Axemen topple Tigers 5-2
Pufahl & Harper chip in with 3 assists a piece
The Axemen travelled to Halifax on Friday night to face the surprising team of the first half in the AUS, the Dalhousie Tigers. Although Acadia had won the previous two games with the Tigers this season, the Tigers came in to play just 2 points back of the Axemen. Acadia’s lineup was decimated by injuries, with starting netminder Devin Williams out, and top forwards Kyle Farrell, Nick Betz, and Chance Braid all injured. But the Axemen didn’t use that as an excuse, as they toppled Dalhousie by a 5-2 score at the old Halifax Forum.
For the first time this season, the Axemen powerplay was the reason for the victory, converting on 3 of 8 chances. The man advantage has been a major speed bump this year coming in to play on Friday with just a 6% conversion rate, worst in the AUS.
The Axemen came out flying, scoring off the opening faceoff on their first shot as Boston Leier converted a cross crease pass from Matthew Pufahl just 11 seconds into the game to give Acadia the early 1-0 lead. That score stuck until late in the period when the Axemen doubled their lead while on the powerplay, as Marc McNalty parked himself in front of the Dal net and put a rebound past the Dal netminder Corbin Boes. Just over 2 minutes later, the Axemen appeared to take a firm hold on the game when Stephen Harper found Michael Clarke at the left circle. Clarke ripped a perfect shot over the shoulder of the Dal netminder to make it 3-0 with just 35 seconds to play in the opening period. But the Tigers responded quickly as Felix Page showed great skill and patience as he dangled around Axemen netminder Robert Steeves to get his team on the board just 23 seconds later, and sent the teams to the intermission with a 3-1 score.
Dalhousie fed off that late first period goal by scoring just 1:24 into the second period, cutting the Acadia lead to just one goal, as Page again found the back of the net. The teams headed to the dressing rooms with the score 3-2 for Acadia.
The Axemen found their stride in the third period with the man advantage as Daniel Pettersson unloaded a slap shot from the point, with a nice screen in front of the net, compliments of Sam Fioretti to give Acadia a two goal lead. Midway through the period, again on the powerplay, Remy Giftopoulos walked into the high slot and snapped a shot past Boes to seal the win for Acadia 5-2.
Acadia fired 40 shots at the Dal net, while Robert Steeves turned aside 23 of 25 shots he faced. Matt Pufahl and Stephen Harper each had 3 assists on the night, while Boston Leier and Michael Clarke each had a goal and an assist.
With the win, Acadia advanced to 8-5-1, while Dalhousie fell to 5-6-3. The Axemen have Saturday night off, as they head home to prepare to host the AUS #1 team, the UNB Varsity Reds next Friday and the UPEI Panthers on Saturday.