Axemen double up UPEI 4-2

Acadia with Pair of Wins this Weekend


WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The AUS second place Acadia Axemen delivered their second win in a row with a 4-2 victory over the UPEI Panthers, who drop to 9-10-2 and remain in a fight for a playoff spot sitting in fifth place – four points ahead of Moncton. The Axemen, fresh off of a 6-1 win over the struggling St. Thomas Tommies, faced UPEI who looked to rebound from a 2-1 loss to the Dalhousie Tigers one night ago.

Both teams fought for physical dominance in the opening period, combining for 12 minutes in penalties.

Saskatoon native Matt Pufahl gave the Axemen a 1-0 lead after one period on a short-handed play at 11:22. Boston Leier, Sam Fioretti and Pufahl converted a 3-2 break into the first of four Axemen goals. Pufahl finished the break on a wrist shot past netminder Mavric Parks. This was Pufahl’s fourth tally of the season.

The intensity and bad blood continued through the entire second frame. After already scoring shorthanded, Acadia put a second special teams goal on the scoreboard, this time on the powerplay.

Rookie Boston Leier was at in again as he walked in unchallenged, netting a low blocker side shot to put the hometown Axemen up by two before the halfway point of the game.

After 34 penalty minutes here handed out following a scuffle which included two 10 minute misconducts, UPEI managed to come out with a two minute powerplay and wasted no time, scoring just 10 seconds into the man advantage. After a bad bounce of off the net and an Acadia defenseman’s leg, Darcy Ashley was given a gift in the blue paint narrowing the lead to 2-1.

Five minutes after the UPEI goal, Mike Cazzola made it 3-1 by roofing a backhand from just outside the crease, after controlling Liam Heelis’ pass with his feet. Brett Thompson added the second assist on the powerplay goal.

After a close call in UPEI’s end, the Panthers quickly moved the puck up the ice to score the first even handed goal of the night. With the puck caught in the feet of Brent Andrews, somehow Andrews managed to find the puck to get a quick shot off before goaltender Brandon Glover was able to locate the puck. Andrews’ goal at 5:46 of the third period, narrowed the Acadia lead to one.

Zach Franko scored the insurance goal with just over nine minutes remaining on the game clock on a beautiful individual effort, beating a UPEI defender and netting his 11th goal of the season on the backhand. Franko received the game’s Third Star of the Game honours for his two point effort.

Glover stood tall when his team needed the support by making 26 saves and earning his twelfth win of the season, as for his opponent, Parks stopped 38 of 42 shots.

The 4-2 win over the Panthers gives Acadia a four game sweep of the season series against the Panthers. Acadia remains in 2nd place in the AUS standings, trailing the 1st place UNB V-Reds by three.

With the regular season winding down, Acadia is back in action in Halifax on Wednesday, January 21 as they take on rival Saint Mary’s at the Forum. The Axemen return home next Friday and Saturday, both games at 7:00pm, when they battle Moncton and UNB respectively.

Game Story from Acadia Athletics