2013-14 AUS Men’s Hockey Champions
The Acadia Axemen are headed to the CIS championships in Saskatoon!
The Axemen completed the victory with a 3-1 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies Monday night in Halifax. The victory clinched the AUS Conference title for the Axemen, and sends them to Saskatoon as the AUS representative in the CIS National tournament.
The Axemen, still trying to solve Huskies netminder Anthony Peters after his stellar Game 3 performance, reversed their fortunes on the power play. Dustin Ekelman scored for Acadia with the man advantage, giving the Axemen a 1-0 lead and forcing the Huskies to abandon their physical style of play a bit. Now having to play catch up, the Huskies continued to battle, and it paid off at the seven minute mark of the second period, when Steven Shipley redirected a harmless shot from Matt Tipoff past a helpless Evan Mosher. The score was tied, and the Huskies continued to swarm.
But disaster struck for the Huskies less than eight minutes later, as Saint Mary’s defenseman Cameron Wind handed the puck to former Halifax Moosehead Travis Randell in front of his own net. Randell made no mistake, faking out Peters and scoring what eventually would hold up to be the game winner.
The evening developed into another goaltender’s battle, as Evan Mosher of Acadia and Anthony Peters of Saint Mary’s matched each other save for save. If not for Wind’s mistake, one would be hard pressed to predict how this game would have gone.
In the dying minutes, pressing for the tying goal, the Huskies pulled Peters in favor of an extra attacker. The move proved to backfire, however, as Acadia’s Michael Clarke found the empty net with 58 seconds remaining to seal the deal for the Axemen. For the first time since 2006, the Acadia Axemen had claimed the AUS championship banner.
Evan Mosher made 28 saves on 29 shots. Anthony Peters was stellar again in a losing cause, stopping 27 of 29 shots. Mosher was awarded Player of the Game for the Axemen.
Acadia captain Liam Heelis took home the playoff Most Valuable Player honors, to match his regular season MVP title.
Full marks must go to the Huskies…they had a fantastic playoff run. They are a hard working hockey team, with a stellar goaltender…they will be heard from next season.
But this time belongs to the Axemen. The AUS hockey title belongs to Acadia University. A memorable season continues to roll as they take their game out west.
Now the Axemen make plans to travel to Saskatoon to play the best of the best of the Canadian university hockey teams. They last won the National title in 1996, and there every reason to expect them to take the title this year.
Stay tuned to www.acadiaaxemenhockey.com for upcoming times and dates of the tournament games!
Game story by Justin Halbersma of OpeningFaceoff.net