Axemen finish regular season with 8-5 win over StFX

Childerley & Farrell each net a pair in the win

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U Sports No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen (20-8-2) ended their regular season on a high note, erasing a two-goal deficit in the second period to knock off the StFX X-Men (16-12-2) and push their current winning streak to four games.

Not looking to disappoint the fans, the third period saw a wild circularity of Acadia getting two separate two-goal leads, before having the X-Men respond with a goal of their own each time.

Unfortunately for the X-Men, that was as close as they came to recapturing their lead, losing 8-5.

Acadia opened the scoring early in the first, with a power-play goal from Boston Leier (Saskatoon, Sask.), after he picked up a rebound from a point shot by Kyle Farrell (Howie Center, N.S.). Leier fired a low backhand past X-Men goalie, Brandon Hope (Canton, Michigan) for his 18th goal of the regular season and a 1-0 Axemen lead.

StFX responded quickly with a goal of their own from X-Men forward, Michael Clarke (London, Ont.), who fired a quick snapshot from the inside edge of the right faceoff circle past Axemen goalie Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.).

The X-Men took the lead late in the first, on a tip-in from StFX forward, Regan Spears (Port Hood, N.S.). Spears finished off the pass from forward, Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, Ont.) and put the puck in the top right corner of a wide-open net to give the X-Men a 2-1 lead heading into the second.

The first period also featured phenomenal glove saves from both Steeves and Hope, with Acadia leading in shots 14-12.

Opening the second period, X-Men forward Sam Studnicka (Windsor, Ont.) came in tight on Steeves and tucked the puck in on the left post, past Steeves’ glove to give the X-Men a 3-1 lead.

Looking to respond in a big way, Brandon Childerley (Stratford, Ont.), scored two goals in less than a minute apart to tie the game late in the second. The first goal came from a tip on a point shot from defenseman Geoff Schemitsch (Thornhill, Ont.). The redirection from Childerley beat Hope five-hole, to put the Axemen within one goal.

Childerley continued his tear 57 seconds later, firing a slap-shot from the top of the right face-off circle, once again beating Hope five-hole to tie the game.

Heading into the third, StFX held a 27-25 lead in shots on goal with the game tied at 3-3.

Axemen forward Kyle Farrell buried the puck past a sprawling X-Men goaltender on a 2-on-1 with Taylor Makin (Lethbridge, Alta.) to give the Axemen a 4-3 lead.

Adding to their lead less than a minute later, senior forward Michael Clarke (Halifax, N.S.) redirected Matthew Pufahl’s (Saskatoon, Sask.) point shot high blocker side to give the Axemen a two-goal lead.

Unwilling to go away, the X-Men responded with a goal from defenseman Cole MacDonald (Wetaskiwin, Alta.) who came in tight and placed the puck low left side, past Steeves to put the X-Men within one again.

Veteran forward Brett Thompson (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) answered by stripping the puck from the StFX forwards in their own zone and turning to fire a puck into the top left corner of the StFX net to restore Acadia’s two-goal lead.

Once again, StFX answered with a wrap-around from X-Men forward Sam Studnicka to put StFX within one goal for the second time in the period.

Acadia added two empty net goals from Taylor Makin and Kyle Farrell to put the game out of reach and sending the 1912 Wolfville crowd home happy.

The Subway First Star of the Night went to Axemen forward, Taylor Makin, while second and third star of the night went to StFX forward, Sam Studnicka and Acadia defenseman Alex Lepkowski (Buffalo, New York), respectively.

Makin pointed out the importance of the win for the Axemen. “It’s big for us. It was nice getting a win before heading into the playoffs”, said Makin after the game.

“We’ll probably face them in the second round if things go the way they should. Nice to get some confidence against them”, added Makin.

Axemen goaltender, Robert Steeves, turned aside 28 of 33 shots, while X-Men goalie, Brandon Hope, stopped 28 of 34 shots on the night.

The StFX X-Men will face off against the Moncton Aigles Bleus in the first round of the playoffs, while the Axemen have secured a spot in the semi-finals and will face off against the winners of the StFX-Moncton series.

Note: Fifth year forward Brett Thompson played his last regular season game with the Axemen. Thompson moves up to ninth spot in the Acadia all-time points with 151 regular season points including tonight’s goal. Including playoff points, Thompson has 67 (60 regular season) goals and 104 (91 regular season) assists while suited up for the Axemen.

Source: Josh Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office

Posted in Game Recaps