By Thomas Becker
There was a lot of excitement on UNB's bench when the final buzzer sounded, as the Reds earned an important 1-0 win over the UPEI Panthers.
The victory marked their fourth straight and put them back in the hunt for a first round bye. In a now crowded conference, the fourth-place Reds (16-8-0) sit within five points out of the first seed.
Sophomore forward Sage McElroy-Scott netted the game-winner at 3:28 of the third period.
"It was pure excitement," McElroy-Scott said of her goal. "This is our third game this week and we went 3-for-3 which was huge for us. We've always had tough games versus UPEI, so it was pure excitement."
The Panthers (17-6-1) had two great chances late in the first period to get on the scoreboard, but couldn't get the puck in the back of the net. First it was Jenna Pellerin, who sent a breakaway backhand over the net. Moments later, Kaylee Dufresne broke free but lost control of the puck before attempting a shot.
On their second power play of the afternoon, UNB forward Frederike Cyr fired a shot off the crossbar for their best chance of the period.
After a scoreless second period, the Reds jumped on the Panthers early in the third. Tamina Kehler's shot from the slot was saved by goaltender Camille Scherger, but McElroy buried the rebound to make it 1-0.
UPEI couldn't get in any rhythm in the third as they were penalized six times. Scherger stood tall each time and turned aside 23 shots, while holding UNB scoreless on nine power plays. Kendra Woodland was just a bit better on the afternoon, stopping 34 shots for the shutout.
"It's huge. Playoffs are coming up, so to beat a team like UPEI, who are in the top-3, is huge for us," said McElroy-Scott. Who was named the Subway Player of the Game. "We want to go into playoffs hot, just like we played today."
The Panthers return to the ice on Wednesday when they host the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan