By Thomas Becker
Anthony Repaci delivered the knockout punch Friday night, as the Saint Mary's Huskies scored three unanswered goals in a thrilling 4-3 overtime win.
After the Huskies squandered several opportunities to put the game away earlier in overtime – including a 3-on-0 breakaway and a penalty shot – Repaci decided enough was enough and took it in alone and scored on his own rebound, silencing the home crowd in the process.
"It was just a good fight back from the boys," said Repaci, who was named Subway Player of the Game. "We thought we were playing great all night, we just weren't getting many bounces our way."
After trailing for most of the game, the Huskies (4-2-1) dug deep and came up big from the third period on, outscoring the Panthers 3-0.
"It's a confidence booster for the guys. It just shows the heart of the team to come back like that, especially on the road."
Despite struggling with their power play unit in recent games, the Huskies were able to turn that around while facing a Panthers' penalty kill unit that sits last at 56.8 per cent. Steven Shipley scored the game's only two power play markers, as Saint Mary's finished 2-for-3 in that category.
"Our power play has been struggling a bit, but the past couple games have been a lot better," Repaci said. "We're just trying hard to put pucks in the net in those situations and we got a few tonight."
It was a bit of a rocky start for UPEI. Goaltender Matt Mahalak nearly coughed up a goal when gathering the puck from behind the net. Luckily for him, a defenceman was able to get to the net before Noah Zilbert could get a shot off on the open cage.
The Panthers (2-4-1) had another sigh of relief midway through the period, when Saint Mary's Alexander Peters rang the puck off iron, keeping the game scoreless.
UPEI finally broke the deadlock in the final minute by forcing a costly turnover in Huskies' territory. On a give-and-go with Gabe Guertler, Marcus Power wristed a shot top shelf to give them an early 1-0 lead.
Guertler was at it again in the opening minutes of the second period when he skated in from the left and on a difficult angle fired it past Cole Cheveldave glove side for the 2-0 advantage.
The Panthers season-long struggle with their penalty kill continued again in this game, as Shipley capitalized just seconds into the Huskies' first power play, cutting the deficit in half 2-1.
At 16:26, Guetler restored the two-goal edge by depositing his second of the night on a great cross-ice pass from Beau McCue.
However, that lead was short-lived as Bronson Beaton trimmed it to 3-2 on a cross-ice feed from Hunter Garlent just seconds into the final period.
While on a power play with five minutes remaining, Shipley tipped a Calder Brooks wrister from just inside the blue line, beating Mahalak for the equalizer. And with plenty of ice to work with in overtime, Repaci delivered the final blow with game-winning tally to take this one 4-3.
The Panthers have a quick turnaround as they welcome the Acadia Axemen on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.