By Thomas Becker
The Acadia Axemen surrendered their lead three times, but held the Panthers down long enough to escape the Island with a 7-5 win Saturday night.
Subway Player of the Game Samuel Fioretti scored the game's first and last goals, while teammate Kyle Farrell scored a pair as well to lead the Axemen to victory. Boston Leier finished with four points on a goal and three assists, with Owen MacDonald and Rodney Southam finding the back of the net for the other two.
"We played hard but there are things we need to sharpen up," Fioretti said. "We just stuck to it and we didn't quit when they started to get momentum."
The Axemen (5-2-1) wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as Fioretti was given a gift on the doorstep and made it count for the 1-0 edge just three minutes into the game.
The Panthers (2-5-1) bounced back after surrendering the quick goal and pressured Acadia's defence. With just over a minute remaining in the opening period, Kameron Kielly rounded the net and left the puck behind for Gabe Guertler, who fired it off rookie goaltender Dawson Carty and in for the equalizer.
The dreaded penalty kill once again haunted UPEI at 6:58 in the second, as a series of short, quick passes led to Farrell's first goal, pulling Acadia ahead 2-1. 24 seconds later, Southam caught UPEI napping and went in alone to extend the lead 3-1.
While on a power play at 14:07, Darcy Ashley trimmed it to a one-goal game with a missile from the top left circle. However, Acadia responded quickly on Farrell's second marker of the contest.
Instead of hanging their heads, the Panthers scored their third consecutive goal with the man-advantage, this time by Kielly. Fellow rookie Filip Rydstrom then tied the game at four apiece just 14 seconds later. Before the period ended, Leier reclaimed the lead for the Axemen while on a power play.
That lasted all but three minutes as the back and forth affair continued early in the third period, where Ryan MacKinnon's shot from just inside the blue line sailed past Carty to tie it at 5-5.
"We got goals here and there, but then we let up a bit and took our foot off the gas," Fioretti said, "I think a lot of it is discipline too. We took some penalties, which allowed them back in the game. It's definitely something we're going to focus on moving forward."
Following MacKinnon's goal, the Axemen finally took control of the game on goals by MacDonald at 5:48 and Fioretti's second of the night at 10:55.
The Panthers look to snap their five-game losing streak on Nov. 1 when they travel to Moncton, N.B. to take on the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus. Puck drops at 7 p.m.