CIS #3 Ranked Axemen defeat #2 Ranked Varsity Reds

Acadia Stuns UNB In Overtime

Axemen Boston Leier watches the puck find the back of the net off the stick of teammate Matt Pufahl, winning the game, as Acadia downed UNB 4-3 in OT. (Photo credit to Peter Oleskevich)
Axemen Boston Leier watches the puck find the back of the net, from a shot by teammate Matt Pufahl, winning the game, as Acadia downed UNB 4-3 in OT. (Photo credit to Peter Oleskevich)

They say overtime hockey is the most exciting hockey you can play. If that’s the case, the Acadia Axemen could stand to live with a little less excitement.

The Axemen welcomed the UNB Varsity Reds to the Andrew H. McCain Arena in Wolfville, October 24th. The Reds came into the game ranked #2 in the CIS overall rankings. The Axemen were ranked #3. Acadia proved rankings mean nothing as they took their first meeting with the Reds by a 4-3 score.

At first it looked as though the Axemen would be outclassed by the Reds as UNB took a 1-0 lead on a power goal by the first of Peter Trainor’s two goals on the night. But Acadia settled down, and they responded quickly–less than two minutes later–on Liam Heelis’ power play goal. Acadia also outshot the Reds 8-7 in the first frame.

When the second started, it was all Axemen. Michael Clarke made it 2-1 on a beautiful play in front of UNB netminder David Shantz, wristing the puck over his glove. Sam Fioretti made it 3-1 at the 15:18 mark of the period, and it looked as though Acadia had the game well in hand. When an errant pass ricocheted off an Acadia defender’s skate and past Axemen goaltender Brandon Glover, it didn’t appear to spark the Reds as much the crowd in Wolfville expected. The goal was credited to Trainor.

The Axemen took a 3-2 lead into the third, outshooting UNB 15-12 in the second. Glover rose to the occasion throughout the period, keeping the momentum in Acadia’s favor.

The third started with both teams playing a cautious game. Neither team had many quality chances early on, but penalty trouble plagued both teams and the play opened up. Acadia appeared to weather the storm and looked to be nursing their lead home, when Matt Petgrave found the back of the Axemen net with only 1:03 remaining. The game was tied, and the crowd was no doubt remembering the last time they saw their Axemen on home ice. In that instance, Acadia coughed up a 5-1 lead to the St. Thomas Tommies before pulling out a 7-6 victory in overtime.

UNB outshot Acadia 13-8 in the third. Glover almost singlehandedly killed off the parade of penalties his team took, as UNB was swarming his net.

This game too, was headed to overtime. Once again, it was an Axemen defenseman who proved to be the overtime hero. Andrew Pufahl sent a bullet of a wrist shot over Shantz’s glove at 1:43 of overtime, ensuring the victory for Acadia, even after surrendering a two goal lead.

Acadia got the only shot of overtime. UNB went 2-for-7 on their power play chances, with Acadia going 1-for-6.

Attendance for Friday night’s matchup of #2 vs #3 teams in the country was 2100! The Acadia Axemen would like to thank each and every fan for attending!

The next challenge for the Axemen is October 25th, as the Moncton Blue Eagles come to town. Follow all the action on AVR 97.7FM with Len Hawley bringing you all the action. Also tune into for the live broadcast, or follow @axemenhockey or @OpeningFaceoff for live tweets during the game. Game time is 7:00pm.

Game story from Justin Halbersma, Staff Writer at Vavel USA (