Aigles Bleus slip by Panthers in overtime

Aigles Bleus slip by Panthers in overtime

By Thomas Becker

In a battle of goaltenders, Moncton's Étienne Montpetit outdueled UPEI's Simon Hofley, as the Aigles Bleus edged the Panthers 2-1 in overtime.

Montpetit flashed the leather and showed off his athleticism several times to finish with 26 saves. And in the extra period, Olivier Desjardins put away the winner on an innocent looking shot that slid under Hofley and in. 

It's a goal Hofley would like to have back, but the fifth-year netminder was just as strong between the pipes where he turned aside 32 shots.

After losing their first two games at home to the Panthers (4-6-3), the Aigles Bleus (6-4-3) wanted to return the favour.

"There's less pressure on the road," said Montpetit, who was named the Subway Player of the Game. "Tonight, we kept things simple and I think that's why we won."

Goals were hard to come by in the defensive contest and it wasn't until the second period where the teams finally broke through. 

UPEI struck first at 12:44, when their hustle kept the puck in the zone and led to a Kyle Maksimovich snipe in the top right corner.

Moncton responded with a goal of their own five minutes later when Vincent Deslauries took the puck from the corner, skated toward the net and roofed a backhand for the equalizer.

After the third period ended in a stalemate, the Aigles Bleus capitalized on a Panther miscue in the extra frame. At 3:40, Deslauriers left the puck in front of the net after spinning away from a defender and as Hofley fanned on the clearing attempt, Desjardins tapped it home for the winner

With just seven points separating six teams, Montpetit knew this was a big win against a rival trying to chase them in the standings. 

"They're just behind us, so it was important for us to grab the win," Montpetit said.

The Panthers now turn their attention to the visiting UNB Reds for a Nov. 16 game at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan