(Halifax, NS) The Saint Mary's University Huskies beat the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers 5-1 in game one of the quarterfinals best of three, at the Halifax Forum in Halifax NS.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in their best of three AUS quarterfinal.
"We don't necessarily think we deserved the win but we got it and that's what counts," said Huskies head coach Trevor Stienburg.
Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) made 28 saves to pick up the win in his first career AUS playoff game. He finished the regular season with an 8-6 record and .909 save percentage.
Garlent added an assist for a three-point night in his AUS playoff debut. He was second in AUS regular season scoring with 45-points in his rookie campaign.
Cody Payne (Davie, FL) (1) scored for the Panthers. He had 14 regular season goals in his first year in the AUS.
Matt Mahalak (Monroe MI) made 19 saves for the Panthers. He was 11-15 with a .886 save-percentage in the regular season.
Garlent opened the scoring with 2:55 left to go in the first just one second after a Huskies power play had ended. Aaron Berisha (Mississauga ON) sent puck around to Garlent at the top of the left circle. Garlent played catch with Trickett on the blue line and on the return pass slipped into high slot to fire a shot through traffic and in low right pad.
Payne tied it up at 1-1 4:28 into the second. Payne sent a pass across the neutral zone to Derek Ryckman (Red Deer AB) who caught the pass with his skate and took puck into Huskies zone on the left wing. He dropped for Brent Andrews (Hunter River PE) who fired a low shot that created a huge rebound that Payne buried.
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the third.
"We weren't happy with our first two periods, I think we actually struggled," said Stienburg.
Repaci made it 2-1 Huskies 1:44 into the third. Trickett fired the puck into the Panthers zone and it wrung around to Garlent who got in on the fore-check and picked up the puck in the right corner. He worked around behind the net and fed Repaci in the slot, Repaci ripped a wrist shot that deflected in high glove.
Garlent picked up his second 6:45 into the third, just after the Panthers took a penalty while on the power play to bring up some four-on-four action. On the next faceoff in the left circle in the Panthers zone. Garlent won the draw clean back to Gillard who fired a shot that Garlent was able to tip in high blocker.
Trickett made it 4-1 just 45 seconds later on the same four-on-four. He forced a turnover in the neutral zone and took off on a breakaway, he made a sweet move to the backhand and sent it upstairs glove just inside post.
Shipley iced the win for the Huskies on a different four-on-four with 6:00 left in the third. With the faceoff in the left circle in the Panthers zone, he won a faceoff to himself and moved in on goal showing off some filthy mitts making a backhand-forehand move and sliding it in.
Each team went zero for seven on the power play.
Shots on goal were 29-24 for the Panthers and the Huskies blocked an additional 17 shots to only four for the Panthers. Overall shots were 46-28 Panthers.
"We have a lot of new guys in the lineup, I think that was their first playoff game," said Stienburg. "We had a couple breaks in the third and that seemed to bring our game back, our confidence and a bit of our mojo."
"We're not going to get away with the lack of execution that we had tonight in the first couple of periods against them [in Charlottetown]. We have to be better."
Game two of the best of three will be in Charlottetown PE at MacLauchlan Arena on Friday Feb. 17. If necessary game three will be in Halifax NS at the Halifax Forum on Sunday Feb. 19.
By Cam Honey-Webb, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce