Axemen fall 4-3 in 3OT

StFX takes a 1-0 lead in best of 3 series

ANTIGONISH, NS – A Josh Nelson (Lockport, IL) goal 19 seconds into triple overtime gave the STFX X-Men the win over the Acadia Axemen in Game 1 of their AUS quarterfinal series at the Charles V Keating Centre in on Wednesday night.  

Nelson picked up a pass from Charlie Callahan (Toronto, ON) just outside the Acadia zone, skated in and lifted one high from up close with his second goal of the game, earning third star of the game honours along the way.   

It took only 40 seconds into the first period for the home team to open the scoring, with player of the game Declan Smith (Antigonish, NS) tipping home a shot from Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON), off a pass from Matthew Phillip (Ilderton, ON). Smith added his second of the night midway through the period, with Struthers again acting as the set-up man, feeding a wide open Smith at the side of the net after picking up a long pass from Sean Stewart (Antigonish, NS).  

STFX’s defence came up big early on, holding Acadia to only two shots though the first 10 minutes. Shots at the end of the period were 14-6 in favour of STFX as they held the 2-0 lead. 

It was Acadia who came out with some jump in the second period, peppering STFX goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, ON) early on. The X-Men returned fire though, and an extended 5-3 power play provided some scoring chances, but Acadia goalie Thomas Couture (Levis, QC) kept the door closed.  

Acadia cut the X lead in half with about five minutes left to play in the stanza, with Adam McMaster (Beamsville, ON) firing one home through a screen while on the power play, with assists going to Tyler Deline (Peterborough, ON) and Cam Whynot (Kentville, NS).   

STFX replied two minutes later, as Nelson took a pass from Zack Trott (Mulmur, ON) and rifled a shot top shelf on the short side. Shots at the end of the second were 29-17 in favour of the X-Men as they regained their two-goal lead. 

Acadia drew even with back-to-back goals the third, with Liam Kidney (Enfield, NS) scoring off a two-on-one with Nick Deakin-Poot (Georgetown, ON) with six minutes gone, and Brendan Sellan (Bolton, ON) getting the equalizer 90 seconds later, knocking in a rebound off a point shot from Merrick Rippon (Ottawa, ON), with Hudson Wilson (Toronto, ON) getting the other assist.  

The teams continued to battle for the rest of the period, but neither was able to score before time expired, leading to overtime.      

STFX X-Men had a man advantage with two minutes to go in the first 10-minute overtime frame, but weren’t able to capitalize, and it went to double overtime.  

Both goalies came up big in the second overtime period. Raaymakers kept the X-Men in it as they fought off a four-minute high sticking penalty, while Couture had a number of stellar saves including a cross crease dive with 30 seconds left in the second extra period, to take things to triple overtime and set up the Nelson heroics. 

Couture made 57 saves on the night, earning second star of the game. Raaymakers had 32 saves while picking up the win.  

The best of three series resumes Saturday night, February 17, in Wolfville. Game three, if necessary, is set for Monday, February 19, in Antigonish at 7 p.m. 


Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics