Axemen earn first round playoff bye
Acadia uses final weekend to prep for playoffs
The Acadia Axemen have secured a first round bye in the AUS playoffs. With two games left to play in the regular season, the Axemen have an 18-8-2 record, good for 38 points, 6 more than 3rd place Saint Mary’s. The Axemen clinched the bye last weekend earning a point in a 4-3 overtime shootout loss to the Moncton Aigles Bleus.
Coach Darren Burns is pleased with earning the bye saying, “I believe our team should feel really good about reaching one of their goals of securing a bye. There is no doubt that we needed the time for some guys to get ready to play and back in our lineup.”
The Axemen have battled injuries all season but have continued to find a way to win through a strong defensive game, great goaltending, and a knack to find the back of the net.
Acadia has the 2nd most goals in the AUS, tied with SMU with 104, trailing only UNB who have amassed 143 goals. Meanwhile at the other end of the ice, the Axemen have given up the 2nd lowest number of goals against this season, with just 85, trailing only UNB’s 53 goals against.
2nd year netminder, Logan Flodell has been stellar in the Axemen net this season with a 15-8 record, leading the conference with a .918 save percentage.
Meanwhile, Cristiano Digiacinto continues to have a breakout season, tied for the AUS lead in goals with 19, even with UdeM’s St-Cyr. Digiacinto has an impressive 36 points in 28 games and a +13 rating, having also amassed 80 minutes in penalties on the season.
Coach Burns looks forward to the playoffs and his team’s preparation adding, “The playoffs are an exciting time. As a coaching staff we are eager to see what our team is capable of. We really haven’t had an opportunity to see how good we can be since early September during practices. We still have two games left where we must work hard to improve our game. It’s important not to overlook this weekend. We have lots to works on over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the playoffs. This practice time will be crucial as the intensity and speed of the playoffs compared to the regular season is at a completely different level. If you’re not ready to go, you get left behind. That’s just how good this league is.”
The 1st round playoff matchups remain undecided heading into the last weekend of the regular season, with Dalhousie being eliminated from contention.
The Axemen host the Dalhousie Tigers on Friday night in Wolfville, before heading to Antigonish to finish out their regular season with a Saturday night matchup against the X-Men.
Acadia University and Acadia Athletics, in partnership with Sports and Entertainment Atlantic, are poised to host the 2020 U SPORTS Men’s Hockey National Championship, the University Cup, March 12-15 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. Tickets packages are now on sale so don’t delay! Order now and cheer your Acadia Axemen on to victory at the national tournament!
For more, please visit: https://www.ticketatlantic.com/events/u-sports-mens-hockey-championships