WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 10 ranked StFX X-Men spoiled the No. 5 Acadia’s first playoff game of the 2016-17 season, defeating the Axemen 4-3 in double OT to take a 1-0 lead, in the best-of-5 series.
The Axemen dominated for long stretches of the game, but were constantly playing catch up, as they fell behind 2-0 after the first period, before tying the game up in the second and forcing overtime in the third frame.
Acadia fell behind late in the first period, when the X-Men scored on the man-advantage to jump out to a 1-0 lead.
The goal came from StFX forward, Kristoff Kontos (Penetanguishene, Ont.), who let a wrist shot go that caught the top left corner, breaking Axemen goaltender, Robert Steeves’ (Moncton, N.B.) water bottle.
The X-Men added to their lead, with a goal from rookie forward, Matt Needham (Penticton, B.C.), who scored in tight on Steeves, from a rebounded shot from the point. Needham flipped the puck up over Steeves shoulder to give the X-Men a 2-0 lead.
Acadia led 16-13 in shots by the end of the first, despite trailing 2-0.
Refusing to let the game get away from them, the Axemen managed to tie the game in the second period, with goals from veterans, Remy Giftopoulos (Ancaster, Ont.) and Brett Thompson (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) to send the Wolfville crowd into a frenzy.Read more »
(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2016-17 AUS men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference’s seven head coaches following regular season play.
Fourth-year UNB forward Philippe Maillet has been named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.
Other AUS major award winners announced today were Saint Mary’s Hunter Garlent of Thorold, Ont., who was named rookie of the year; Acadia’s Geoff Schemitch of Thornhill, Ont., who was selected as the most sportsmanlike player; StFX’s Eric Locke of Toronto, Ont., who earned the Godfrey award for student-athlete community service; and UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall who was named the AUS coach of the year for the fifth time in his career.Read more »
The Acadia Axemen and StFX X-Men square off in a best of 5, AUS men’s hockey semi-final series starting in Wolfville on Thursday night at 7pm at the Andrew H. McCain Arena. Tickets are now available for the opening two games of the series, with game 2 taking place Friday night, also on Axemen home turf. This is going to be a tightly contested series, with the two teams matching up closely, both sides with four deep lines, punishing defenders, and both teams having two goalies who are more than capable of stealing the series for their respective teams given the chance.
Here’s how the teams matched up in the regular season:
The Acadia Axemen finished 2nd in the AUS with a 20-8-2 record for 42pts. They finished the season out strong, winners of their last 5 games. Acadia was particularly strong on home ice going 12-3, on the season.
StFX, meanwhile, compiled a 16-12-2 record; their 34pts were good for 3rd place in the AUS, and they are coming off a strong quarterfinal playoff series which saw them defeat U de M Aigles Bleus in 2 straight in the best of 3 quarterfinals.
The Axemen are capable of scoring plenty of goals, with 111 on the season, 12 more than the X-Men’s 99. The Axemen also had the edge in keeping the puck out, allowing just 86 goals against vs X’s 102. That’s a goal differential of +25 for Acadia to StFX’s negative (-3).
Despite the goal differential, StFX had Acadia’s number this season, winning the season series 4 games to 1. However, the Axemen may have made their statement on the final game of the season, where they knocked off the X-Men 8-5, getting the monkey off their back against the Antigonish team.
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U Sports No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen (20-8-2) ended their regular season on a high note, erasing a two-goal deficit in the second period to knock off the StFX X-Men (16-12-2) and push their current winning streak to four games.
Not looking to disappoint the fans, the third period saw a wild circularity of Acadia getting two separate two-goal leads, before having the X-Men respond with a goal of their own each time.
Unfortunately for the X-Men, that was as close as they came to recapturing their lead, losing 8-5.
Acadia opened the scoring early in the first, with a power-play goal from Boston Leier (Saskatoon, Sask.), after he picked up a rebound from a point shot by Kyle Farrell (Howie Center, N.S.). Leier fired a low backhand past X-Men goalie, Brandon Hope (Canton, Michigan) for his 18th goal of the regular season and a 1-0 Axemen lead.
StFX responded quickly with a goal of their own from X-Men forward, Michael Clarke (London, Ont.), who fired a quick snapshot from the inside edge of the right faceoff circle past Axemen goalie Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.).Read more »
(Halifax, N.S.) – Acadia goaltender Devin Williams (Saginaw, MI) was the difference-maker on Friday night, recording 39 saves, as the Axemen topped the Dalhousie Tigers 2-1 at the Halifax Forum.
With the win, Acadia advanced to 19-8-2 on the season, while the Tigers fell to 8-18-3. Discipline was an issue for both teams in the opening 20 minutes, as the squads combined for 30 minutes in penalties in the first period.
It was the Axemen who were able to capitalize, scoring the only goal of the period at 10:15 on the man advantage, courtesy of a one-timer from defenceman Geoff Schemitsch (Thornhill, ON).
The visitors maintained the majority of offensive pressure – outshooting Dalhousie 12-6 heading into the first intermission – but were stymied on multiple occasions by Tigers goalie Joe Gladnick (Philadelphia, PA), who made a handful of impressive glove saves to keep the score at 1-0.
The Tigers picked up the tempo in the second period, forcing two early Axemen penalties, while outshooting Acadia 15-1 through the opening 13 minutes of play, and 19-10 overall.
Williams stood his ground however, making a number of impressive saves to keep the hosts off the board, including two from in tight against forward Kelly Bent (Halifax, NS). Read more »
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – After clinching a playoff spot last week, the U Sports No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen (18-8-2) continued their winning streak of three against the sixth-place Moncton Aigles Bleus (10-17-1), with a 4-1 win. Axemen forward, Sam Fioretti (Calgary, Alta.), scored a natural hat trick to help lift Acadia over Moncton in their last meeting of the year with the Aigles Bleus.
“It was a great team effort and wrapping up with the bye was our goal going into this year and I think it’s big for our playoff push,” said Fioretti after the game.
Moncton scored at 0:59 in the opening period, with a slapshot off the crossbar and past Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.), from forward Allain Saulnier (Cap-Pele, N.B.). The puck was shot so hard that it ricocheted back out of the net and play continued before the referees met near center ice to decide it was a good goal.
Fioretti tied the game up with a shorthanded marker late in the first on a 2-on-1, by tipping a pass from rushing defenseman, Geoff Schemitsch (Thornhill, Ont.), past Moncton goaltender, Alexi Thibaudeau (Gatineau, Que.).
Less than two minutes later, Fioretti struck again, coming out of the right corner and firing a snapshot, low glove side, beating Thibaudeau and giving the Axemen a 2-1 lead heading into the second.
Fioretti completed the natural hat trick 45 seconds before the midway point of the second period, on an Axemen power-play. After moving the puck around the perimeter of the Aigles Bleus penalty kill, Axemen defenseman, Matthew Pufahl (Saskatoon, Sask.), slid the puck over to Fioretti, who fired another low snapshot past Thibaudeau to give Acadia a 3-1 lead.
Axemen forward Brendan Childerley added to the lead roughly three minutes later, breaking in on the right side and firing a wrist shot past Aigles Bleus goaltender Brandon Thibeau (Riverview, N.B.), who replaced Thibaudeau after Fioretti’s hat trick.
Despite chances on both sides, neither team added a goal in the third period, as the Axemen focused on defending their lead and preventing Moncton from coming back for a 4-1 Acadia victory.
Axemen goaltender, Robert Steeves, turned aside 19 of 20 shots on the night. Meanwhile, Aigles Bleus goaltender, Brandon Thibeau stopped 6 of 7 shots in relief of the starter, Alexi Thibaudeau, who allowed 3 goals on 18 shots.
The Subway First Star of the Night went to Sam Fioretti, while second and third star of the night went to Moncton defenseman, Pierre Durepos (Shediac, N.B.) and Acadia defenseman, Alex Lepkowski (Buffalo, New York), respectively.
The Axemen have battled injuries for most of the season and Sam Fioretti noted the importance of the bye. “With these last two games and a week off before that (playoffs), sometimes it’s not necessarily the best team, but the healthiest team that comes on top.”
Acadia will next take to the ice on Fri. Feb. 10 in Halifax to take on the Dalhousie Tigers, before finishing up their regular season the next night, at home, against the StFX X-Men.
Moncton plays the first place UNB Varsity Reds tomorrow night, in Moncton, before finishing off their regular season next Friday in PEI to take on the UPEI Panthers. Puck drop for all games is 7:00 p.m.
Matt Price Strength & Conditioning coach for the LA Kings
Check out our former Acadia Axemen captain Matt Price as he makes an appearance on the Emmy award winning Ellen Show. Matt now serves as the Head Strength and Conditioning coach for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Price played for the Axemen over four seasons from 1999-2003.