Batherson to reflect on NS Sports Hall of Fame Axemen ’93 Team Induction Announcement
Axemen legend to take the stage at the Acadia Celebrity Hockey Dinner on June 22nd
Earlier this June, the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame announced its 2023 inductee class to be celebrated for outstanding contributions to Nova Scotia sport; and one of those inductees, near and dear to our heart, was the 1992-93 Acadia Axemen hockey team. Induction Night 2023 will take place on Saturday, November 25 at 7pm, at the Lighthouse Arts Centre in Halifax.
On Thursday, June 22nd, Acadia Axemen legend, CIAU champion, and Hockey Honour Role member Norm Batherson will take the stage at the Acadia Celebrity Hockey Dinner to speak on the historic announcement, and reflect on the success of the ’92-’93 team.
One of the most dominant university hockey teams to ever play in this country, the Axemen became the first Nova Scotia school to ever win the CIAU University Cup National Hockey Championship, steamrolling the University of Toronto 12-1 on March 21, 1993. Axemen players received 10 awards of MVP or All-Star at either the conference or national level during the season, and four of these were awarded to Nova Scotia-born members of the team. Coach Tom Coolen was named CIAU Coach of the Year and captain George Dupont was named a CIAU All-Canadian.
The championship win was a culmination of growth from the previous two seasons as the Axemen had finished in 3rd place in the AUAA in 1990-91, and vaulted to a 18-4-2 record in 1991-92, easily laying claim to the Kelly Division title. They were ranked #1 in the nation, unbeaten at home, and capped the year by nabbing Acadia’s first AUAA championship in 43 years. The Axemen would make it all the way to the CIAU finals, facing off against the Alberta Golden Bears. In a see-saw battle that wasn’t decided until the final period, the Golden Bears prevailed by a 5-2 score. A loss the Axemen would remember on route to their 1992-93 CIAU finals victory.
Batherson would move on to a long and successful professional career following the national championship win, joining the Ottawa Senators’ organization playing for their affiliate and later the Prince Edward Island Senators of the American Hockey League (AHL). In 1994, Batherson joined the Washington Capitals’ organization and played for the Portland Pirates in the AHL from 1994 until 1998, with a stint with the Fort Wayne Komets in the 1997–98 season. In 1996, Batherson was a member of their Calder Cup finalist team, scoring 11 goals and 19 points in 24 playoff games. In all, Batherson played 259 games in the AHL, scoring 65 goals and 111 assists.
In 1998, he moved to Germany where he played in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL), playing for 8 seasons before retiring in 2006. In his final season, he was a member of the Tigers’ German Cup championship. Norm retired as the league’s all-time scorer.
Current Acadia Axemen Head Coach and National Championship teammate of Batherson, Darren Burns, reflected on having Norm speak at the Dinner saying, “We are extremely excited that we will be able to have Normie on stage to represent the ’93 national championship team. Norm is an Acadia legend and had a tremendous hockey career. As an Axemen, he was an unbelievable hockey player who was always dominate, but he was an even better teammate. He set the highest of standards for performance, and treated every team member with the utmost respect. He was what you want a player to be on and off the ice.”
For tickets to the Acadia Celebrity Hockey Dinner taking place on June 22nd, and to hear Norm speak, visit the Acadia Box office or visit acadiau.universitytickets.com