Antigonish, NS – The UPEI Panthers overcame a 3-1 third period deficit to come back and defeat the StFX X-Women 4-3 in AUS action Friday night at the StFX Keating Centre. Jolena Gillard (Deer Lake, NF) fired the game winning goal at 10:34 of the third period for the Panthers win.
The X-Women outshot UPEI 42-14 in the game.
UPEI had a couple quality scoring chances early on in the first period and Cassidy McEwan (Lloydminster, AB) had to be sharp in the StFX net.
The lone goal of the period came off the stick of freshman X forward Jayden Thompson (Aurora, ON) at 14:17. Emerson Elliott (Aurora, ON) intercepted a UPEI pass in the neutral zone and sent Thompson in who whipped off a shot from the face-off circle and beat Shaylin McFarlene (Mirimichi, NB) in the Panthers net. Josie Chisholm (Antigonish, NS) also had a helper on the play.
Shots favoured the X-Women 10-3 in the opening period.
The Panthers tied it up on a goal by Faith Steeves (Haveock, NB) scored 5:50 into second period. After McEwan made an initial save the puck bounced around in the crease and Steeves picked up a loose puck in the slot to put it away. Tiah Scichilone (Saint John, NB) and Gillard had the assists.
Tyra Meropoulis (Edson, AB) gave the X-Women back their one-goal lead when she scored her first of two goals on the night at 9:06, taking a pass from Kate Gotaas (Sherwood Park, AB) just inside the blue line, then skating down wing to rip it over the shoulder of McFarlene.
Gotaas also assisted on Meropoulis' second goal, scored two minutes later. Kristen McKinley (Rothesay, NB) found Meropoulis alone in the slot and she made no mistake blasting it into the Panthers net.
The 3-1 StFX lead held up for the duration of the period as shots favoured the X-Women 13-3 in the middle frame.
The Panthers quickly evened the score with two quick goals to start off the third period.
Just over two minutes in, Maria Clinton (Souris, PE) came from behind the back of the X net and passed out front to an open Kelly Clements (Murray River, PE) who potted it into the open mesh. Kaylee Dufresne (Orleans, ON) also assisted on the play.
Two minutes later Mireille Martin (Moncton, NB) and Taylor Gillis (Summerside, PE) scored on a nice 2-on-1 play. Martin fed the puck to the open Gillis who deposited it into the StFX net as a sliding McEwan was unable to make the save.
UPEI took the lead off a goal-crease scramble goal midway through the third period. After making the initial save, Gillard picked up the puck and fired it in past a sprawling McEwan. Clinton and Steeves assisted on the game wining goal.
Elliott almost tied it up as she had a good chance for the X-Women with four minutes remaining in the game. Her shot squirted through the legs of McFarlane and was dangling close to the goal line but the Panthers netminder spotted it and closed her pads to keep it out and the lead intact.
The X-Women pulled McEwan with a 1:30 left on the clock in favour of the extra attacker but could not score the equalizer.
Final shots tallied 42-14 for StFX as McFarlene was solid in the Panthers net with 39 saves. She was the gams second star for her efforts, while teammate Gillard took home first star and Subway player of the game honours. StFX's Meropoulis was the third star.
The X-Women are back in action Saturday night as they host UNB in a 7:00 pm puck drop. The Panthers next play on Friday, October 25th when they host Dalhousie.
Courtesy Krista McKenna, StFX Sports Information
Photo Credit: Kendra Vigneau