Acadia Axemen Round 1 Playoff Preview

Best of 3 Series, Acadia Axemen vs StFX X-Men

In a re-match of last year’s AUS quarterfinal series, the Acadia Axemen will face the StFX X-Men in a best of 3 matchup. Much like last year, StFX owns the home ice advantage in the short series, and the Axemen will look to replay history, as a year ago they went into Antigonish, winning game 1, before returning to Wolfville to close out the best of 3 series at home in game 2. What will this year’s series bring? We will soon see, as Game 1 goes on Wednesday evening.

The 16-13-1 X-Men have won their last 3 games, and feature a high flying offense, that was 2nd to only UNB in the AUS, as they scored 112 goals in the regular season. In contrast, Acadia (9-16-5) scored just 70 goals on the season, however, the Axemen were stingy on the defensive side, giving up just 98 goals on the season, 3rd lowest in the AUS, and 5 less than the X-Men.

For Acadia, Bailey Peach (18 points and co-team lead with 8 goals), Liam Kidney & Brendan Sellan (16 points each), and Ethan Ernst (8 goals) will be heavily counted on for offense against StFX. While forwards Nick Deakin-Poot, Reilly Webb, and Zack Jones will be leaned on to provide strong defensive, two-way play, for Acadia in this short series. As has been the case all season, the strong defence corps of the Axemen will play a big role in the success of the team in this series. The Axemen are hopeful to see the return of  leading scorer Brady Burns, (21 points in 24 games), who has missed the last 6 games, and Peyton Hoyt (6 points in 13 games) at some point during the series, but their status will be a game time decision.

The Axemen will need to focus on containing the X-Men offensive prowess led by AUS 2nd leading scorer Matthew Struthers (46 points), and perennial top scorer Liam Hawel, (37 points), along with the team’s top goal scorer Jacob Hudson, who had 18 goals and 32 points, and Charlie Callaghan delivers offense from the backend with 21 points as a defenseman.

Perhaps the biggest spotlight of the series will shine on the goaltending matchup, where the X-Men’s Joseph Raaymakers (14-12, 2.96 GAA, .912 SV%) will face Axemen star rookie Thomas Couture (7-10-5, 2.76 GAA, .915 SV%). Acadia will look to Couture to continue his outstanding play moving forward in the series.

We caught up with Axemen head coach Darren Burns to get his thoughts on the series, he said, “We are looking forward to the start of the playoffs. We have been really happy with our team’s battle level and focus this year.

Its been a season where players have had to continually adapt to different situations and responsibilities, as our line up was always changing with many players not available. It is important for our team to keep this focus in the post season.”

Game 1 goes Wednesday night in Antigonish at 7pm, before the series shifts to Wolfville for a Saturday night matchup in Game 2. Game 3, if necessary, is scheduled for Monday, February 19th back in Antigonish.

Get your tickets for Acadia’s home game at the Acadia Box Office or purchase online at