Late loss

Pan­thers give up late short­handed goal in loss to Monc­ton

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

Monc­ton scores three goals in fi­nal five min­utes Wed­nes­day to de­feat UPEI Pan­thers 4-2.

The UPEI Pan­thers had the mo­men­tum in their favour.

The Pan­thers and Monc­ton Aigles Bleus were tied 1-1 with UPEI go­ing to the power play with 5:05 to play Wed­nes­day night at MacLauch­lan Arena.

Ten sec­onds into the power play, Al­lain Saulnier scored to give the vis­it­ing Aigles Bleus a lead they would not re­lin­quish, win­ning 4-2 in At­lantic Univer­sity Sport men’s hockey ac­tion.

“(We) kind of just lost aware­ness of where their guy was and then you look up and they have a break­away,” said UPEI cap­tain Ma­son Wil­gosh. “It’s some­thing you don’t ever want to hap­pen.”

Alex Noel scored off an of­fen­sive zone face­off 1:26 later to make it 3-1.

It was an im­por­tant goal as Pan­thers de­fence­man Nelson Arm­strong’s shot from the side­boards beat Adrien Lemay to make 3-2 with 1:20 to go.

Al­lain Saulnier iced it with an empty-net goal with 29 sec­onds left.

The Pan­thers came away empty-handed de­spite out­shoot­ing Monc­ton 31-20.

“We did have a lot of chances tonight. We have to bear down and fin­ish those,” Wil­gosh said. “They scored when they got their chances and at the end of the day we didn’t score on ours.”

The Pan­thers trailed 1-0 af­ter the first pe­riod on Alex Saulnier’s first goal of the game.

Brent An­drews tied it eight sec­onds into the se­cond when the puck took a funny bounce on a UPEI shoot-in and An­drews had an open cage to de­posit the puck. The game re­mained 1-1 un­til the fi­nal five min­utes of the game.

Pan­thers head coach Forbes MacPher­son said it was a tough loss.

“Give them credit, they ex­e­cuted their game plan,” he said. “For prob­a­bly 52, 55 min­utes of the game, we played how we needed to play, but we didn’t ex­e­cute for 60.”

He noted it was the se­cond game in a row the Pan­thers have al­lowed a short­handed goal against. On Satur­day, UPEI led Saint Mary’s 2-0 be­fore Mitchell May­nard scored short­handed with eight min­utes to play in the se­cond. UPEI went on to lose 4-2.

“It’s a car­bon-copy loss,” MacPher­son said.

Monc­ton im­proved to 9-11-2 and moved to within two points of UPEI (10-10-2).

JA­SON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

UPEI Pan­thers for­ward Chad Labelle, right, and Monc­ton Aigles Bleus de­fence­man Sa­muel Roussy bat­tle for the puck be­hind the Monc­ton goal Wed­nes­day at MacLauch­lan Arena.

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