(Halifax, NS) In AUS men's hockey action, the Saint Mary's Huskies hosted the UPEI Panthers and came up short on a 4-3 decision.
UPEI opened the scoring early. Three and a half minutes in, Austin Levi (Farmington Hills, MI) jumped on a loose puck in the slot after Beau McCue (Pasco, WA) drew both SMU defense to the side. Levi's low shot beat goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) to make it 1-0 for the Panthers.
SMU responded with a power play goal to tie the game. Alexander Peters (Blyth, ON) sent a slap shot off the draw from Calder Brooks (Emerald Park, SK) that beat goalie Matthew Mancina (Windsor, ON) high.
UPEI took the lead again several minutes later. A shot from the point from Levi went off the skate of Troy Lajeunesse (Dokis, ON) and went high in the air. Spinning around, Lajeunesse batted the puck in as it fell to take a 2-1 lead after one period of play.
The Panthers added another goal, eight minutes into the second period. On the power play, Cody Payne (Davie, FL) one-timed a pass from Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PEI) past Brassard on his blocker side. Filip Rydstrom (Stockholm, SWE) also assisted on the play.
With seven minutes to go in the period, there was a collision in the crease. Mancina went off injured and was replaced by goalie Simon Hofley (Ottawa, ON). Hofley had a rough start to his game, getting beat on the first Huskies shot he faced. Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) left alone in the slot beat him low blocker side. Connor McGlynn (Oakville, ON) and Austyn Hardie (Halifax, NS) assisted as the Huskies cut UPEI's lead to one.
Saint Mary's got into penalty trouble. Sam Aulie (Lumsden, SK) added another goal on a 5 on 3 power play for the Panthers. Rydstrom and Payne grabbed assists on the play.
The second period ended with the Panthers up 4-2.
The Huskies started the third period on the power play and scored 35 seconds in. Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON) tipped in a cross-ice pass from Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON), making it 4-3. Jake Cougher (St. Catharine's, ON) also got an assist.
That would be all they could get, however, as the rest of the period stayed scoreless. The Huskies pulled their goalie with a minute and a half to go but couldn't tie the game as it ended 4-3 in favor of UPEI.
The Subway Player of the Game was Cody Payne for the Panthers.
Heading into the winter break, Saint Mary's is now at 11-6-1 and UPEI at 9-6-1. Games resume at the start of January, with SMU playing on the road to UNB and PEI on January 4 & 5.
Sarah Moore, for SMU
Photo Mona Ghiz