By Thomas Becker
The UPEI Panthers have not forgotten who eliminated them from the playoffs a season ago and used that as motivation Sunday afternoon, as they shutout the UNB Reds 5-0.
"Last time UNB was in this building, they exited us from the playoffs and a lot of the girls in that room remembered that feeling," said Panthers head coach Bruce Donaldson.
Donaldson saw the fire in his team's eye the moment the puck dropped and applauded their complete effort.
"Probably our best 60 minutes," he said. "I just felt we were limiting their shots and opportunities and we seemed to get stronger as the game went on."
It was team's defence that set the tone early. They limited the Reds to just five shots on net in the period and did not allow a single shot on two penalties against the second best power play.
"We knew they had one of the best power play in the league, but we had a defence out there throwing their bodies around and blocking shots," said Vandale, who was named the Subway Player of the Game."
UPEI broke the scoreless tie at 6:21 of the second when Colle tipped home Vandale's shot from the point.
Less than five minutes later, Pellerin stole the puck in her own zone, skated the distance and wired a shot past goaltender Kendra Woodland top left corner for the 2-0 advantage. The defence, continued to stifle the Reds, who managed just three of their 18 shots in the period.
The Panthers followed that strong effort with a scoring outpour in the third. Frist it was Clements, who sent a low wrist shot past Woodland to make it 3-0 at the 6:28 mark. At 8:06, Mintz got the puck in the slot and backhanded it in the top right corner for a beautiful goal. Vandale then closed it out just 14 seconds later, when the defender fired it from the point for the 5-0 win.
"We know we're a really good team and we're trying really hard to prove that," said Vandale. "We saw that we were ranked fifth (in the preseason coaches' poll) and we were like 'nope, this is not where we should be.'"
UPEI will take on the visiting Aigles Bleues next for a Nov. 9 battle at 7 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan