By Ben Macintosh
Photo credits: Janessa Hogan
Filip Rydström scored two goals to help the UPEI Panthers survive a late comeback at home from Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus, to win 4-3 on Tuesday night.
The third year forward has started the new year off strong with four goals and three assists in three games this month.
“We want to be a hard team to play against that shows up every night, finishes every check and breaks teams down,” he said after the game.
The Panthers are now 2-1-0 in the new year. Head coach Forbes MacPherson said the team can keep building off the progress they have made.
“First and foremost we have to stay healthy and then we have to continue to get more confident and play with a lot of energy and keep pushing forward,” MacPherson said.
The first period saw the Panthers come out strong with Rydström scoring off of a rebound with 13:13 remaining in the period. Kameron Kielly and Kyle Maksimovich assisted the goal.
UPEI continued to play well and led the shots 16-8 after the first period.
The Panthers wasted no time in the second period with Maksimovich scoring just 36 seconds into the period off of assists from Jesse Annear and Rydström.
Moncton Captain Vincent Deslauriers answered around four minutes later with assists coming from Danick Crête and Samuel Guilbaut.
With 7:38 remaining in the second Drake Philon scored UPEI’s third goal of the game and his first career AUS goal. Jesse Sutton and Darian Philon picked up assists on the play.
UPEI goalie Simon Hofley was strong in the second period with some big saves on the penalty kill, UPEI ended the period up 3-1 and leading shots on net 27-18.
The Panthers played well for most of the third, Rydström got his second of the game on the powerplay with 5:43 remaining in the period. Maksimovich and Kielly assisted the goal.
Moncton was not ready to stop fighting just yet, with 2:32 remaining Alexandre Jacob of les Aigles Bleus scored a powerplay goal with assists from Vincent Lanoue and Samuel Guilbault.
With just 6.4 seconds remaining in the game Moncton scored again through Robbie Graham with assists from Oliver Desjardins and Maxime St-Cyr.
The game ended 4-3 for UPEI, Hofley made 27 saves as UPEI improves to 8-9-3, while Étienne Montpetit made 29 in the loss.
UPEI’s next game is Jan. 10 in Fredericton, N.B. as they take on UNB. The panthers will be back home on Jan. 14 to host UNB.