Kaylee Dufresne and Faith Steeves score twice as Panthers edge Tigers 4-3

Kaylee Dufresne and Faith Steeves score twice as Panthers edge Tigers 4-3

(Halifax, NS) — In matinee women's hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the UPEI Panthers at the Forum on Sunday. An explosive second period, and a last-minute goal helped push the Panthers ahead to a 4-3 win. 

The Tigers controlled much of the offensive pressure early, pinning the puck deep in the Panthers zone looking for an opening, but were unable to generate a solid scoring chance while maintaining that possession.  

The Panthers were making the most of their counter-attacking chances and remained aggressive on the forecheck. It paid off for them, as a turnover by the Tigers in their own end left Maria Clinton (Souris, PEI) alone in front of Fabiana Petricca (Woodbridge, ON). Clinton made a nice move to wait for Petricca to commit, before sending a pass across to Faith Steeves (Havelock, NB) who only needed to tap the puck into the empty cage to open the scoring.  

The Panthers were given back to back power play chances following the goal, but the Tigers penalty kill was rock solid as they only allowed two shots in those four minutes. As a result, the Panthers lead was just one heading into the second period.   

Early in the period, the Tigers put together a great counter-attack chance of their own on a near-perfect breakout of their own zone, Amy Wilson (Mississauga, ON) drove into the attacking end and took a tough angle shot on goal that was stopped, but the rebound was left for Amelia Humphriey (Bedford, NS) to clean up on the doorstep to tie it at 1-1.   

It didn't take long for the Panthers to find an answering goal, as another turnover in their own end saw the puck end up on the stick of Kaylee Dufresne (Orleans, ON) in the slot and she fired a low shot through the five-hole of Petricca to give her team the lead again.   

The Tigers fourth penalty taken finally proved costly, with the Panthers working the puck around the zone, Sophie Vandale (Winnipeg, MB) sent a low, hard shot toward goal that was tipped beautifully in front by Dufresne over the pad of the Tigers keeper for her second goal of the game and a 3-1 lead.  

After two huge plays by Tigers defenders to hold the puck in the attacking end, a long shot from the point caused a scramble in front of the Panthers goal where Taylor Joyce (Halifax, NS) was able to find space under the pad of Camille Scherger (Lloydminister, AB) to bring the Tigers within one.  

The Panthers continued to apply pressure in the Tigers end for much of the third period, but got into penalty trouble in the back half of the frame.   

As the Tigers were on a full minute of a 5-on-3 advantage, Natalie Stanwood (West Vancouver, BC) did a great job of quarterbacking the Tigers power play to find Kennedy Whelan (Alliston, ON) at the side of the goal to jam it home and even the game up at 3-3 with just five minutes left.  

With just over one minute to go, the Panthers were able to break out of their own end and cycle the puck in the Tigers end to open up space for Faith Steeves to take a tough angle shot that was stopped, but Steeves continued to battle in front and sent home the rebound to give her team the 4-3 lead and eventual win as time ran out on the Tigers.  

Faith Steeves and Kaylee Dufresne each scored a pair of goals to help lead the Panthers to the win, but Steeves was named the Subway Player of the Game for sending home the game-winning goal. 

The Panthers travel to Antigonish on Jan. 24 to take on the St. FX X-Women.

Recap by Kirk Jessome, Dalhousie Athletics Communications

Photos by Trevor MacMillan