Guertler helps lead Panthers on Senior Night

photo credits Janessa Hogan
photo credits Janessa Hogan

Charlottetown, PE - In front of a packed crowd at MacLauchlan Arena, the UPEI Panthers (11-14-4) skated to a 4-3 overtime victory over the UdeM Aigles Bleus (10-18-3) on Senior Night. 

The Panthers opened the scoring 4:20 into the first period after the Aigles Bleus goaltender Brandon Thibeau was unable to handle the dump in, and Panthers forward Gabe Guertler (2-2) cleaned up the mess and got his seventh goal of the season, Riley Whittingham picked up the lone assist. 

Three minutes later UdeM would get on the board as Marc-Anthony Therrien (1-1) scored his fourth of the season after a failed pass attempt allowed the puck to get back on his stick and catch Mahalak going the way to tie the game 1-1. Robbie Graham (2-1) and Samuel Leblanc (0-2) picked up the assists. 

Panthers began to apply the pressure on the Aigles Bleus, highlighted by a couple grade A scoring chances including Sam Aulie splitting the D to get in for a partial break. Shortly after, the Aigles Bleus would take a delay of game penalty and the Panthers would get their first opportunity on the power play. 

The Panthers would only need 48 seconds to capitalize on the man advantage and regain the lead. Cody Payne added to his impressive rookie campaign scoring his 14th goal of the season, Guertler and Beau McCue (0-2) picked up the assists. 

Special teams were the story from that point forward as each team ended the game with seven minors each. In the second period the two teams were unable to let the game open up as the referees brought the whistles out and called seven minor infractions in the middle frame alone. However, Aigles Bleus forward Robbie Graham would score his seventh and eighth goals of the season with the latter coming on the powerplay. 

Heading into the third with the Panthers down one Gabe Guertler registered his second goal of the night at the 3:02 mark to tie the game 3-3. Beau McCue and Chad Labelle registered the assists. 

Both teams would generate decent scoring chances in the final frame, but the goaltenders remained sharp and and kept their respective teams in the game. 

The two teams would remain tied at the end of regulation where Nelson Armstrong and Guertler would set up JC Campagna who scored on a quick shot from the slot at the 3:07 mark to win the game for the Panthers.

The Panthers will hit the road on Saturday to face the UNB Varsity Reds in the regular season finale at 7:00 pm.