The UPEI Panthers will face-off against StFX in this year’s home opener on Friday, October 19 at 7:00 pm at MacLauchlan Arena. UPEI’s women’s hockey team claimed their first-ever AUS banner last season, having upset StFX, the top-ranked AUS team and fourth-ranked CIS team, 2-1 in the semi-final, advancing the Panthers to the finals where they defeated Mount Allison.
Prior to the game, the UPEI Panthers will host a meet-and-greet social at 6:15 pm in the MacLauchlan Arena hospitality room for sponsors and season-ticket holders to meet with players, alumni, and the coaching staff. At 6:45 pm, the AUS 2011/2012 championship banner will be raised, former UPEI women’s hockey players who are present will be recognized, and former captain Amber Gaudette will drop the ceremonial puck prior to the official face-off.
Head Coach Bruce Donaldson said the team is very excited about the game and lead-up events on Friday. “Any time you can share in a piece of UPEI history, it is an amazing experience,” said Donaldson. “Hosting StFX for the home opener is fitting, as their program has a long tradition of winning AUS banners, and last year’s battle against them were very competitive.”
With six new players added to the Panther lineup, UPEI is focusing on a fast-paced, aggressive style of play, with a strong forecheck and disciplined defensive zone strategy. “When we deliver on our systems, we have good success, so that’s the focus at this time of the year,” added Donaldson. “The players are excited to defend their title and look forward to a competitive AUS league once again.”