Huskies squeeze out OT win over Axemen

Houck & Harper Tally for Acadia

HALIFAX, NS – The Saint Mary’s Huskies (8-3-1) and the Acadia Axemen (4-7-1) faced off for the second time in less than a week at the Halifax Forum in AUS Men’s hockey action. Trailing for most of the game, the Huskies were able to tie things up and took the win in overtime.

The teams traded power play opportunities early in the game, but nobody was able to convert. 

Back at even strength, the Axemen opened the scoring at 7:55 of the first period. Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) jumped on a turnover just outside the Saint Mary’s blue line and passed across to Jackson Houck (Delta, BC) who sniped a shot low corner. Liam Maaskant (Clinton, ON) also assisted 

The Huskies tied it up less than two minutes later with a power play goal, a one timer from Jake Coughler (St. Catharines, ON) that rang off the inside post and in. It was assisted by Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) and Dawson Theede (Brooklin, ON). 

The score was 1-1 after twenty minutes of play. 

It was a penalty filled second period, with penalties going both ways, but the only goal of the period came during 5 on 5 play and it was in Acadia’s favour. 

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Axemen back in win column with 5-1 victory vs Moncton

Farrell leads the way with 3 points in win

WOLFVILLE, N.S – The Acadia Axemen (4-7-1) got a much-needed win and snapped a two-game losing skid on Sunday afternoon, beating the Moncton Aigles Bleus with a convincing 5-1 win.

Acadia opened the scoring early, with a power-play marker from forward Kyle Farrell.

Farrell took a pass and kicked the puck up to his stick and fired a wrist shot in tight of the net past the blocker of the Moncton goalie to make it 1-0.

The Axemen doubled their lead before the half-way mark of the period with a beautiful goal from defenseman – and Subway First Star of the Night – Ross MacDougall

MacDougall entered the zone late, picked the puck up at the blue-line, made a nice toe-drag around a Moncton defender and then wired a wrist into the top right corner of the net.

Cristiano Digiacinto added to Acadia’s lead in the first frame when the Axemen forward potted a rebound that came off the top of the net and landed in the crease, making it 3-0.

Acadia spent the rest of the period killing off penalties, as Moncton went 0-for-4 on the power-play in the first period.

By the end of the first period, the shots were 13-9 for the Axemen.

Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second, as the Axemen maintained their 3-0 lead going into the third. Read more ›

McClelland, Fergus enjoying being ‘second generation’ hockey players

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – By John DeCoste – Prior to the fall of 2017, it was rare for the Acadia hockey Axemen to have a player whose father had played in the NHL. The list, including Fred Armstrong (son of long-time Toronto captain George Armstrong), an Axemen player in the early 1980s, has not been a long one.

It’s still a fairly rare occurrence, but for the record, this year’s Axemen roster includes not one, but two ‘second generation’ hockey players, whose dads were both long-time NHLers.

Second-year winger Jack McClelland is the son of Kevin McClelland, who played all of part of 14 seasons with five NHL teams.

The elder McClelland spent most of his career as a valuable role player with the Edmonton Oilers, and ended up part of four Stanley Cup champions as a teammate of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.

Jack McClelland, who was born in Oshawa, ON in 1996, the year after his father retired as a player, grew up in the U.S, largely in Wichita, Kansas where Kevin served as head coach of the CHL Wichita Thunder from 2010-2016.

“I was born in Oshawa, but I didn’t live there long,” says Jack, who moved around a lot as a youth as his father’s lengthy coaching career progressed.

He played most of his junior hockey with the Wichita Thunder Tier 1 Junior A team in the Western States Hockey League. His father was coaching the pro team in Wichita at the time, “so I was never coached by him.”

First-year Axemen defenseman T.J. Fergus is the son of Tom Fergus, who played all or part of 12 NHL seasons, including multiple years in Boston, Toronto and Vancouver.

While he never got his name on the Stanley Cup, Tom Fergus finished his career in 1995 with 235 goals and 581 points in 726 NHL games. He had 28 and 30-goals season with Boston, and scored a season-high 31 goals his first season with Toronto in 1985-1986.

T.J. Fergus, born in Oakville, ON in 1997 – two years after his dad retired as a player following two seasons playing in Switzerland – played his major junior hockey in the OHL, spending three seasons with the Erie Otters and splitting his age-20 season between Hamilton and Barrie.

During his time with Erie, he was a teammate of current NHL superstar Connor McDavid, who “was my captain” during the 2014-2015 season. Read more ›

Huskies slide past Axemen 4-2

Harper & Corneil Score for Acadia

HALIFAX, NS – In their first meeting of the season, the Saint Mary’s Huskies stopped a two game losing streak with a 4-2 win against the Acadia Axemen in AUS men’s hockey action at the Halifax Forum.  

The game started off at a good pace, and it was the Axemen who struck first at 7:56 into the first period. Defense, Marc McNulty had some room and made his way slowly through the neutral zone before crossing with Stephen Harper (Burlington, ON) at the top of the slot. Harper’s one-timer beat SMU goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) for Harper’s fifth goal of the season. 

After taking a couple of penalties, the Huskies went on the power play late in the period and found the equalizing goal. With traffic in front of the net, a shot from Nicholas Welsh (Halifax, NS) was deflected by an Acadia defence. Goalie Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) made a pad save but Logan Denoble (Peterborough, ON) was there to tap home the rebound for the Huskies. Hunter Garlent (Thorold, ON) also picked up an assist on the play. 

The teams headed into the break tied 1-1, with the Axemen having better scoring chances. Saint Mary’s struggled to control the play in the first period, with passes hitting skates and shots getting deflected away from the net. 

The second period looked very different, with SMU coming out much sharper. They dominated, leading Acadia 21-7 in shots during the second frame. 

Four minutes into the period, Bronson Beaton (Springhill, NS) was nearly at the Acadia goal line and buried a sharp angle wrist shot upstairs to take a 2-1 lead for the Huskies.  

The Axemen had some good chances on their third power play of the night after Welsh was sent to the box for a high stick. The closest they came was a nice shot from Jackson Houck (Delta, BC) and Brassard had to stretch to make the save with his toe. 

The Huskies nearly scored several minutes later, sending a puck across the crease. Flodell couldn’t get across in time, leaving the net wide open, and Axemen defense TJ Fergus (Oakville, ON) was forced to take a hooking penalty to save a sure goal. 

SMU couldn’t convert on the power play and the period ended with the Huskies ahead 2-1. They added two more goals in quick succession in the opening minutes of the third period. 

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Axemen edged 4-3 in OT Shootout to StFX

Corneil nets two goals for Acadia

Story courtesy of StFX Athletics

Antigonish, NS – The StFX X-Men and Acadia Axemen needed a shootout to decide their Friday night game at the Charles V. Keating Centre and it was the home team X-Men who came out on top with the 4-3 win.

Third year X-Men forward Matt Needham (Penticton, BC) was credited with the game winning goal in the shootout for the X-Men as he went five-hole on Dawson Carty (Burlington, ON). The win lifted the X-Men (7-2-2) into a first place tie with UNB in the AUS standings. The Axemen (3-6-1) drop to sixth spot.

The opening period of the game saw the visitors get out to a 2-1 lead as both goals came off the stick of Johnny Cornell (Lindsay, ON). Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON) scored the X-Men goal on the power play after he went end-to-end and split the Axemen defense for a partial break.

Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) and Adam Holwell (St. John’s, NL) netted second period goals for StFX as they took a 3-2 lead into second intermission, Howell’s goal came on the power play.

The Axemen fought to get back in the game and forward Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) tied the game up just over eight minutes into the third period as he tallied for Acadia. Read more ›

Axemen rebound from rough patch with 2-1 win vs Tigers

Farrell with the winner for Acadia

Wolfville, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen (3-6-0) snapped their four-game losing skid on Tuesday night against the Dalhousie Tigers (1-9-0) with a 2-1 victory. It was an incredibly close game throughout and it was not until midway through the third period that the Axemen took their final lead of the game thanks to a goal from Subway First Star of the Night, Kyle Farrell.

Acadia opened the scoring incredibly early, with a marker from forward Stephen Harper.

Harper came out of his zone with speed and came down the middle carrying the puck. Harper cut into the offensive zone and fired a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net to make it 1-0.

Dalhousie tied the game almost two minutes before the half-way point of the first when forward Jonathan Cyr – who was wide-open in front of the Axemen net – took a pass from Jackson Playfair and buried the puck to tie the game at 1-1.

By the end of the first period, the shots were 12-4 for Dalhousie.

Neither team could break the tie in the second period, as the game remained tied 1-1 heading into the third period

Acadia was unable to take advantage of multiple power-plays in the period, going 0-for-4 in the second period.

By the end of the second period, the shots were 15-14 for Dalhousie.

Acadia forward Kyle Farrell broke the tie early in the third on a partial breakaway. Read more ›

Panthers cruise past Acadia 8-3

Colella, Southam, Foss with Axemen Goals

Story By UPEI’s Thomas Becker 

The UPEI Panthers lit up the Acadia Axemen Saturday night and in the middle of all the action was sophomore forward Filip Rydstrom, who single-handedly outscored the Axemen with four goals in an 8-3 win.

Joining him on the score sheet were Nick Shumlanski, Riley Whittingham, Gabe Guertler and Kameron Kielly, who also recorded two assists on the night. Owen Headrick and Cody Payne chipped in with a pair of assists as well.

Rydstrom’s career night was a welcome sight, as the skilled forward makes an already deadly offence even more threatening. After the game, head coach Forbes MacPherson said he moved Rydstrom back to his natural centre position this season after a subpar rookie campaign, where he finished with four goals and an assist – the same numbers he accumulated on Saturday. Read more ›

Axemen handed 7-0 loss undefeated UNB

Reds score four powerplay goals

FREDERICTON, NB – Tyler Boland (St. John’s, NL) had two goals and two assists as the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked UNB Reds defeated the Acadia Axemen 7-0 on Friday night.

The Reds improve to 7-0 with the win, while the Axemen drop to 2-5. 

Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) also had a strong showing with two goals and an assist. 

The Reds had all the momentum early, putting six shots on net before the Axemen could muster one. 

The Reds pace caused the Axemen to commit all sorts of turnovers, keeping most of the play in the Acadia end. 

With the Reds on the powerplay, Mark Rassell (Calgary, AB) took a shot from the slot that bounced right to a wide-open Matthew Boucher (Los Angeles, CA) who put it in a gaping net to put UNB up 1-0. 

The Reds powerplay would pay off again with Bennett feeding a textbook pass in front to Boland, who put away the Reds second goal to make it 2-0. 

The Reds would keep the pressure on in the second period, and just 5:41 in, Cam Brace (Etobicoke, ON) put the puck five-hole on Axemen goaltender Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) to extend UNB’s lead to 3-0. 

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Panthers take early lead and hold on for a 5-3 win

Houck, Southam, & Harper Tally for Axemen

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – For the second night in a row, the Acadia Axemen (2-4) were unable to stage a late comeback, this time against the UPEI Panthers (3-3), who left Wolfville with a 5-3 win.

Despite leading in shots for the entire game and going 3-for-6 on the power-play, the Axemen did not hold a lead at any point in the game.

UPEI got off to an early start with a goal from forward Gabe Guertler.

Guertler came from behind the Axemen net and jammed the puck in on the right post to give the Panthers a quick 1-0 lead.

The Panthers added to their lead a few minutes later with a power-play marker from forward Sam Aulie.

Aulie took a pass in front of the Axemen net from defenceman Doug Blaisdell and lifted the puck over the right shoulder of the Acadia goalie to make it 2-0.

By the end of the first period, the shots were 10-7 for the Axemen.

The Axemen got on the scoreboard just before the midway point in the second with a power-play marker from forward Jackson Houck. Read more ›

Jr Axemen hockey program continues to provide great hockey experiences

Axemen Coaches Burns & Richards excited for continued partnership

For the past 15 years, male & female hockey players of all ages and skill levels have had the opportunity to continue their hockey development by taking part in the leading spring hockey program which takes place at Acadia University Arena.  The long-time partnership between the University of Acadia and the Atlantic Hockey Group has benefited thousands of young hockey players.

Established in 2003, the Jr Axemen program was the vision of Darren Burns, Head Coach of the Acadia Axemen hockey program and Charlie Bourgeois, Director of the Atlantic Hockey Group.  The objective was to offer a local program for players and families lead by the many high-level coaches we have in the area. To provide an alternative to having families forced to travel to Halifax or other major centers to take part in spring hockey.  It was also very important to make available programs for players of all skill levels – for the Elite to recreational players.  Says Bourgeois “With the great success of the Jr Axemen program I believe it is fair to say that we have exceeded expectations.  The success of the program is due to the hard work of many great hockey people.”

Mark Richards, a long-time assistant coach with the Acadia Axemen (entering his 16th season) as well as minor hockey is the Director of the program.  Mark has also operated the very successful Acadia Selects program which takes part in the Elite spring hockey division.  Among his many responsibilities, Mark is responsible for bringing in the most qualified coaches to work with our players. Says Mark, “we are very fortunate to have a great hockey culture in the Valley area. Our teams are led by a group of very passionate, dedicated and knowledgeable coaches.  The ultimate goal is to find the balance of high-level training as well as providing our teams the opportunity to compete against teams at the appropriate level allowing us to challenge players of all levels.” Read more ›