UPEI downs Acadia 6-3
Wolfville, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen (15-10-2) continued their cold streak, dropping their fifth straight game in regulation, this time 6-3 to the UPEI Panthers (9-17-1). Despite an attempted comeback late in the game, the Axemen could not make up for their poor first period, which saw them give up three goals.
The Panthers took advantage of sloppy play by the Axemen and jumped out to a dominating 3-0 lead by the end of the first period.
UPEI scored their first when Cody Payne threw a pass out to forward Gabe Guertler who tipped it through the legs of the Axemen goalie Robert Steeves to make it 1-0.
Panthers forward Marcus Power added one 11 seconds into a power-play, taking the rebound off the boards and burying it low blocker side on Steeves.
Subway First Star of the Night, Darcy Ashley snuck in on the left side of the offensive zone and netted a pass in tight from Beni Berisha to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead into the intermission.
The Axemen pulled goaltender Dawson Carty and brought in Robert Steeves to start the second period.
Acadia responded with a stronger second period as they cut the deficit to 3-1.
Axemen forward and second star of the night, Taylor Makin took a hard wrist shot from the slot late in the second frame and caught the top right corner of the Panthers net to make it 3-1.
The hometown crowd thought they had a goal early in the period off a scramble in front of the net, but it was immediately waved off by the referees.
The Axemen attempted to mount a comeback in the third, but UPEI responded with three goals, including an empty-net goal from Marcus Power with 0.2 seconds left in the game.
Acadia added two power-play markers in the third, with the first coming from a Ryan Foss wrist shot from the right side of the ice, beating the Panthers goalie Matt Mahalak low glove side to make it 3-2.
The Panthers dashed any hopes of a comeback with both a power-play and shorthanded marker from Darcy Ashley and Nathan Yetman, respectively, to take a 5-2 lead.
Axemen defenseman and team captain Geoff Schemitsch, scored his first of the year on a wrist shot from the point for the second power-play marker to make it 5-3.
Axemen goaltender Dawson Carty turned aside 9 of 12 shots before being pulled for Robert Steeves. Steeves stopped 14 of 16 shots, while his Panthers counterpart Matt Mahalak stopped 25 of 28 shots.
UPEI Panthers defenseman Ryan MacKinnon was named the third star of the night.
The Axemen take to the ice again tomorrow night at home against the U SPORTS No. 2 ranked UNB Varsity Reds before their final home-ice game of the regular season Fri. Feb. 9 against the Saint Mary’s Huskies. The Panthers will head to Halifax to take on the third place Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Submitted by Josh Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications.