Panthers give up late shorthanded goal in loss to Moncton
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).
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.