Steeves with another strong game in goal

WOLFVILLE, N.S – The new year has been kind to the U Sports No. 7 ranked Acadia Axemen (13-6-1) so far, as they improve to 2-0 in 2017 after defeating the Moncton Aigles Bleus (7-11-1) 4-1 on Saturday night, a day after beating the Saint Mary’s Huskies by the same score.

Despite Acadia dominating play for most of the first period, Moncton struck first when Aigles Bleus forward, Carl Marois (Montmagany, Que.), fired the puck into a wide-open net. Axemen goalie, Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.), got caught up with one of his teammates, taking him out of the play and allowing Marois an open cage to bury the puck.

By periods end, Moncton held onto a 1-0 lead, despite trailing 10-7 in shots on net.

Acadia had a strong showing in the second, scoring three unanswered on Moncton. To tie the game, second-year Axemen forward, Remy Giftopoulos (Ancaster, Ont.) finished a 2-on-1 passing play with Sam Fioretti (Calgary, Alta.), by deking out Moncton goaltender, Brandon Thibeau (Moncton, N.B.), and sliding the puck in on his backhand.Read more »

Four unanswered 3rd period goals seal victory

The Acadia Axemen kicked off the second half of the AUS men’s hockey season on a snowy night in Halifax as they faced the Saint Mary’s Huskies at the historic Halifax Forum. It took two periods for the Axemen (13-6-1)  to shed the holiday rust, but by the third period, they looked like a well-oiled machine, scoring four unanswered goals on route to a 4-1 victory over the Huskies (9-10-1).

Between the pipes, the Axemen started Robert Steeves who ended the first half strong in goal with 5 wins, while Saint Mary’s countered with Cole Cheveldave.

SMU had a chance to shake off the holiday break already as they had opened their second half with a game on Wednesday night and it showed in the first period as they carried an edge in play in the opening period. This led to a goal on the powerplay from the newest Huskie, Aaron Berisha at 10:49 of the opening period. Berisha, playing in just his second game after committing to Saint Mary’s over the break. Calder Brooks and Hunter Garlent picked up the helpers on the goal. Shots after the first period were 7-4 in favor of Saint Mary’s.

The second period was a tight affair that saw three powerplays for each team, but neither side could capitalize and the teams went to the 2nd intermission with the same 1-0 score. Shots on goal were 8-6 in favor of Acadia in the 2nd period.

The Axemen started the third period on the man advantage and were able to get on the scoreboard as Daniel Pettersson ripped home a booming slap shot 56 seconds into the frame to tie the game. Boston Leier and Geoff Schemitsch picked up the assists.

Midway through the period, Axemen defenseman Matt Pufahl was able to intercept a clearing attempt from the Huskies, keeping the puck on side by the narrowest of margins, before carrying the puck towards the SMU net and dishing it off to Taylor Makin who one timed the puck past Cheveldave to give the visitors the lead.Read more »

Coach Burns prepped for stretch run

Welcome to 2017! We’re looking forward to a terrific 2nd half of the AUS Men’s Hockey season. The Axemen resume regular season AUS play on Friday night as they take on the Saint Mary’s Huskies in Halifax, and then host the U de M Aigles Bleus on Saturday night in Wolfville.

But before we look ahead, we need to reflect on the first half, where the Axemen finished in 2nd place, in the always competitive AUS conference, with an 11-6-1 record in 18 games.

Acadia hit the ice this season with some major changes in their lineup from the 2015-16 season; gone was perennial scoring leader Mike Cazzola, high scoring threat Zach Franko, & key two way players Dylan Anderson and Travis Randell.

The Axemen had a strong recruiting off-season, adding major size to their lineup with 6’6 defenseman Marc McNulty and 6’4 Alex Lepkowski. Up front 6’5 Nick Betz arrived in Wolfville following a camp invite to the New York Rangers camp, along with 6’3 Stephen Harper who attended the Ottawa Senators main camp. Also added to the lineup were former captain of the STU Tommies Brendan Childerley, Kris Hodge, and Chris Clark.

One of the major recruits was netminder Devin Williams, who starred with the Erie Otters of the OHL with a 41-10-1 record and a 2.36 GAA in 2015-16.

The Axemen struggled out of the gate going 5-5 in their first 10 games, before going 6-2 in their final 8. The early struggles were a team trying to gel, while being hampered by injuries. The biggest struggle of the first half came on the power play where for the first dozen games, the team could not find a way to score with the man advantage. The jinx seems to have been broken and now have edged the pp % to 12.5% after 18 games.

Acadia ended the first half with a 7-1 record on home ice at the Andrew H. McCain Arena, but struggled with a 4-6 record on the road.

Axemen head coach Darren Burns reflected on the first half saying, “I was happy with our recovery from a slow start in the first half. However, the first half is a thing of the past. The reality of our league, especially with only 12 games in the second half, is the teams that kept in shape and are focused, will be successful. Playoffs will begin before you know it and you don’t have as much time to create and maintain structure and work habits.”

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Leier & Harper with two goals each


WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The UPEI Panthers (5-9-2) were unable to snap their five game skid, extending their losing streak to six, with a 5-2 loss to the Acadia Axemen (10-5-1) on Saturday night in Wolfville. The Axemen continued their winning ways, having now picked up nine of their last ten possible points.

Acadia jumped out to a 1-0 lead, early in the first, when rookie forward, Stephen Harper (Burlington, Ont.), fired one past UPEI goaltender, Matt Mahalak (Monrow, Michigan). Harper scored on a nice feed from Brett Thompson (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), who picked up the puck in the corner, before passing it to Harper to make it 1-0 for the Axemen.

UPEI answered at the tail end of the opening period on the power play, when second year forward Sam Aulie (Lumsden, Sask.) sped in and danced around the Axemen defense, before sniping the top right corner of the net past Axemen goalie Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.).

Acadia led 12-8 in shots at the end of the first, with the teams in a 1-1 deadlock.

Harper continued to dominate in the second, scoring on the power-play, with a one-timer on a pass from fellow rookie, Alex Lepkowski (Buffalo, New York), who also had a secondary assist on Harper’s first goal.

Acadia struck again, with a passing play entering the offensive zone, with fourth-year forward Tyler Makin (Lethbridge, Alta.) sliding a cross-ice pass to third-year forward Boston Leier (Saskatoon, Sask.), who buried the puck past a sprawling Panthers goaltender, putting the Axemen up 3-1.

Heading into the third period, the Axemen were leading 24-16 in shots and held a 3-1 lead.

A scrappy third period saw Boston Leier add his second of the night, with a beautiful shorthanded marker. Leier blew past the UPEI defenders and waited out Mahalak and lofted the puck over the UPEI goalie’s left pad.Read more »

StFX hands Hockey Axemen their second loss of the season

Acadia_StFX13story courtesy of 27/11/2013 10:01 pm

ANTIGONISH, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen’s nine game winning streak comes to an end with a 4-3 overtime loss to the host StFX X-men.  X-man Spencer McAvoy knocked in an Evan Mosher rebound to give StFX the win while the Axemen pick up a single point for the overtime loss.

Third  year forward Liam Heelis opened the scoring with a short-handed goal in the first period on a turnover giving the first year captain a breakaway that he put high under the bar at 15:20.

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Heelis, Thompson and Cazzola top three in AUS points standings

23/11/2013 2:17 pm

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The CIS No. 4 ranked Acadia Axemen hockey team extended their winning streak to nine with a 4-2 win over the scrappy Dalhousie Tigers who picked up a win in their last game against the Saint Mary’s Huskies – their second of the season.

Alex Beaton opened up the first period scoring with a goal at the three minute mark assisted by linemates Scott Trask and Tyler Ferry. The Tigers responded with 20 seconds remaining in the first, when Tiger Fabian Walsh knotted the score with the help of Brett Plouffe and Chris Ivanko.

The Axemen retook the lead in the second period, when Brett Thompson scored his fifth of the season from Mike Cazzola and Liam Heelis to end the first 40 minutes 2-1.Read more »

CIS No. 4 ranked Axemen hand StFX 3-2 OT loss

story courtesy of 20/11/2013 11:09 pm

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Tonight’s game needed more than regulation time as the CIS No. 4 ranked Acadia men’s hockey team beat the StFX X-Men in overtime to keep the streak alive. It was assistant captain Chris Owens, on the power play, who put a laser beam of a slap shot over the shoulder of Drew Owsley and off the crossbar, giving the Axemen a 3-2 victory. Owens was awarded the games Subway First Star for his clutch performance.

The Axemen continue to play well, stretching their winning streak to eight games, improving their record to 9-1-0 on the season so far. The win also places Acadia in first place in the AUS standings after the St. Thomas Tommies upset the UNB Varsity Reds 3-2 in Fredericton tonight.Read more »

CIS No. 5 Axemen extend winning streak to seven with 5-4 win

17/11/2013 11:25 am
MONCTON, N.B. – The Acadia Axemen made it seven wins in a row, with a 5-4 victory over the Moncton Aigles Bleus on Moncton home ice. The 8-1 Axemen, coming off a hard fought OT Shooutout win over the #2 ranked UNB Varsity Reds on Friday.

Captain Liam Heelis scored the eventual game winner at 18:47 of the third period to give the Axemen a 5-3 lead in the closing minutes. The lead would be shortened by a Simon Lacroix goal in the dying seconds of the game forcing Acadia to hold tightly onto the one goal margin.

First year goalie Brandon Glover got the start for the Axemen, and played a solid game stopping 27 of 31 shots to grab the win, while the 4-4 Aigles Bleus’ Adrien Lemay made 27 of 32 saves in the loss.Read more »

CIS No. 5 ranked Acadia hands Varsity Reds their first loss

16/11/2013 12:11 am

FREDERICTON, N.B. – The CIS No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen gained ground on the undefeated CIS No. 2 UNB Varsity Reds in the AUS men’s hockey standings with a 4-3 overtime shootout win. The Varsity Reds experienced their first loss of the regular season in a game that posted a 21-20 shots on net Acadia advantage in regulation time.

UNB grabbed a quick early lead only 20 seconds into the opening period when Adrian Robertson scored on the UNB man advantage. Acadia’s Joe Gaynor was handed a two minute roughing penalty after only 12 seconds of time came off the clock after the opening faceoff.

Just over five minutes later, AUS All-Star defenceman Chris Owens scored on a one-timer fed by Brett Thompson on the powerplay to tie the game for the first of three times. Before the end of the first frame, V-Red Cam Braes put UNB back in the lead on the third and last powerplay goal of the night.Read more »

Cazzola, Owens and Heelis represent Acadia on FISU Games roster

13/11/2013 2:28 pm
Owens, Cazzola and Heelis

OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Wednesday the Canadian men’s hockey roster for the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.

The 26th biennial Games will run from December 10 to 21, with the men’s hockey gold-medal match set for the final day of competition.

An all-star team comprised entirely of players from the AUS conference will wear the maple leaf jersey on their chests in Trentino.Read more »