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Hockey Tigers fall short in shootout

Photo courtesy of Janessa Hogan
Photo courtesy of Janessa Hogan

By Thomas Becker  

Even when they're not playing to their fullest potential, great teams still find a way to win.  

Friday night was one of those games for the UPEI Panthers, who took down the Dalhousie Tigers in a 4-3 shootout win.  

Taylor Gillis came up big late in regulation when she scored the tying goal on a wrist shot from the right circle that sent the game to overtime. After the extra frame resolved nothing, sophomore forward Mireille Martin delivered with a pair of shootout goals to secure the win.  

"You got to give Dalhousie credit, they came to play today," said Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson. "But we just stuck with it and Taylor's goal set us up nicely."  

The game got off to a slow start and didn't pick up until late in the period when a Sydney Lyndon shot from the point was saved by Dalhousie's Taylor Beam, leading to a long rebound that Kelly Clements put away at 14:24 for her first goal of the season.  

With just 39 seconds remaining in the first period, the puck found Tiger forward Kaela Thomson in front of the net where she beat netminder Shaylin McFarlane glove side to tie the game at one apiece.  

In just her second season, McFarlane has played exceptionally well in the absence of all-Canadian Camille Scherger, who has yet to play a game this year due to injury. Through five games, she sports a 2.11 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.  

"She came to camp ready and she's been doing a great job for us ever since," Donaldson said.  

However, the Tigers (1-3-1) got to her again at 6:36 of the second period when Brooklyn Paisley took on two defenders and passed it to an open Isabella Weist, who connected on the one-timer.   

But the Panthers would tie the game at two apiece late in the period thanks to Lyndon, who found Martin with a long pass that set up a breakaway chance she wouldn't waste.  

Dalhousie continued to cause problems in the offensive zone and would find the back of the net again two minutes into the third. The Tigers battled for the puck along the end boards and managed to get it in front where Keana Oshowy poked it home.  

With time running out, Gillis' late game heroics set up the shootout where the Panthers took the game and improved to 3-0-2.  

After the game, Donaldson praised the team's depth for their strong start.  

"Every night there's been a different line that steps up and that definitely helps."  

The Panthers hope that depth pays off again tonight when they take on the Saint Mary's Huskies in Halifax.