Panthers hold on to early lead to post 5-3 win

Deakin-Poot, Zazula, & Hoyt with Acadia’s goals

Wolfville, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen came up short in a 5-3 loss to the UPEI Panthers, making it two losses in a row for Acadia. 

A three-goal first period from UPEI was the difference maker in the game. Acadia attempted a comeback, getting within one in the second, but they could not find a way to tie the game. 

UPEI stormed out with an offensive onslaught in the first period, taking a 3-0 lead into the second period. 

Drake Pilon (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) opened the scoring on a beautiful cross-ice pass in front of the net from Darian Pilon (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.). 

Pilon’s goal was a wrister that found the top right corner of the net. 

Carson MacKinnon (Summerside, P.E.I.) doubled up the score at the halfway point of the period on a tap-in in front of the net. 

Subway First Star of the Night, Troy Lajeunesse (Sturgeon Falls, Ont.), added to the lead at 1:36 after MacKinnon with another tap-in near the front of the net. 

By the end of the period, the Panthers had doubled up the Axemen in shots, 16-8. 

Acadia made a valiant comeback effort in the second frame thanks to goals from the second star of the night Nick Deakin-Poot (Georgetown, Ont.) and Luke Zazula (Langley, B.C.). 

Deakin-Poot took a wrist shot from the slot with 15:56 remaining to play in the second. His shot found the back of the net and was so hard, it knocked the cap off of the goalie’s water bottle. 

Zazula put Acadia within one at the 8:21 mark in the second period, on a toe-drag wrist shot in the slot. He was able to score after Bailey Peach (Falmouth, N.S.) kept the puck in the zone after shaking a defender at the blue-line with a spin move.  

However, the Panthers doubled up their lead with 42.8 seconds left in the frame. 

Lajeunesse potted his second of the night on a power-play one-timer while set up in the right circle in Acadia’s zone. 

The shots were much closer by the end of the second, with UPEI holding a 27-25 lead. 

It was a tense third period, as Acadia tried to tie things up, but were largely unable to solve the Panthers goalie, Jonah Capriotti (Charlottetown, P.E.I.). 

To make things interesting, Peyton Hoyt (Fredericton, N.B.) netted a power-play goal from the point in the final minute of the game with the goalie pulled. 

A comeback was not in the cards for Acadia, as the Panthers added an empty-net goal thanks to Darian Pilon. 

UPEI Panther Kyle Maksimovich (Oakville, Ont.) was awarded the third star of the night. 

Zachary Paputsakis (Rockland, Ont.) turned aside 25 of 29 shots on the night. Conor McCollum (Pickering, Ont.) stopped all three shots he faced when he came in for a brief relief of Paputsakis to end the first period. UPEI goalie Jonah Capriotti stopped 33 of 36 shots on the night. 

Acadia returns to the ice on Wednesday, Oct. 26 against the Saint Mary’s Huskies at home. The puck drop for the game is 7:00 pm. The Panthers travel to Saint Mary’s on Friday night.