By Thomas Becker
After a six-goal outpour the night before, the UPEI Panthers were stymied by the St. Thomas Tommies in a 2-0 loss Sunday afternoon.
It wasn't for a lack of effort, as the Panthers (9-7-1) peppered Abby Clarke with 44 shots – 22 more than their opponent. But the netminder was simply unbeatable as she recorded her fifth shutout of the season and was named the Subway Player of the Game.
Fifth-year forward Lauren Henman led the way with two points (a goal and an assist), while Olivia Reid notched the second goal.
UPEI controlled the pace in the first six minutes and challenged Clarke with four early shots. However, the Tommies (16-2-0) were the first to strike, as Henman went five-hole on Camille Scherger at 7:46.
The Panthers hung tough with first place St. Thomas and even outshot them 15-8. But nothing was getting by Clarke, who denied UPEI's best chance of the period when she snagged the puck from the air on a Kaylee Dufresne wrist shot from the slot with 30 seconds to spare.
Clarke continued to turn aside a flurry of shots in the second. But it was at the midway point when she really made her mark, as the goaltender helped kill off a two-man advantage, which was immediately followed by another power play. It was an important four-minute stretch that resulted in nothing for the Panthers. By the end of the period, UPEI was up big in the shot department, 35-14, but still trailed 1-0.
The Tommies sealed the victory midway through the third, when Reid, with little space to operate, roofed a backhand over Scherger's shoulder.
The Panthers head to Halifax next, where they'll take on the Saint Mary's Huskies on Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan