By Thomas Becker
For 74 minutes, the UPEI Panthers were toe-to-toe with the Cape Breton Capers, but the defending champions were too strong down the stretch as they came away with a 3-0 win Sunday afternoon.
When you take on the defending champions the room for error is minimal and a 3rd-minute goal forced the home team to play from behind. It was the first goal the Panthers surrendered all season and it came off a free kick left of the box that was headed in by Marcus Campanile.
"It's always great to score a goal early," said Marcus Campanile, who recorded a pair of goals and took home the Subway Player of the Game honours.
The Panthers had a great chance at an equalizer in the 20th minute when Sam Smiley picked off a casual back pass from Cape Breton defender Euan Bauld but missed wide right.
The two teams continued to trade jabs in the second half before the Capers broke the game open on a 74th-minute goal by reserve Daniel Williams. Campanile closed out the scoring with his second in the 75th minute.
"In the second half we played the clinical game we're used to," Campanile said. "We pushed our guys forward and put pressure on their defence."
The Panthers and Capers will battle it out again next Saturday in Cape Breton at 5:15 p.m.