Panthers edge Axemen in thrilling victory

Panthers edge Axemen in thrilling victory

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – For the second night in a row, the Acadia Axemen (2-4) were unable to stage a late comeback, this time against the UPEI Panthers (3-3), who left Wolfville with a 5-3 win. 

Despite leading in shots for the entire game and going 3-for-6 on the power-play, the Axemen did not hold a lead at any point in the game.  

UPEI got off to an early start with a goal from forward Gabe Guertler. 

Guertler came from behind the Axemen net and jammed the puck in on the right post to give the Panthers a quick 1-0 lead. 

The Panthers added to their lead a few minutes later with a power-play marker from forward Sam Aulie. 

Aulie took a pass in front of the Axemen net from defenceman Doug Blaisdell and lifted the puck over the right shoulder of the Acadia goalie to make it 2-0. 

By the end of the first period, the shots were 10-7 for the Axemen. 

The Axemen got on the scoreboard just before the midway point in the second with a power-play marker from forward Jackson Houck. 

Houck bounced the puck off the left pad of the sprawling UPEI goalie and into the net to make it 2-1. 

The Panthers restored their two-goal lead a few minutes later with a laser of a wrist shot from forwarding Mitchell Dempsey, that ricocheted off the crossbar and into the net to make it 3-1. 

Acadia got within one again, with a power-play goal from Axemen forward Rodney Southam. 

Southam was parked a couple of feet from the crease and buried a low wrist shot off a pass from behind the net by forward Ryan Foss to make it 3-2. 

By the end of the second period, the shots were 21-16 for the Axemen. 

UPEI added an insurance marker on the power-play early into the third period. 

Panthers defenseman Owen Headrick scored on a wrist shot from the point that fooled the Axemen goalie Dawson Carty to make it 4-2. 

Once again, the Axemen responded with a power-play marker, this time from forward Stephen Harper to make it 4-3. 

However, the Panthers sealed the game with 59.4 seconds left on the clock, as Panthers forward – and Subway First Star of the Night – Beau McCue ripped the puck into the empty net to give UPEI a 5-3 win over the host Axemen. 

Assistant coach Kris MacDonald noted following the loss, "To win in this league you got to play 60 minutes and I feel we played 40 tonight and that was the difference." 

Despite the loss MacDonald was positive about the Axemen's powerplay going three for five. "We struggled a bit last night (vs UNB), but the guys came back and it was nice to see us have some success on the powerplay, but if you lose, it doesn't really matter" 

Axemen goaltender Dawson Carty turned aside 17 of 21 shots, while his UPEI counterpart Simon Hofley stopped 27 of 30 shots. 

The second and third stars of the night were Axemen forward Garrett McFadden and Panthers defenceman Doug Blaisdell, respectively 

The Axemen now head on the road for two games before taking to the ice again at home on Tuesday, Oct. 30 against the Dalhousie Tigers. Puck drop is at 7:00 pm.