By Thomas Becker
The UPEI Panthers failed to protect a 2-0 lead for the second time in a week, as the Acadia Axemen poured in three unanswered goals in the third period to steal a 3-2 win.
Rodney Southam kick started the surge early in the decisive frame, followed by a quick goal by Mason McCarty and the eventual game-winner by Jordy Stallard at 11:15. UPEI's Kameron Kielly led all scorers with a pair of goals.
The Axemen (8-1) felt they played well enough through the first two periods to carry a lead into the third, but couldn't solve netminder Simon Hofley, who finished with 24 saves.
"We had a few unlucky bounces early, but we just stuck with it, kept pounding shots and we knew our time would come," said Stallard, who was named the Subway Player of the Game.
The Panthers (1-5-1) came out with a lot of energy looking to snap their three-game skid and broke through at 11:49, when the puck cycled to Kielly in the right circle where he wired a shot top shelf for the power play marker.
Thirteen minutes into the second, Acadia goaltender Dawson Carty made a costly error when he went behind the net and passed it to Kielly, who easily put home his second of the game on the open cage.
By the time the third period rolled around, it was all Axemen. With the man-advantage at 3:10, Southam took a cross-ice pass from Maurizio Colella and hammered a shot in the far side corner to trim the deficit in half. Twenty-six seconds later, McCarty put away the rebound off Stephen Harper's initial shot in front of the net.
Acadia put the game away midway through period when a blocked shot from the point found Stallard's stick in front where he tapped it in.
"It was a gutsy effort tonight," Stallard said. "We've played well all season, especially on the road. We just have to keep working hard and do the things that help us be successful."
The Panthers travel to Moncton on Nov. 1 where they'll take on the Aigles Bleus. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan