StFX defeats Acadia 4-2 to end the regular season
Peyton Hoyt scores two goals in the Axemen loss
Antigonish, NS – A three-goal spree in the opening five minutes of the third period helped the STFX X-Men defeat the Acadia Axemen 4-2 on Saturday night at the Charles V Keating Centre. The match was a warm-up of sorts for the two teams, who will face each other in the AUS playoffs starting on Wednesday.
STFX forward and Subway Player of the game Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) had two goals and an assist on the night, while second star was X-Men defender Patrick Kyte (Pembroke, ON), with a goal and two assists. Third star was STFX forward Matthew Philip (Ilderton, ON), who put in quality minutes for the home team.
The X-Men carried much of the early play, gaining the offensive zone effectively, and barring any Acadia shots for the first eight minutes. Acadia picked up the pace midway through the period and STFX goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) had to make a couple of strong saves while on the penalty kill.
The teams exchanged some big hits throughout the period and a scum with around six minutes left to play led to a few roughing penalties and a STFX powerplay, but the home team wasn’t able to capitalize.
Acadia opened the scoring at the 2:50 mark, with Peyton Hoyt (Lincoln, NB) poking one home off a pass from Brendan Sellan (Hanover, ON). The period ended with Acadia leading in shots 9-8.
An Acadia penalty three seconds into the second period made it a four-on-four situation that turned into a STFX powerplay that lead to a couple of close chances but Acadia goaltender Zachary Paputsakis (Rockland, ON) stood his ground.
Acadia found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage about midway through the period, but it was Kyte who found the back of the net, finishing off a shorthanded play from Jacob Hudson (Antigonish, NS) and Struthers.
Shots at the end of the second period were 19-17 in favour of Acadia as the game was knotted 1-1.
The beak to beak action continued in the third, and Struthers opened the scoring just over a minute in on the powerplay, with Brendan Clavelle (Kapuskasing, ON) and Liam Hawel (Arnprior, ON) assisting. STFX went on the powerplay again a minute later, and Struthers wired home a one-timer, from Hawel and Kyte.
X-Men forward Zack Trott (Mulmur, ON) made it 4-1 with around five minutes gone, tucking home a nifty backhand, with Kyte assisting.
Hoyt got one back for the Axemen late in the period, his 2nd of the game, with Morgan Nauss (Hammonds Plains, NS) and Zack Jones (North Falmouth, MA) assisting, and the teams continued to exchange less-than-pleasantries for the rest period.
Shots at the end of the game were 33-26 in favour of STFX and the teams posted 104 penalty minutes on 22 infractions.
The X-Men have home ice advantage in the AUS quarterfinal round after finishing in fourth place in the AUS standings with a record of 16-13-1. The quarter-final playoff series (best 2-of-3) will start Wednesday, Feb. 15th at STFX as the same two teams will be back on the ice at the STFX Keating Centre.
Acadia wrapped up regular season play with 11-16-3 record in fifth place. The AUS will announce the complete quarter-final playoff schedule on Sunday. Game 2 will be on the road at Acadia, and Game 3 (if necessary) back in Antigonish.
UPEI and Moncton will meet in the other AUS quarter-final series with first place UNB and second place Saint Mary’s awaiting the quarter-final winners for the best 3-of-5 semifinal playoff rounds.
Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics