Panthers battle injuries, Axemen
UPEI soccer teams close out regular season on the road this weekend
Injuries have become a major issue for the UPEI Panthers as they prepare to host the Acadia Axemen in Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey action tonight.
Game time at MacLauchlan Arena is 7 p.m.
The Panthers (2-2-1) may have as many as six players on the sideline for their lone game this weekend. Cory Vitarelli, Jordan Knox and Howie Martin are out for the game while Zach McCullough and Greg O’Brien are day-to-day and Aaron Dawson is questionable
“We have dealt with the challenge of injuries since the start of this season,” said UPEI head coach Dylan Taylor. “What we have done is focus on finding a way to get it done as a team all year and we expect to approach things the same way against Acadia.”
The Axemen (2-2-0) beat UPEI 4-1 in Wolfville, N.S., last Saturday.
“Acadia will be a big challenge for us to respond to because we didn’t perform to the best of our ability the last time we played them,” said Taylor. “They are deep up front and can score some goals. They have veterans like Jonathon Laberge and Philippe Bertrand and couple of really good rookies in Spencer Jezerou and Andrew Clark.”
Second-year forward Matt Carter leads the Panthers with six goals and three assists and his goal total has tied for the conferece lead. Rookie Dylan Quaile, with three goals and five assists, is second in UPEI scoring and also second in conference scoring for defencemen.
Kris MacDonald from Orwell is in his fourth season with the Axemen.
UPEI-Saint Mary’s game at MacLauchlan Arena which was originally scheduled for Friday has been moved to Nov. 22.
The UPEI men’s soccer team finishes off the regular season this weekend in Halifax with games today at Dalhousie and Sunday at Saint Mary’s.
It’s an important weekend for the Panthers as they seek to finish either first or second to earn a firstround bye at the AUS championship, Nov. 6-8, at Dalhousie.
The Panthers (8-3-0) are sitting three points behind first-place Cape Breton (8-1-3) and need wins in both games this weekend and either a loss or tie by the Capers Sunday at Acadia to clinch first place.
If that doesn’t work, second place can be wrapped up on today by defeating the Tigers.
“We lost control of our own destiny last Sunday when we lost to Moncton,” said UPEI head coach Lewis Page. “Now we will have to tighten up and give our best effort against Dalhousie on Saturday and hope Acadia does a job in their game against Cape Breton. Regardless, we know that it’s really important to finish out the season on a high note, going into the playoffs next weekend.”
Sporting a 8-2-1 record, the women Panthers travel to Halifax for games today at Dalhousie and Sunday at Saint Mary’s knowing one of three outcomes will decide their playoff seeding for the AUS playoffs in St. John’s, N.L., Nov. 6-8.
Two wins guarantees first place, one win guarantees second place and no wins means either third or fourth place.
“It’s in our hands,” said UPEI coach Mike Redmond. “If we were told two months ago we would be in this position heading into the final weekend, we would have gladly accepted it.”
Redmond is pleased to have veteran striker Kinza Baker back for the weekend, as her pace and aggressiveness were missed in recent matches.
Veteran fullback and captain Mandy McKenna is questionable, for the weekend having missed the last three games with a lower body injury.
McKenna’s return would allow Gina Lisa to play her favoured wing position, a positive for the Panthers against an athletic Dalhousie midfield.
It is also expected Carolyn McKenna’s strong performance last weekend will earn her substantial minutes against the Tigers.