Axemen open up season with win over STU

Capacity crowd celebrates 25th Anniversary of the Acadia Arena

STU-ACA13story courtesy of 19/10/2013 12:50 am

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Homecoming is always one of the most anticipated games of the year, and this year was no different as the Acadia Axemen squared off against the St. Thomas Tommies in the regular season opener.

Celebrating the Acadia Arena’s 25th anniversary, a sold out crowd of 2100 enjoyed the opening ceremony that delivered the return of those who were most influential in bringing the university and surrounding community one of the provinces premiere rinks.

The Axemen came into this season eager to prove that the success they had in the 2012-13 regular season was no fluke.

They proved just that erasing a 1-0 St. Thomas third period lead, scoring 3 unanswered goals to take the home opener on the 25th anniversary of the Acadia Arena. Twenty five years ago to the day, the Axemen were dropped by the Tommies but this time around Acadia was triumphant.

Special teams were the difference, with Acadia capitalizing on two of six power plays while the Tommies were unable to convert on either of their two opportunities. Second year forward Brett Thompson was the hero, scoring two goals in 64 seconds.

The first period was dominated by St. Thomas creating a load of chances, although the shots-on-goal may not look that way. The Tommies jumped to an early lead with a goal from Jordan Moore 15:22 into the game on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle, squeezing in between Mosher’s blocker and pad.

Acadia came out on all cylinders in the second period, looking like a completely different team from the one in the first. The second frame consisted of a lot of missed opportunities on the Axemen side, not being able to put anything home. They were unable to capitalize on multiple powerplays including a short 5-on-3 and a full 4-minute power play.

The third period was a picture-perfect ending for Acadia on a memorable night in Wolfville. Starting with Thompson on the powerplay, who jumped on a juicy rebound given up by opposing goalie Jonathan Groenheyde knotting the game at one with 14 minutes remaining.

It didn’t take Thompson very long to score this second of the game, walking in and putting a wrist shot past the St. Thomas netminder, scoring the eventual game winner.

An insurance goal was added again on the man advantage, this time coming from second year forward Dylan Anderson, tipping a point shot from veteran defenseman Cullen Morin.

First star of the game was given to Brett Thompson for his 2-goal performance. The second star was awarded to goaltender Groenheyde for stopping 56 of 59 shots. Third star was awarded to 2013 AUS rookie of the year Mike Cazzola on his 2 assist showing.

The Axemen return to action on Sunday against the UPEI Panthers, who picked up a win against Dalhousie in Halifax. Both UPEI and Acadia will rest on day before meeting in Sunday’s afternoon matchup. Sunday’s 2pm game will also include the retirement of the late Connie MacNeil’s jersey No. 6. His will be only the second Axemen jersey to be retired.