(Halifax, NS) – In Saturday night hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UPEI Panthers at the Halifax Forum. A hat trick performance from the Panthers helped lead them to a 4-1 win to collect the 2 points.
The majority of the period was quiet offensively, with back and forth play happening on both ends that were not able to result in scoring chances.
It took till the final five minutes in the opening period to find some offense as the Panthers were given the first power play opportunity of the game.
Winning the draw in the offensive zone, Kameron Kielly (Charlottetown, PEI) sent a pass into the slot that was deflected on net, and Darian Pilon (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) was on the doorstep ready to tap home the rebound to open the scoring.
Just two minutes later the Panthers were attacking again, as a hard shot from Doug Blaisdell (Southwold, ON) went wide, but the rebound bounced off the end-boards and back to the side of the goal for Troy Lajuenesse (Dokis, ON) to put into a wide open frame for a 2-0 lead just before the period expired.
With a quick penalty from the Tigers, the Panthers were able to find the back of the net once again when an attempted pass into the slot from Kyle Maksimovich (Oakville, ON) was deflected off of Zachary Taylor (Dartmouth, NS) of the Tigers and bounced right onto the tape of Pilon at the side of the goal to collect his second of the game.
The Tigers were finally able to find some offensive pressure on a power play chance of their own late in the period, but the few shots on goal that they were able to generate during the stretch were not enough to beat Simon Hofley (Ottawa, ON).
Given a prime opportunity early in the period, the Tigers found themselves with a two-man advantage, but once again the Panthers penalty kill was strong as they killed off the nearly two minute 5-on-3.
It was the Tigers penalty kill that was able to get their offense going, as Connor Hicks (Kanata, ON) made a big save that freed the puck up for Campbell Pickard (Halifax, NS) to make a rush up the ice. Pickard's quick shot on the break was stopped, but Chandler Yakimowicz (Kingston, PA) followed him in and was able to clean up the rebound and get the Tigers on the board at 3-1.
The Panthers were able to get that goal back quickly as Pilon made a nifty move to jump around a check at the blueline and receive a pass back at the edge of the faceoff circle and wired a wrist shot over an outstretched Hicks to make it 4-1.
The Tigers pulled Hicks late in the period, needing goals quickly to get back in it, but the long stretch of pressure came to no avail, as the Panthers were able to hold on for a 4-1 win.
Simon Hofley was fantastic in goal for the Panthers, allowing just one goal on 32 shots to earn the win. Darian Pilon was able to out-shine him, however, as his hat trick performance earned him the Subway Player of the Game title.
The Tigers will look to bounce back next Friday as they take on Saint Mary's while the Panthers will play host to Moncton on Wednesday.
Recap by Dalhousie Tigers' Kirk Jessome / Photos by Trevor MacMillan