Axemen get first round bye for 2nd place finish in the AUS

Acadia Falls Short to UNB, Downed 2-0

1899912_670588486321321_1242098214_nThe UNB Varsity Reds came to Wolfville on February 15 with one thing in mind…securing first place in the AUS hockey standings.  As the season progressed, it became more and more clear that first place in the AUS conference would come down to one game, as the Acadia Axemen and UNB Varsity Reds battled each other all season for the top spot.  It had all the making of a classic.  Acadia…led by forward Liam Heelis in scoring, but having to face UNB without the AUS leading scorer in Heelis in the lineup.  UNB…having battled the Axemen hard all season.  The stage was set for a game for the ages.

The UNB Varsity Reds jumped at the Axemen, but Acadia held firm, starting goalie Evan Mosher made some in tight saves, and the Axemen weathered the early storm.  They then took the play to the Reds, outshooting them 9-5 in the period, but were unable to solve UNB starting netminder Charles Lavigne.  Lavigne made several key saves in the period, the most notable coming during the man advantage, as he bailed out his power play unit with several stops.  When the dust settled at the final buzzer of the first, the score read 0-0. 

The second period featured more of the same, tight checking and very little momentum for either club.  Then UNB’s Adrian Robertson found the back of the Acadia net, and UNB was off and running with a 1-0 lead.  Then, just over six minutes later, with Acadia killing a penalty, UNB struck again, this time with a pinball shot that found its way past Mosher after several deflections.  The goal was credited to Chris Culligan.  UNB led 2-0, but Acadia still had plenty of time.  UNB owned the second period, however, outshooting the Axemen 14-7 and outscoring them 2-0.

Acadia came out in the third with fire in their eyes as they began a 16 shot barrage on the UNB net.  Despite the flurry of frozen rubber, Lavigne stood his ground, while UNB desperately held on by their fingernails.  In the end, however, time was not Acadia’s friend, as the score held at 2-0 at the final buzzer, the Axemen unable to solve Lavigne.  It was a disappointing end to a great hockey game.

However, despite not finishing first, the Axemen still move on into the AUS playoffs starting later this month!  Stay tuned for the Axemen’s first round opponent!