Axemen fall short to U SPORTS No. 1 Reds in a 3-2 OT loss
Paddock with 38 saves in OT Shootout Loss
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – It was a David versus Goliath match-up in Wolfville on Friday night, as the sixth-placed Acadia Axemen (6-14-1) fell 3-2 in a shootout loss to the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked UNB Reds (19-2-0) who hold the best win percentage in the country in U SPORTS men’s hockey team.
The Axemen held their own with a 2-0 lead to start the game. However, the Reds mounted a comeback that was capped off by a shootout winner from former Axemen defenceman Ross MacDougall, who netted a nifty backhander to get the win.
Acadia goalie, and second star of the night, Max Paddock put on a clinic as he turned aside 40 of 42 shots on the night, including an incredible sprawling desperation save in his crease in OT that saved a sure goal.
“Everybody came to play again, just like last weekend. We’ve shown the top two teams we can play with them. It’s great to see a group of guys come back the second semester to really gel the team and be able to compete with the best of them,” noted Paddock after the game.
Despite trailing 12-6 in shots, the Axemen held a 2-0 lead by the end of the first period.
Rookie forward Keegan Stevenson opened the scoring thanks to Nick Deakin-Poot’s work in the offensive zone.
Stevenson scored on his own rebound – off a pass from Deakin-Poot – while falling on his stomach.
Peyton Hoyt doubled up the score for Acadia on a broken play that led to a 2-on-1. Hoyt took a pass from Jordy Stallard and slid a wrist shot in for a 2-0 lead.
UNB continued their offensive barrage in the second period with a whopping 21 shots on net.
Jason Willms slid the puck across the ice past Paddock on a scramble play to make it 2-1.
UNB forward and Subway First Star of the Night Mark Rassell nabbed a one-timer on the power-play from the edge of the crease to tie the game at 2-2, which is where things stood going into the third period.
Neither team was able to capitalize in the final frame of the game, despite a number of odd-man rushes for both teams.
UNB dominated the overtime period, holding possession of the puck for the first 1:30 of the extra frame. While both teams had numerous chances, they required a shootout to find a winner.
UNB goalie Rylan Parenteau stopped 15 of 17 shots on the night, while Acadia’s Paddock was stellar in the other end.
Acadia takes to the ice again at home Saturday, Feb. 26 to take on the Moncton Aigles Bleus, while the Reds travel to Saint Mary’s to take on the 8-11 Huskies.
Provided by Josh Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications