SMU Edges Acadia 3-2

Axemen Win Streak Stopped at Four

Athletics - A3The CIS #2 ranked Acadia Axemen hosted the #7 ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies on Friday night in a battle for top spot in the AUS. The game turned out as billed with the perennial rivals battling right to the final buzzer, with the SMU Huskies holding on to edge the Axemen 3-2.

The game opened up with SMU taking a penalty for delay of game at 2:12 when Steven Trojanovic was whistled for shooting the puck over the glass in his own end zone; ironically the Huskies would be called for shooting the puck over the glass four times throughout the game. Acadia took advantage of the powerplay, with just 6 seconds remaining in the man advantage Zach Franko rifled a shot home to put the Axemen up 1-0 early. Linemates Sam Fioretti and Boston Leier picked up the assists on the goal.

That was all the scoring in the first period despite SMU taking two more penalties, but Acadia was unable to capitalize with the man advantage. Shots on goal after the first period were 12 for Acadia, and 7 for Saint Mary’s.

Travis Gibbons left the game in the first period and did not return, after being hit by SMU player, Alex Cord. The Huskie had just came out of the penalty box and caught the Axemen defenceman off guard, sending Gibbons to the ice after the hit.

The second period opened with a strange penalty call where it appeared as though a SMU penalty was upcoming as the referee blew the whistle when Saint Mary’s touched the puck on the delayed call, but then after some confusion, the referree’s called the penalty on Mike Cazzola, as Cazzola entered the penalty box, the ref decided it was Matt Pufahl instead who should go off for cross checking.

SMU took advantage of the mystery call with Stepehn MacAulay scoring on the powerplay, from Pereira and D’Orazio. The Huskies once again took advantage on their second powerplay of the night with Axemen Sam Fioretti off for interference, MacAuley scored his second of the night from Ben Duffy and Pereira picking up the helpers.

Saint Mary’s took the 2-1 lead into the second intermission, shots on goal for the 2nd were square at eight a piece.

The Axemen came out for the third period hoping to push for the equalizer, but it was the Huskies who scored early with Mitchell Maynard scoring at 1:14 of the third to make it a 3-1 game. But the Axemen did not cave as they went to the powerplay, Brett Thompson put a rebound home for his 7th goal of the season, with assists going to Chris Owens and Liam Heelis. The goal cut the SMU lead to just one at 3-2, and the Axemen pushed for the tying goal. For the rest of the third period they threw everything but the kitchen sink at SMU goalie Anthony Peters, but Peters turned them all away, including a mad scramble to end the game with the Acadia net empty. The shots on goal in the third period were 13-4 in favor of the Axemen, for a three period total of 33 for Acadia, 19 for SMU.

Peters got the win in goal for the Huskies, while Axemen goaltender Brandon Glover took the loss. The Axemen were just 2 for 7 on the powerplay, while Saint Mary’s were a perfect 2 for 2.

Acadia defenceman Geoff Schemitsch made his return to the Axemen lineup, playing in his first game of the season, after recovering from a lower body injury. The Axemen were without forward Dylan Anderson who continues to rehab a lower body injury and hopes to return to the lineup in the upcoming weeks. Also injured is Taylor Makin, who is out with an upper body injury, after receiving a hit to the head last weekend in the game against UPEI; the hit cost Panther defenceman Beukeboom, a game misconduct and a six game suspension.

Acadia returns to the ice on Saturday night as they host the St. FX X-Men at 7pm at the Andrew H McCain Arena in Wolfville.