(Halifax, NS) – In the final game of the regular season, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UPEI Panthers in a battle for playoff seeding. The Tigers got off to a hot start, but the Panthers countered with five unanswered goals and came away with a 5-2 win.
It was a fast paced start to the game, with chances coming at both ends early, but the Tigers were able to strike first.
Jesse Rietveld (Pelham, ON) was able to intercept a clearing attempt by the Panthers and dropped a pass to Danika Phillips (Barrie, ON) in the slot, her shot was deflected in front and bounced right to Lisa MacLean (Inverness, NS) who fired a quick shot over the glove of Megan Sullivan (Bathurst, NB) to open the scoring.
The Panthers had a great opportunity to tie it up at the end of the period when Alisha MacDonald (Summerside, PEI) broke into the zone with Lindsay Johnston (Bowmanville, ON) on a two-on-one chance. MacDonald elected to keep the puck, took a tough backhand shot that snuck under the pad of Jessica Severeyns (Hammonds Plains, NS), but Severeyns was able to squeeze her skates together and keep it out.
With the first period in the books, the Tigers had the lone goal and led 1-0.
The Panthers opened up the second period with great pressure in the attacking end, with another chance coming from Ashtyn Bartlett (Durham Bridge, NB) who brought the puck from behind the net and had Severeyns looking the wrong way, but her shot hit Severeyns pad just as she recovered and it was covered up for a whistle.
Just one minute later, the Tigers worked their way down to the attacking end when the puck bounced out to the point to Taylor Carr-Babineau (Moncton, NB) who hammered a slap shot home for her first AUS goal, and gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
The Panthers were finally able to get on the board midway through the second period on a deflection at the blue-line that was handled by Ashtyn Bartlett who found Jessie Brown (Ancaster, ON) all alone on the opposite side. Brown calmly walked in, picked her spot and beat the pad of Severeyns to make it a 2-1 game.
Putting up two unanswered goals, the Panthers were able to tie up the game with under four minutes to go in the period. On a power play chance, Lindsay Johnston made a wrap-around attempt, but the puck deflected in front to Jenna Pellerin (Halifax, NS) who jammed home the tying goal.
With plenty of action in the second period, the teams went into the third knotted at 2-2.
Opening up the period on a power play, the Panthers were able to find an early goal to put them ahead on a shot from Maria Clinton (Souris, PEI) bounced back out to Leah Byrne (Glace Bay, NS) who fired it past Severeyns to give the Panthers their first lead.
It didn't take long for the Panthers to find another goal in the third when both Tigers defenders pinched to keep the puck in on a power play, but Jenna Pellerin chipped the puck out and found herself strides ahead of the Tigers defenders. Pellerin made a nice deke in front and made a move to her backhand, and she lifted her shot over the glove of the Tigers keeper to give the Panthers four unanswered goals to make it 4-2.
The goals didn't stop there for the Panthers as Maria Clinton forced a turnover in the attacking zone and sent the puck in front of the net where Rachel Colle (Toronto, ON) was able to jam it home through the scramble in front.
The Tigers looked like they had one last goal on the board with five seconds to go on a rebound chance, but the goal was waved off as the net came off just before the shot was taken and time ran out. The Panthers took the 5-2 win in this one.
Jenna Pellerin earned herself the Subway Player of the Game title, picking up two goals in the win. Even giving up five goals in the game, Jessica Severeyns was big for the Tigers in her final game, making 35 saves on 40 shots.
As a result of this game, the Tigers will face UdeM in the first round of the playoffs and the Panthers will take on Saint Thomas.