Panthers fall to Reds

Panthers fall to Reds

(FREDERICTON, NB) Mark Rassell (Calgary, AB) and Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) each scored twice to lead the UNB Reds to 7-2 win over the UPEI Panthers on Saturday night.

Rassell was named Subway Player of the Game.

The Reds had a tough first period, but eventually took over as the game wore on.

"We had to wake up a little bit there, we were sluggish and we know that at this time of the year that is unacceptable, but coach did a good job lighting the fire," said Rassell.

A bouncing puck over UPEI's Owen Headrick's (Garden River, ON) stick allowed Rassell to break in and put the Reds up 1-0, just 1:38 into the first period.

Two minutes later, penalties taken by Oliver Cooper (Fredericton, NB) and Noah Carroll (Strathroy, ON) gave UPEI a 5-on-3 powerplay for 1:47. The Panthers would not need much of that time, with Cody Payne (Davie, FLA) beating Alex Dubeau (Mascouche, QC) short-side to tie the game 1-1.

Penalty trouble would hurt UNB again with Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PE) giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead heading into first intermission.

"For the most part I thought we played a pretty good road game…for forty minutes we were right there," said Kielly.

The Reds peppered the Panthers net in the second, outshooting UPEI 20-5.

Panthers goaltender Simon Hofley (Ottawa, ON) stood tall, make several tough saves.

The Reds found an answer in the form of a blistering, top-corner shot from James McEwan (Chatham, ON) to even the score 2-2.

"He [Holfey} had some huge saves, he is a good goalie but at the end of the game we are going to break him down when we are putting up 40-50 shots a night on him," said Rassell.

Rassell would score with just six seconds left in the period, tipping a Randy Gazzola (Thorold, ON) shot for a 3-2 Reds lead at second intermission.

Chris Clapperton (Cap d'Espoir, QC) fed both Bennett and Stephen Anderson (Morell, PE) for goals in the third as the Reds pulled away.

Matthew Boucher (Los Angeles, CA), on a short-handed breakaway, and Bennett tallied the final goals for the Reds.

Gazzola, Clapperton, Olivier Leblanc (Quebec City, QC) and Matt Murphy (Woodstock, NB) all had two assists for the Reds.

Dubeau made 20 saves for the Reds, while Hofley made 41 for the Panthers.

UNB remains first in the Atlantic University Sport standings at 23-2-3, while UPEI drops to 13-12-3 and sits fifth.

Up next, the Reds welcome the St FX X-Men to the Aitken Centre on Friday. Game time is 7:00pm.

The Panthers will also be at home on Friday, playing host to the Dalhousie Tigers. That's also a 7:00pm start.