Best of 5 series opens up Thursday in Antigonish
The Acadia Axemen (18-10-2) will face the StFX X-Men (22-4-4) in the AUS men’s hockey semi-final series starting Thursday at 7pm in Antigonish. Game 2 will go Friday again in Antigonish, before the series switches to Wolfville for Game 3 on Sunday night. Game 4, if necessary is slated for Monday night again in Wolfville. Tickets are now on sale at the Acadia Box office for the game(s). Game 5, if necessary, would be back in Antigonish.
The Axemen come into the series on a hot streak, after finishing the regular season with 3 straight wins, including victories over UNB, Saint Mary’s, and Moncton, before sweeping the Dalhousie Tigers in 2 games in the AUS quarterfinals best of 3 series.
Axemen head coach Darren Burns said the following looking forward to the series with the X-Men, ” We are just trying to focus on improving our game every night. Our series versus Dal was a very hard fought battle. We were fortunate to be able to get some additional games in the playoffs before this series to help us to prepare. Anytime you are playing university hockey this time of the year is very exciting.”
StFX, along with UNB earned first round bye’s for finishing atop the AUS conference; that will mark a 12 day layoff for StFX since their last game in February 10th, a 5-0 loss to UPEI. February has not been kind to the X-Men as they lost 7-3 to Dal, 5-2 to UNB, and as mentioned, 5-0 to UPEI. They did defeat Moncton 5-2 amidst the losses.
Acadia has had trouble with the X-Men this season, as the X-Men won 3 of the 5 games in regulation time, and another in a Shootout to open the season. Acadia took the matchup on November 3rd , in overtime 6-5 in a game that saw emotions run over with 212 combined penalty minutes and player suspensions.
There’s no doubt that this series will be a physical battle and emotions will run high, but it will be key for the teams to keep their emotions in check and stay out of penalty trouble as both teams are dangerous on the man advantage; Acadia converting 25.5% of their powerplays and StFX 25.7%.