By Thomas Becker
A pair of goals early in the second period carried the UNB Reds to a 2-0 win over the UPEI Panthers Saturday afternoon.
Despite being outshot 37-16, the Reds were able to overcome the large shot discrepancy thanks to goals by Lillian George and Jennifer Bell and a shutout performance by Kendra Woodland.
UNB (11-7-3) has feasted on the Panthers (11-9-1) all season long, capturing wins in all three head-to-head matchups by an 8-2 margin.
"These wins are important for a new program," said Woodland, who was named Subway Player of the Game. "It'll be good if we get the sweep, but we're just focusing on tomorrow and pushing forward game by game."
Leading up to the second period, it was the Panthers who had full control of the game. They dominated puck possession and fired 14 shots on goal, while the defence smothered their opponent and contained them to a single shot.
Yet it was Woodland who kept the Reds afloat. She was sharp between the pipes turning aside everything that came her way and was key in killing off a pair of penalties.
"It was a shaky start, but we picked it up later on and the defence really helped me out a lot out there," she said. "I couldn't have done it without them."
Knowing they dodged a bullet, the Reds came out of the intermission stronger and more determined in the offensive zone. On their first power play of the game, UNB cycled the puck to George in the right circle, where she fired it shortside to break the deadlock 3:59 into the second.
At 6:21, Ashley Stratton's backhand attempt went off Camille Scherger's right pad to Bell, who took care of the rebound and pushed the lead to 2-0.
"Capitalizing on our chances in that second period gave us a little bit of a gap and eased the pressure heading into the third," Woodland said.
Desperate to find a goal, the Panthers peppered Woodland with another 15 shots. But they couldn't find one, as the Reds' netminder recorded her third shutout of the season.
UPEI returns to the ice Jan. 25 when they take on the Saint Mary's Huskies at 7 p.m.