Axemen shutout Huskies 2-0 in first game of 2024 

Couture with 33 saves for the shutout

HALIFAX, NS – Acadia goaltender Thomas Couture stopped 33 shots as the Axemen defeated the Saint Mary’s Huskies 2-0 in Atlantic University Sport Men’s Hockey action on Wednesday night at the Dauphinee Centre in Halifax. 

The Axemen hit the scoreboard first, just over a minute into the action, as defenceman Hudson Wilson (Toronto, ON) fired a point shot that was redirected by forward Cole Nagy (Saskatoon, SK) and past Huskies netminder Matt Welsh (Halifax, NS), putting the visitors ahead 1-0 just 1:08 into the first. 

Moments later, Huskies forward Reid Valade (Caledon, ON) had a glorious chance to equalize as he deked through the Acadia zone and appeared to have beaten Axemen goaltender Thomas Couture (Levis, QC) but was unable to stuff the puck into the empty goal.  

Midway through the period, the Huskies had a breakaway chance as forward Nathan Dunkley (Campbellford, ON) snuck behind the Axemen defence, but Couture made a great save to keep the Axemen lead intact.  

The Huskies outshot the Axemen 17-9 in the first period, but Couture was rock solid through 20 minutes and the visitors took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. 

The first ten minutes of the second period saw the Huskies continue to heavily outchance the Axemen, including several opportunities on the powerplay, but they were unable to beat Couture.  

The Axemen best chance of the second period also come on the powerplay, as Brady Burns (Port Williams, NS) fired a one-timer from the slot, but Welsh turned it away. 

Acadia outshot Saint Mary’s 11-8 through the second period and maintained their 1-0 lead into the final frame. 

The goaltending duel continued into the third period, with Welsh stopping Axemen forward Zack Jones (North Falmouth, MA) on a breakaway.  

Along with the stellar goaltending, neither team was able to get much offence going all night. With less than two minutes remaining in regulation, the Huskies pulled Welsh from goal and Liam Kidney (Enfield, NS) scored an empty net tally to double the Axemen lead. 

Axemen goaltender Thomas Couture was named Player of the Game, turning away 33 shots for the shutout, while Welsh turned away 25 shots for the Huskies. 

The Huskies loss snaps a four game win-streak and drops their record to 10-9-0-0 on the campaign. They’ll be back in action on Friday night, as they visit the UPEI Panthers (7-10-1-0) at 7 p.m. in Charlottetown, PEI. 

The Axemen win improves their record to 5-11-0-3 on the season. Acadia will also be on the road to Charlottetown this weekend, as they take on the Panthers on Saturday night at 7 p.m. 

Recap by Allan April / Saint Mary’s Huskies Athletics
Photos by Mona Ghiz / Saint Mary’s Huskies Athletics