UPEI Panthers AUAA champs from 1987, 1988 to be recognized

UPEI Panthers AUAA champs from 1987, 1988 to be recognized

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Dave Shellington remembers his first trip to the East Coast like it was yesterday.

The Burford, Ont., native was joining the Vince Mulligan-coached UPEI Panthers after finishing his Ontario Hockey League career with the Cornwall Royals.

 

Shellington flew into the Charlottetown airport in the summer of 1985 on a rainy, foggy day and remembers wondering, "Where am I? What I have done?

"I walked into the old Charlottetown airport and Vince was there with at least 15 of the team guys in their jackets. Right then I knew I made the right decision and that I was in the right place," he said Wednesday. "Everything else from there on was even better than I imagined it was going to be."

 

The team concept was a big reason the Panthers won back-to-back Atlantic Universities Athletics Association (AUAA) championships in 1986-87 and 1987-88. Those two teams will be recognized Friday, Jan. 20, during alumni weekend at UPEI.

 

About two dozen members of the teams are expected to be in attendance, and Shellington knows the stories will be flying as guys reconnect, in some cases, for the first time in 20-plus years.

 

Mulligan's recipe for success was simple.

 

"I had good goaltending, good defence and tough forwards," he said, and "the word was out that UPEI was a good school and a good hockey school. And we were winners."

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