CASTLE SHANNON, pa — The battle of the Panthers took place at Ice Castle Arena Monday night as the Upper St. Clair Panthers took on the visiting Franklin Regional Panthers. USC entered the game with 18 points and tied for second in the Southeast division with Hempfield. Franklin Regional sat just two points behind with 16. USC took the first matchup between the clubs during the season opener at Center Ice Arena, winning 4-3 in a shootout.
Upper St Clair wasted no time opening the scoring, finding the back of the net just under two minutes in. Franklin Regional, determined not to stay behind very long, netted three goals in the first to take a 3-1 lead. Two untimely cross-checking calls on FR – one during play and a second after the whistle – gave USC a four minute power play. During the first two minutes, the “south hills” Panthers netted their second goal pulling within one, before Franklin Regional answered to extend the lead to two goals again. By the end of the second period, the advantage was still two, as Franklin Regional led 6-4.
The third period brought two quick goals by the Upper St. Clair Panthers within the first minute to tie the game. Midway through the period, they struck again to take the 7-6 lead. With 59.8 seconds remaining and an empty net for Franklin Regional, Upper St Clair called a timeout, knowing that the referee was about to call the game if it reached curfew time. And reach it, it did. The game was called and Upper St. Clair took the win over Franklin Regional, 7-6.
MAJOR FOCUS: Panthers defeat the Panthers (FULL GALLERY)