CHARLOTTETOWN (U SPORTS)—In front of a sold-out crowd, the UPEI Panthers upset the top-ranked Calgary Dinos 4-2 to advance to the Saturday’s semifinals.
The Panthers boasted a balanced attack with four players finding the back of the net, including Drake Pilon, Andrew Picco, Kaleb Pearson and Troy Lajeunesse, while Kyle Maksimovich had two assists in the win.
Panthers set the tone early, especially on the defensive end where they limited Calgary to just one shot in the game’s opening 10 minutes.
Fueled by their stingy defence, the Panthers’ offence came alive late in the period. On a power play at 15:07, Matt Brassard delivered a pass to Pilon in the right circle where he roofed a wrist shot for the opening goal.
About three and half minutes later, Maksimovich passed it back to Picco, who fired the one-timer by goaltender Carl Tetachuk to make it 2-0 before the end of the period.
Tetachuk responded with a big save early in the second period to keep it a two-goal deficit. The rookie netminder stretched out completely to deny Maksimovich’s backhand attempt on a rebound.
That save seemed to spark the Dinos, who controlled the play throughout the middle stanza and broke through on a power play at 10:26. On the scoring play, Bradley Schoonbaert gathered a short pass from Connor Gutenberg, took a couple of strides from the high slot and wired a wrist shot by Jonah Capriotti, who was screened by six-foot-five forward Max Patterson.
After a shaky second period, the Panthers came out flying in the third and quickly cushioned their lead. Pearson got the scoring going again a little over a minute into the period when he picked off a pass in the neutral and went in alone before slipping a backhand by Tetachuk to make 3-1.
At 7:06, Lajeunesse put away UPEI’s fourth goal of the game. Linemate TJ Shea raced down the right side and fed a cross-ice pass to the veteran forward, who tapped it in.
Calgary’s Josh Maser added a goal late in the game as he whipped a quick shot off a faceoff win, but that’s as close as he got.
Capriotti recorded 20 saves in the win, while Tetachuk turned aside 27 shots.
Nike Top Performers
- UPEI: Kaleb Pearson
- Calgary: Bradley Schoonbaert