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Panthers seeking consistency

UPEI Panthers captain Mason Wilgosh prepares to make a pass to a teammate during Tuesday's practice.
UPEI Panthers captain Mason Wilgosh prepares to make a pass to a teammate during Tuesday's practice.

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The UPEI Panthers look to snap a three-game losing streak tonight when they host the Moncton Aigles Bleus.

The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men’s hockey game starts at 7 p.m. at MacLauchlan Arena.

The teams have had opposite results since Brandon Thibeau stopped 50 shots in Moncton’s 4-2 victory at home on Oct. 21. Moncton (4-1-1) has won twice since while UPEI (2-4-0) dropped back-to-back games last weekend.

Head coach Forbes MacPherson said while he wasn’t happy with Friday’s effort against Saint Mary’s, the team turned in a better effort Saturday against Acadia.

“Those are the efforts we’re going to need to have consistently in order to consistently get points,” he said before Tuesday’s practice.

While the Panthers are young and banged up, MacPherson said consistency should be a controllable item.

The bench boss said he liked the team’s forecheck, attention to detail in the defensive zone and play in neutral ice against Moncton last time out. While the team has not been getting points out of recent games, there are positives, MacPherson stressed.

“Last game we played pretty well, a couple mistakes cost us goals, but for the most part, we played our game,” added defenceman Casey Babineau. “It’s our turn to build off how we played and continue that next three out of four nights.”

The Panthers host St. Thomas (0-7-0) on Friday and UNB (5-0-1) on Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Playing well and not being rewarded with points happens in hockey, Babineau said.

“It’s like playing 28 playoff games,” he said. “It’s momentum . . . it’s the bounces, sometimes they go your way. . . You continue to work, create your own chances and hopefully (you’ll) be rewarded for them.”

Tonight, UPEI will be without forwards Cole MacMillan (soccer), Nick Czinder (upper body) and Stephen MacInnis (upper body) as well as defenceman Derek Ryckman remains sidelined with a back injury that has kept him out all season.

Rookie forward Carter Rigby decided to leave university after playing five games for the Panthers.

MacPherson wasn’t making excuses, but did confirm there were a couple of players who had committed to UPEI, but didn’t come to the university in September.

“It certainly opens the door for guys to take on larger roles,” he said. “We’ve seen some really solid efforts.”

Babineau, now playing in his third season with the Panthers, said it is a transition from major junior to the university hockey.

“Everything is compressed and you really have to learn quickly and react,” he said.

“Right now we’re in the process of trying to build something hopefully that will take us far in the season and even deeper in the playoffs.”

 

Leaders

A look at the UPEI Panthers leaders

Points

                            G       A       Pts.

Forwards

Marcus Power         2       6       8

Brent Andrews        1       3       4

Darcy Ashley          2       2       4

Nick Czinder          1       3       4

Sam Aulie             3       1       4

Defencemen 

Casey Babineau       1       3       4

Nelson Armstrong    0       3       3

Penalty minutes – Spencer Metcalfe, 34.

Shots on goal – Nick Czinder, 25.

Plus/minus – Czinder and Aulie, +1.

Goalies

                             GP        W        L          GAA     SAV%

Mavric Parks            6         2          4          3.65    .872

Connor Wilkinson     1         0          0          4.45    .857

 

Upcoming games

A look at the UPEI Panthers games this week

Tonight

Men’s hockey

7 p.m. – Moncton at UPEI.

Thursday

Men’s soccer

5 p.m. – UPEI vs. Memorial.*

Friday

Women’s basketball

6 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.**

Men’s hockey

7 p.m. – St. Thomas at UPEI.

Men’s basketball

8 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.**

Saturday

Women’s basketball

2 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.

Men’s basketball

4 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.

Women’s hockey

7 p.m. – UPEI at St. Thomas.

Men’s hockey

7 p.m. – UNB at UPEI.

* AUS quarter-fInal at Acadia.

** Season openers

The UPEI Panthers look to snap a three-game losing streak tonight when they host the Moncton Aigles Bleus.

The Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men’s hockey game starts at 7 p.m. at MacLauchlan Arena.

The teams have had opposite results since Brandon Thibeau stopped 50 shots in Moncton’s 4-2 victory at home on Oct. 21. Moncton (4-1-1) has won twice since while UPEI (2-4-0) dropped back-to-back games last weekend.

Head coach Forbes MacPherson said while he wasn’t happy with Friday’s effort against Saint Mary’s, the team turned in a better effort Saturday against Acadia.

“Those are the efforts we’re going to need to have consistently in order to consistently get points,” he said before Tuesday’s practice.

While the Panthers are young and banged up, MacPherson said consistency should be a controllable item.

The bench boss said he liked the team’s forecheck, attention to detail in the defensive zone and play in neutral ice against Moncton last time out. While the team has not been getting points out of recent games, there are positives, MacPherson stressed.

“Last game we played pretty well, a couple mistakes cost us goals, but for the most part, we played our game,” added defenceman Casey Babineau. “It’s our turn to build off how we played and continue that next three out of four nights.”

The Panthers host St. Thomas (0-7-0) on Friday and UNB (5-0-1) on Saturday. Both games start at 7 p.m.

Playing well and not being rewarded with points happens in hockey, Babineau said.

“It’s like playing 28 playoff games,” he said. “It’s momentum . . . it’s the bounces, sometimes they go your way. . . You continue to work, create your own chances and hopefully (you’ll) be rewarded for them.”

Tonight, UPEI will be without forwards Cole MacMillan (soccer), Nick Czinder (upper body) and Stephen MacInnis (upper body) as well as defenceman Derek Ryckman remains sidelined with a back injury that has kept him out all season.

Rookie forward Carter Rigby decided to leave university after playing five games for the Panthers.

MacPherson wasn’t making excuses, but did confirm there were a couple of players who had committed to UPEI, but didn’t come to the university in September.

“It certainly opens the door for guys to take on larger roles,” he said. “We’ve seen some really solid efforts.”

Babineau, now playing in his third season with the Panthers, said it is a transition from major junior to the university hockey.

“Everything is compressed and you really have to learn quickly and react,” he said.

“Right now we’re in the process of trying to build something hopefully that will take us far in the season and even deeper in the playoffs.”

 

Leaders

A look at the UPEI Panthers leaders

Points

                            G       A       Pts.

Forwards

Marcus Power         2       6       8

Brent Andrews        1       3       4

Darcy Ashley          2       2       4

Nick Czinder          1       3       4

Sam Aulie             3       1       4

Defencemen 

Casey Babineau       1       3       4

Nelson Armstrong    0       3       3

Penalty minutes – Spencer Metcalfe, 34.

Shots on goal – Nick Czinder, 25.

Plus/minus – Czinder and Aulie, +1.

Goalies

                             GP        W        L          GAA     SAV%

Mavric Parks            6         2          4          3.65    .872

Connor Wilkinson     1         0          0          4.45    .857

 

Upcoming games

A look at the UPEI Panthers games this week

Tonight

Men’s hockey

7 p.m. – Moncton at UPEI.

Thursday

Men’s soccer

5 p.m. – UPEI vs. Memorial.*

Friday

Women’s basketball

6 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.**

Men’s hockey

7 p.m. – St. Thomas at UPEI.

Men’s basketball

8 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.**

Saturday

Women’s basketball

2 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.

Men’s basketball

4 p.m. – St. F.X. at UPEI.

Women’s hockey

7 p.m. – UPEI at St. Thomas.

Men’s hockey

7 p.m. – UNB at UPEI.

* AUS quarter-fInal at Acadia.

** Season openers

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