Panthers’ comeback falls short in double overtime

Panthers’ comeback falls short in double overtime

By Thomas Becker

In their last meeting with the UPEI Panthers, the St. FX X-Women surrendered a 3-1 third-period lead and lost 4-3. They did the same Sunday afternoon, but this time closed the deal in double overtime for the 4-3 win. 

Lindsey Donovan delivered the winner 42 seconds in after Tyra Meropoulis wrapped around the net and found the forward with a cross-ice pass for the easy goal. 

"It was a beautiful pass by Tyra. She put it right on my stick," said Donovan, who was named the Subway Player of the Game.

Donovan led the way with two goals, while Lacey Dimaulo and Lea MacLeod recorded one each. Kristen McKinely had two assists in the win.

The X-Women (7-4-1) were the first to strike in a competitive first period. After McKinley fired a shot off Panther defender Ally Clements, the puck landed in front for Dimaulo, who roofed it over Camille Scherger's shoulder and in at 12:21. 

St. FX added another on an odd-man rush a minute into the second, when the puck deflected off a stick to Donovan, who deposited her first of the contest as the lead grew to 2-0. Midway through the period, MacLeod battled for the puck in the neutral zone and skated past the defence before sniping a shot top left corner.

The Panthers (9-2-1) fired back at 14:56 when Maria Clinton centred a pass to Kaylee Dufresne in the slot where she beat goaltender Jamie Johnson glove side.

The home team continued to pick away at the lead in the third. At 10:46, Gillis tipped home Katelynn Nice's shot from the far side.  

With time running out, UPEI pulled their goalie and put the pressure on their opponent. After several attempts on net, the puck cycled to Kristen MacIntyre, who fired it from the point before Clinton buried the rebound on the open cage with 5.1 seconds to spare.

After the game, Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson said he was pleased with his team's fight, especially in the third period. 

"I thought we put a real press on," he said. "Once we got the first one, we were buzzing around and we had a lot of opportunities. We just had to believe it could happen."

While UPEI was successful in sending the game to overtime and earning the tough point, it was the X-Women who came out on top this time with Donovan's double overtime heroics. 

"We knew we needed the two points," Donovan said. "We battled hard every shift. Even though we let in a couple goals, we still battled back hard to take the game."

The Panthers travel to Sackville next for a Nov. 13 tilt against the Mount Allison Mounties. Game time is 7 p.m