By Thomas Becker
Breanna Lanceleve dealt a crippling blow to the UPEI Panthers in overtime as the Saint Mary's Huskies escaped with the 2-1 win Saturday night.
Subway Player of the Game, Laura Polak found Lanceleve on a nice cross-ice pass that freed her for the game-winning goal. The two fifth-year players each recorded a goal and an assist to lead their team.
"This win was huge for us," Polak said. "Usually when we come here, it's always a tough battle so to get the win in overtime was really significant."
Despite playing the night before in Moncton, the Panthers (0-1-1) fought toe-to-toe with the defending champions and almost pulled off the upset. Still, they were able to grab a point in the standings thanks in large part to rookie goaltender, Camille Scherger, who made 35 saves on 37 attempts.
"She made some key saves for us," said Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson. "You need that because these are one-goal games and you need someone who can make big saves to keep your team in it."
For most of two periods, both teams battled hard and didn't give up much in the way of opportunities. Fourth-year forward Emma Weatherbie was strong for the Panthers and created a few chances for herself, despite facing an effective Huskies' (1-0) defence that allowed just 18 shots on net.
As the second period went on, Saint Mary's offence started to come together and began firing away at Scherger. At 16:47, Polak broke the scoreless deadlock by connecting on a rebound given up by the goaltender.
"We came out shaky but once we got going, we calmed down a bit and played our game," Polak said.
Two minutes into the third period, the Panthers were called for a delay of game penalty to the delight of the visiting Huskies. But the power play didn't go quite as planned. UPEI's Kaylee Dufresne blocked an oncoming pass and found an open lane up the middle, where she wristed a shot past Rebecca Clark for the shorthanded goal, tying the game at one apiece.
Weatherbie had a chance to win it in the final minute, but Clark made a game-saving stop to send it to overtime where Lanceleve scored the winner.
The Panthers next game will feature the visiting St. FX X-Women on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan