By: Marshall Mayne
Photo: Lorenzo Parker
Women's Hockey -- Panthers @ Mounties - October 14th, 7:00pm
Panthers @ Tigers - October 15th, 6:30pm
The UPEI Women's Hockey team is set to get the 2016-17 season underway following a six game exhibition tune-up, which saw the Panthers go 2-4. The Panthers will welcome in a few new faces, nine to be exact. Overall coach Bruce Donaldson and the UPEI Panthers have a total of 14 freshman and sophomores heading into the 16/17 campaign.
This weekend will see the Panthers play back to back games, taking on the Mount Allison Mounties on Friday night, and the Dalhousie Tigers Saturday evening. The Mounties finished 11-12-1 last season and look to build on their middle of the pack finish, after being swept by St.FX in two games. The Dalhousie Tigers sneaked in with the final playoff spot, finishing 9-14-1, they were also swept in the playoffs by St. Thomas.
Last season saw the Panthers miss out on the AUS playoffs by four points with a 6-15-3 record, UPEI was also outscored, 33-61 in the 15/16 season. Furthermore, even with one of the youngest lineups in the AUS, coach Donaldson said earlier in training camp, "our goal is to secure a solid playoff position throughout the season and improve in two key areas - team offense and specialty opportunities."
Look out for a full season preview on the UPEI Women's Hockey Panthers before they host the St. Thomas Tommies in their home opener next Friday, October 21st, puck drop at 7:00 pm. Watch live at austv.ca or follow @upeipanthers on Twitter.
Men's Soccer -- Panthers @ Aigles Bleus - October 15th, 3:15 pm
Following an off week, the UPEI Men's Soccer Panthers are ready for the unofficial second half to get under way and continue their push to the AUS playoffs. The Panthers are 2-4-1 this season, and have gone 2-0-1 in their last three games. The Aigles Bleus are 1-6-1, losing their last 6 games in a row.
Following practice this week coach Lewis Page said, "We have a huge game on the road at UdeM this Saturday. Moncton is always a tough place to win but 3 points will keep us in the hunt for the AUS playoffs."
The Panthers currently hold that final playoff spot with five games to go. This will mark the end of the Panthers road games for the 2016 regular season, UPEI will kick off their five game home stand Sunday afternoon against the UNB Varsity Reds at 3:15 pm. Watch live at austv.ca or follow @upeipanthers on Twitter.
Women's Soccer -- Panthers @ Aigles Bleus - October 15, 1:00 pm
The UPEI Women's Soccer Panthers are set to play their final road game of the season against the UdeM Aigles Bleus, Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm. The Aigles Bleus look to improve their 2-6-0 record and jump ahead of the (2-4-1) UPEI Panthers in the AUS standings. The young Panther squad has gone 2-0-1 in their last three games, outscoring their opponents 7-1 during that stretch.
Coach Graeme MacDonald and the team understands the magnitude of this matchup against UdeM. MacDonald added, " Saturday's game is a crucial one for both teams as it could determine playoff fate heading into the final stretch of the season."
With the long layoff between games coach MacDonald says, "UPEI has been preparing aggressively and will be ready to attack, and we will be looking to capitalize on chances created in the offensive zone. A positive result will provide a boost of confidence heading into Sunday's match against UNB."
The Panthers currently sit in sixth place, one spot ahead of the Aigles Bleus heading into the weekend. The race is getting tighter, and the Panthers will look to continue to their playoff hunt on home field throughout their next five games. The Panthers home stand starts against the UNB Varsity Reds, Sunday at 1:00pm. Watch live at austv.ca or follow @upeipanthers on Twitter.
Field Hockey -- AUFH Tournament @ St.FX -- October 15th
The UPEI Field Hockey Panthers are set for their second tournament of the season when they travel to Antigonish for the St.FX invitational. The Panthers will play the top tier teams on Saturday starting against St. Mary's at 11 am, Dalhousie at 1:15 pm, and finally against the host St.FX at 3:30 pm. In the first tournament of the season, UPEI lost 2-1 to the Huskies, followed by a 1-1 tie against the Tigers.
The Panthers have been training hard preparing for this weekends tournament, head coach Sheila Bell said, "We have been concentrating on getting our shooting percentages up and using our team speed to capitalize on our opportunities. With strong goaltending from Jacklyn MacKinnon and the overall balance on the field, we look forward to a successful tournament."
AUFH Championships will be held at the UPEI Turf on October 29th and 30th. Pool placements will be determined by the SMU/DAL and St. FX tournament results. For results and updates follow @upeipanthers on Twitter.
Swimming -- Jack Scholz AUS Invitational Swim Meet @ Acadia -- October 15-16th
The UPEI Swimming team is set for their first AUS meet of the season this weekend in Acadia. The Swimming team will welcome new coach Tom Ponting to the team this season. The Panthers team is highlighted by six sophomore swimmers, all of whom competed for the Panthers last season.
The UPEI Swimming team will compete in five meets this season, which also includes hosting the AUS Championships at the Bell Aliant Centre in February. For results and updates follow @upeipanthers on Twitter.