Axemen top USports #5 ranked Panthers 4-2

Acadia wins pair of weekend games

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Make it two in a row for the Acadia Axemen (8-12-2-1) as they had a strong performance in a 4-2 win over the UPEI Panthers (14-7-1-1) on Saturday night. 

Subway First Star of the Night Adam McMaster (Beamsville, Ont.) scored the eventual game-winner with 6:50 left to play in the first period. 

“It’s definitely fun playing with a lead. We got off to a hot start at the beginning. We were not happy with the results after Christmas, but we got back to work in practice this week and the payoff was this weekend. It’s always nice to play at home,” noted McMaster after the game. 

Acadia struck first with a goal just under four minutes into the opening frame. 

Luke Zazula (Langley, B.C.) scored a beautiful marker after taking a feed from Bailey Peach. Zazula was left alone in the slot and wired a shot into the top left corner of the net to make it 1-0. 

UPEI responded with a power-play marker from Danil Antropov (Toronto, Ont.) roughly four minutes later. 

Antropov was left alone in the right corner, and he took advantage of his opportunity, taking a pass from Ryan Stephen (Stoney Creek, Ont.) for an easy goal. 

Acadia responded with a pair of goals to close out the period and take a commanding 3-1 lead into the second period. 

McMaster and Eric Henderson (Kingsville, Ont.) were the goal scorers for Acadia. 

McMaster broke in on a 2-on-1 with Liam Kidney (Enfield, N.S.), who made a beautiful cross-zone pass to give McMaster an easy tap-in to take the lead. 

Henderson scored two minutes later on a similar play, beating the UPEI goalie, Lucas Fitzpatrick (Lower Sackville, N.S.) at the five hole to give Acadia their 3-1 lead. 

The teams were tied 12-12 in shots at the end of the period. 

There was not much action in the second period, with Acadia adding a single goal in the final minutes of the frame to take a 4-1 lead into the final period. 

Despite having numerous power-play attempts in the second, it was actually the penalty kill that gave Acadia their goal. 

Corson Hopwo (Duncan, B.C.) scooped up the rebound from Peyton Hoyt’s (Fredericton, N.B) partial breakaway attempt and lifted it over the sprawling UPEI goalie to put his team up 4-1. 

By the end of the second, the shots were 24-20 for the Axemen. 

The second star of the night Kurtis Henry (Niagara Falls, Ont.) brought the Panthers back into the game with a power-play marker early in the third. 

Henry fired a shot from the point that fooled the Acadia goaltender Conor McCollum (Pickering, Ont.) to make it 4-2. 

That was as close as the Panthers would get. They pulled their goalie at the end of the game but were unable to beat the Acadia goalie again. 

Acadia forward Merrick Rippon (Ottawa, Ont.) took home the third star of the night honours. 

McCollum stopped 28 of 30 shots on the night, while his UPEI counterpart, Fitzpatrick, turned aside 26-30 shots on the night. 

The Axemen return to play next Friday against Moncton, while the Panthers travel to Dalhousie next Friday. 

Provided by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office
Photos provided by Peter Oleskevich