By Thomas Becker
The UPEI Panthers brought the first half of the season to a close on a high note after shutting out the Acadia Axemen 4-0 Saturday night.
Rookie forward Elias Cohen opened the scoring in the first period, but the Panthers (7-10-1) seized control and asserted their dominance with three goals in the second period to secure the victory.
Freshman forward Noah Sedore led the way with a goal and two assists, while Cohen and Kaleb Pearson added a goal and an assist each. Veteran defenceman Kurtis Henry also found the back of the net in the win.
The Panthers jumped to an early lead on a great play from Cohen 36 seconds into the game. As an outlet pass came his way, Cohen spun away from a defender and took the puck up the ice before slinging a wrist shot that beat goaltender Thomas Couture far-side top corner to make it 1-0.
The score would stay that way until the second period, where the Panthers locked down the win. The home team capitalized on an Axemen (4-11-3) double minor penalty at 7:38 when Henry blasted a one-timer from the right circle on a feed from Cohen.
Less than two minutes later, Henry found Sedore at the side of the net, where he redirected the pass in the back of the net with his foot.
UPEI’s leading scorer, Pearson, got in on the fun at 14:57 when the star forward weaved past three defenders before tucking a shot in the top corner to make it 4-0.
The third period was a bit of a sloppy affair for the Panthers, as they were outshot 13-6 in the frame. But goaltender Joe Ranger picked his team up, earning his second shutout in three starts after a 28-save performance.