Harper & Leier both with a goal & 2 assists
The Acadia Axemen (9-4-1) fended off a first period push from UdeM Aigles Blues (1-10-2) on Friday night in Moncton, before putting up 9 goals, to defeat the Aigles Bleus 9-1. In a rematch from a week ago in Wolfville, that saw Acadia win 6-1, the Aigles Bleus came out in the first period looking for redemption in front of their home town crowd. UdeM had numerous grade A scoring chances, including 12 shots in the opening period, but Acadia netminder Robert Steeves was up to the challenge, keeping the game scoreless.
That was until Axemen Remy Giftopoulos picked up a miscued clearing pass from a UdeM defender and went in all alone on Moncton starting goalie Alexi Thibaudeau, going forehand to backhand before sliding the puck past the UdeM goalie, for his 4th goal on the season, to give Acadia a 1-0 lead at 14:33. That lead held up for the remainder of the frame.
The Axemen opened up a four goal lead after the second period as the Axemen put three more behind Thibaudeau. At 3:16 of the period, Kris Hodge deflected a point shot from Liam Maaskant to make it 2-0, the goal was Hodge’s 2nd of the year. Then at 9:35, Boston Leier broke in over the blueline on a 2 on 1 with Kyle Farrell, Leier blasted a shot that ended up going off the end boards and onto the stick of his teammate. Farrell made no mistake making it 3-0 with his 9th goal of the season.
The Axemen capped off their second period scoring at 13:19 when first year forward Ryan Foss found a rebound behind the UdeM netminder on a shot from the blueline from Michael Zipp and tapped the puck home for a 4-0 lead after 2. That ended Moncton netminder Alexi Thibeaudeau’s night, as he was replaced to start the third period with Brandon Thibeau.
The Axemen turned up the heat on UdeM in the third period, scoring early and often. At 3:58 of the period, while on the powerplay, the Axemen passed the puck around masterfully as Stephen Harper parked at the top of the circle found Kyle Farrell on the opposite side of the ice, who then slide the puck back to the other side of the ice to Boston Leier who was parked at the side of the Moncton net. Leier one timed the pass home to make it 5-0, his 8th goal of the season.
At 9:04 Matthew Pufahl scored his first goal of the season in just his 4th game as he ripped a snapshot from the top of the circle to make it 6-0. Just 28 seconds later, Marc McNulty banked a puck, from behind the net, off of the UdeM goalie and into the net. At 10:11 of the period, the Aigles Blues found a way to beat Robert Steeves as Robbie Graham got his team on the board, making it 7-1.
But the Axemen came right back at 14:57 as AUS leading scorer Stephen Harper knocked home a pass from Rodney Southam to stretch the lead to 8-1, Harper’s 11th goal of the season. Capping out the scoring on the night at 17:55 Marc McNulty scored his second of the night, & 5th of the year, as he took a breakway pass from Liam Maaskant and made no mistake, showing nice hands deking Thibeau to make it 9-1.
Robert Steeves made 24 of 25 saves for Acadia. The Axemen outshot Moncton 28-25, going 1 for 5 on the powerplay while Moncton was 0-4. Both Liam Maaskant and Michael Clarke ended the night with three assists, while Boston Leier & Stephen Harper each had a goal and 2 assits.
Acadia will head to Antigonish Friday night to face the StFX X-Men at 7pm.