Axemen Drop First Game of Nationals to Windsor

Acadia falls 4-2 to Windsor

Game Turning Point: Axemen goal waved off by referee and assessed a goalie interference penalty on the play.
Game Turning Point: Axemen goal waved off by referee and Acadia’s Dylan Anderson assessed a goalie interference penalty on the play.

Something funny happened to the Acadia Axemen in Saskatchewan as they began their quest for the 2014 University Cup title.  The problem was, no one was laughing on the Acadia side.

The Axemen began the hunt ranked #2 in Canada in CIS against the University of Windsor.  The Lancers were ranked #3.  The Axemen dominated the Lancers in the first period, but were only able to solve Windsor netminder Parker Van Buskirk once, as Mike Cazzola pounced on his own rebound and buried it only 1:19 in.  The Axemen outshot the Lancers 10-4 in that opening frame, only to see Van Buskirk slam the door shut.  He held his team in until they could score the equalizer, an effort by Windsor’s Richard Cameron that ended up in the Acadia net.

Acadia started the second period with a bang, as Cazzola found CIS MVP Liam Heelis in the slot with a perfect pass.  Heelis made no mistake, snapping the puck by a helpless Van Buskirk and giving the Axemen a 2-1 lead 1:43 in.  But that turned out to be all they could muster.  The Lancers frustrated the Axemen into several ill-timed penalties.  One could argue not all the calls were warranted, but in the end, they were called, and Acadia didn’t respond well.  The Lancers tied the game at 12:43 on a power play goal by Drew Palmer.

The Axemen seemed to fade as the game wore on, and the Lancers took complete advantage of their lack of urgency, swarming Acadia netminder Evan Mosher, who didn’t have one of his better games.  They outshot the Axemen 24-17 in the final two periods, including a 10-4 shot advantage in the third.  In the end, a power play goal by Kenny Bradford and an even strength goal by Mike Christou sealed Acadia’s fate in the third period.

See the video highlights here:

The Axemen hit two posts in the game, and had a goal disallowed due to goaltender interference.  The bounces didn’t go their way, and now they face the hometown University of Saskatchewan Huskies tonight.  The Axemen need to show more urgency than they did in this game; at one point they had a power play in the last minute of the game and couldn’t muster many chances, nor did they look like they wanted to.  Van Buskirk shut down Heelis with a wonderful save on that power play, but that was the extent of their chances.

Parker Van Buskirk turned aside 25 of 27 shots for the Lancers, while Evan Mosher was tagged with the loss, making 24 saves on 28 shots.

Next game goes tonight as the Axemen take on the hometown Huskies.  Game time is 10:00PM Atlantic time.  Follow the action online at or follow Len Hawley as he brings you the play by play action on AVR 97.7FM.  You can get live game updates by following @axemenhockey and @OpeningFaceoff on Twitter.

Game story by Justin Halbersma of