Axemen extend series to game 4 with 2OT win over Huskies
McCollum makes 51 saves in win, Sellan with 2OT Winner!
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Don’t call it a comeback just yet, but the Acadia Axemen kept themselves in the AUS semi-finals tonight thanks to a 2OT 2-1 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Acadia is now down 2 games to 1 in the best-of-five series.
It was a thrilling finish to the game as the third star of the night Brendan Sellan tipped in a point shot in the second overtime period.
Goaltending was an essential piece to keep both teams in the game, as Conor McCollum and Jeremy Helvig put in a pair of incredible performances for Acadia and Saint Mary’s respectively.
McCollum was named Subway First Star of the Night and Helvig was awarded second star of the night for their stellar nights in the net.
Following a 7-1 shellacking and a much closer 2-0 finish, Acadia responded with their strongest performance yet.
Acadia began to be outplayed by the Huskies as the game wore on, but they came out with the victory thanks to their gritty play.
It only took 35 seconds for the Axemen to get on the board.
Acadia grabbed their first lead of the series early in the first period with a power-play goal in the opening minute of the game.
The puck came out to Adam McMaster, who was set up in the left face-off circle. McMaster ripped a shot high into the top right corner of the net to make it 1-0.
This was the only goal of the period despite chances on both sides throughout the rest of the first.
The play was chippy, with a few shoving matches breaking out after the whistle in front of both nets.
By the end of the first period, the shots were tied 10-10.
In the second, neither team was able to find the back of the net. There were a number of power-play opportunities, on both sides, in the frame, but neither team capitalized.
Acadia had two strong scoring chances in the frame, including a failed 3-on-1 and a breakaway that led to a power-play after Nick Deakin-Poot had his stick slashed out of his hands.
Saint Mary’s had a few strong power-play chances but were unable to find the back of the net in the middle period.
At the end of the second period, the shots were 24-21 in favour of Saint Mary’s.
Mirroring Acadia’s first period, Saint Mary’s scored 22 seconds into the third.
Nathan Dunkley scooped the puck up in front of the net from a failed centering pass by Walter Flower and threw it in past the scrambling Acadia goalie.
Dunkley’s goal made the rest of the period a tense fight to see who could break the tie.
Conor McCollum put on a showcase late in the third, making a pair of incredible saves during an offensive burst from the Huskies.
Acadia had a few odd-man rushes in the frame but was shut down by the Huskies’ defense. Their best chance came in the final minute when Morgan Nauss got a pass from behind the net and took a clear shot while stepping in from the point uncovered.
Overtime was needed to break the tie.
Saint Mary’s held a commanding 40-28 lead in shots.
Both teams had solid chances in the first overtime, including a close call on a shot by Corson Hopwo late frame.
The shots were 47-33 for Saint Mary’s heading into the second OT frame.
Acadia goalie Conor McCollum turned aside 51 of 52 shots in the game, while his Saint Mary’s counterpart Jeremy Helvig stopped 41 of 43 shots.
Game 4 of the AUS semi-finals is tomorrow night, Tuesday, Feb. 28. Puck drop is 7 pm at Andrew H. McCain Arena.
Provided by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office