CHARLOTTETOWN – UPEI defenceman Alex Wall scored the game-winning goal early during the third period to lift the Panthers to a 3-1 win over the St. Thomas Tommies in Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey action Saturday night.
Wall scored at 1:34 to seal the win in front of a crowd of 1,147 fans at MacLauchlan Arena.
Reggie Traccitto and Dana Fraser scored power-play goals to account for the other two UPEI markers.
Jonathan Bonneau scored the only goal for St. Thomas.
Both teams were tied 1-1 going into the third period.
Jordan Mayer assisted all three of UPEI’s goals, with singles going Fraser, Wall and Tyler Brown.
St. Thomas assists went to Colin Martin and Clyde River native and former Summerside Western Capital Randy Cameron.
UPEI outshoot the Tommies 51-23.
The rough game saw five players receive 10-minute misconducts, including the Panthers’ Cole MacMillan, Derek Ryckman and Cody McNaughton. UPEI defenceman Brock Beukeboom received a game misconduct after being assessed a charging major late in the second period.
UPEI netminder Mavric Parks stopped all but one of the Tommies’ 23 shots. St. Thomas goalie Jonathan Groenheyde kept his team in it by making 48 saves.
The win improved the Panthers’ record to 14-9-3 (won-lost-overtime losses). UPEI, which can finish no lower than fourth place in the eight-team league, is now just one point behind third-place Moncton (16-10-0), which lost 3-1 to UPEI on Friday and 4-0 to the Gardiner MacDougall-coached and league-leading UNB Varsity Reds (22-3-1) on Saturday night.
The Panthers close out the regular season with back-to-back home games against the Saint Mary’s Huskies (12-14-0) on Friday and St. Francis Xavier X-Men (11-12-3) on Saturday. Both games at MacLauchlan Arena will start at 7 p.m.