Stallard nets game winner for Axemen

Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan

By Thomas Becker

The UPEI Panthers failed to protect a 2-0 lead for the second time in a week, as the Acadia Axemen poured in three unanswered goals in the third period to steal a 3-2 win.

Rodney Southam kick started the surge early in the decisive frame, followed by a quick goal by Mason McCarty and the eventual game-winner by Jordy Stallard at 11:15. UPEI’s Kameron Kielly led all scorers with a pair of goals.

The Axemen (8-1) felt they played well enough through the first two periods to carry a lead into the third, but couldn’t solve netminder Simon Hofley, who finished with 24 saves.

“We had a few unlucky bounces early, but we just stuck with it, kept pounding shots and we knew our time would come,” said Stallard, who was named the Subway Player of the Game.

The Panthers (1-5-1) came out with a lot of energy looking to snap their three-game skid and broke through at 11:49, when the puck cycled to Kielly in the right circle where he wired a shot top shelf for the power play marker. Read more »

Digiacinto racks up 5 points for Acadia

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 7 ranked Axemen out-scored the visiting Saint Mary’s Huskies 9-8 in a shoot-out that raised a lot of eyebrows following the opening period.

The Axemen quickly began the onslaught of goals early in the opening period. Rodney Southam scored his first goal of the season on a nice feed across a crowded crease from Cristiano Digiacinto at 3:46.

Digiacinto would score his own on a two-on-one with Stephen Harper trailing less than a minute later. Digiacinto dropped it to Harper who then fed it back to Digiacinto for his first of two goals.

Huskie Sam Dunn scored on a lighting wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle on the man-advantage to close the lead by one.

Stephen Harper replied a minute later with a one-timer from the slot off the feed from Digiacinto from the side of the net to give Acadia a 3-1 lead at the mid-point of the first period.

Keith Getson scored the first of two goals near the end of the opening period from a pass from Mitchell Balmas deep in the corner.

With just over three minutes remaining in the first period, Eric Henderson scored to give the Axemen a 4-2 lead heading into the first intermission.

The scoring continued into the second period. Five additional goals were scored including Maurizio Colella’s breakaway goal that opened the second frame.

The Huskies replied with two goals that were 45 seconds apart beginning at the 8:03 mark with a Mitchell Balmas goal followed by Getson’s second of the night to close the Axemen lead to 5-4.

The Subway Player of the Game, Cristiano Digiacinto added his second goal of the night to push the lead to 6-4 at 14:07 of the second period, but the Huskies responded again less than a minute later to close out the second period in a 6-5 deficit.

Jack Flaman scored the first of two goals in the third frame. Flaman’s goal came at the 2:27 mark of the final frame. Teammate Jordy Stallard added a powerplay goal to give Acadia an 8-5 advantage with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation time.

Saint Mary’s went back to work when Dawson Theede scored on the powerplay with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Sam King made the game even more interesting as time ran down 3:25 remaining in the final period.

It was Jack Flaman who scored the eventual game-winner with 1:52 remaining in the game when Huskie goalie Xavier Potvin tried to clear the puck from behind the net around the boards. Digiacinto picked up the puck along the boards and fed it to a waiting Flaman for the one-time shot and goal.

Trailing 9-7 in the closing minutes of the game, the Huskies pulled the goalie to get the extra man and scored at 19:33 to come within a goal of tying the game. The Axemen would hold onto the 9-8 lead for their seventh straight win.

“I have never seen a game like that. The score was 9-8 but it definitely could have been 13-12. I am just glad it ended the way it did. Our big focus this year has been ‘find ways to win’ no matter what the situation of the game is and I think we are really doing a good job at it. It’s just another one to put in the win column,” noted Jack Flaman following the Axemen’s seventh straight win.

Both goalies remained in their respective nets for the entire game. Potvin stopped 33 shots, while Logan Flodell stopped 23.

The Axemen improve to 7-1-0 to remain in first place in the AUS standings and will head to the Island to take on UPEI on Saturday. The Huskies drop to 4-3-0 and head home until next week’s road trip to StFX on Wednesday.

Colella with a goal & an assist in victory

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen continued their hot start to the season as they defeated the visiting UPEI Panthers by a score of 4 to 3 on homecoming weekend.

The Axemen were the first team on the scoreboard almost halfway through the first period. Rodney Southam received a nice pass in the slot from teammate Eric Henderson before beating the UPEI goalie to the high glove for his first of the year. Maurizio Colella also assisted.

It took just over 2 and a half minutes for Acadia to double their lead when Johnny Corneil deflected in teammate Liam Maaskant’s point shot to tally his second of the season. Jordy Stallard had the second assist on the play.

Acadia led 2 to 0 after the first 20 minutes.

Kyle Maksimovich opened the second-period scoring and brought UPEI within a goal after he weaved through the Axemen defense and beat goalie Logan Flodell with a wicked shot over the shoulder. The powerplay goal came just over 2 minutes into the frame and was assisted by Owen Headrick and Darian Pilon.

Maksimovich buried his second of the period and tied the game after maneuvering his way into the slot and eventually slipping a backhand shot through the Axemen goalie. The goal came at 12:28 into the second and was assisted by Jordan Maher and Andrew Picco.Read more »

Axemen top scorer returns for fourth year

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Last spring, returning for a fourth season with the hockey Axemen was not in the cards for Stephen Harper. After graduating with his business degree in May, the 24-year-old Harper had expected to be elsewhere this fall, possibly playing hockey at a high level.

“It’s crazy sometimes how things change,” Harper said in a Sept. 30 interview. He was invited to the Buffalo Sabres training camp and rookie camp and “felt I did okay,” but “the right offer didn’t happen.”

He chose the option of returning to Acadia and taking “a lighter course load. I had thought about going elsewhere, but I’ve been here for three years, and I love it here.”

Since arriving at Acadia in the fall of 2016, Harper has always been impressed with “how big hockey is here,” and especially how the community embraces the Acadia student-athletes. “This program,” he said, “has a fan base very similar to major junior.”

Admittedly, Acadia hosting the University Cup in Halifax at season’s end was a factor in his decision. “At the end of the day, it was a no-brainer,” not to mention a win-win scenario. “Why not come back?”

With his return, Harper, Acadia’s leading scorer the last two seasons and the 2017-2018 AUHC scoring champion, believes he “can be a leader and role model” for his younger teammates, many of whom are in their first or second years.

“I see myself as a team leader,” he says. “I try to lead by example. I’m kind of low-key in the dressing room, but I believe my best asset as a leader is my play on the ice. It’s important to do the right things for the younger players, whether or not you’re wearing a letter (which Harper is this season).”Read more »

U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Championships at the Scotiabank Centre March 12 -15, 2020

Halifax, Nova Scotia (October 9th, 2019) –Sports & Entertainment Atlantic (S|E|A) and Acadia University are pleased to announce the U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Championships at the Scotiabank Centre from March 12 -15, 2020.Halifax Hockey fans will once again have the opportunity to cheer on the best University hockey teams in Canada. This will be the third time that U CUP is hosted in Halifax. This year’s upcoming U CUP hosts, the Acadia Axemen, will be one of eight teams competing for the national title, showcasing the best talent in Halifax!

“This is our fourth year in a row hosting a U SPORTS National Championship. Our Alumni and fans in Annapolis Valley are passionate about hockey and our team has been a perennial top 10 program in the country so hosting this championship is a perfect fit.” Kevin Dickie, Acadia’s Athletic Director.

Tournament ticket packages include tickets to all 8 games and are on sale now through Ticket Atlantic.Premium seating between the blue lines are available for $150.We have also added new seating options for packages in the lower bowl priced at Adult $125, Senior $100, Student/Youth $75 for the corners and ends.All packages include HST but are subject to a Ticket Atlantic processing fees.They can be purchased in person at the Ticket Atlantic Box Office, by phone at (902) 451-1221, or online at For Corporate Seating and VIP Options, please contact more »

McFadden powers Axemen with 3 points

HALIFAX, NS – In the only AUS men’s hockey on Wednesday night, the Saint Mary’s Huskies hosted the Acadia Axemen in a close matchup and it was Acadia who came away with a 4-2 at the Dauphinee Centre in Halifax.  

The quick feet of the Axemen propelled them to an early lead, as they opened the scoring seven minutes into the period. Entering the zone with speed, Jordy Stallard (Brandon, MB) dished a pass to Garrett McFadden (Kincardine, ON) who was driving to the net on the left wing and tucked the puck five-hole on Huskies goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC). Stephen Harper (Burlington, ON) also assisted on the play. 

Five minutes later, the Axemen doubled their lead with a shot from the point from Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) that hit a leg on its way to the net and bounced right to the stick of Maurizio Colella (Tottenham, ON) in the slot for a tap in. McFadden got his second point of the night with an assist. 

After killing off a penalty, the Huskies went down another goal. This time it was Loch Morrison (Christopher Lake, SK) who made a no-look pass to Ryan Foss (Oakville, ON) on the wing. Foss sent a wrist shot high blocker side on Brassard as the Axemen went up 3-0. 

On the shot clock, the Axemen had a slight edge in the first frame.  They led 13-12. Shots by Saint Mary’s were in dangerous territory, very close to the net, but goalie Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) was solid for Acadia. 

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Harper & Stallard with 3 points each

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – With 1:44 remaining in the game and a 4-2 lead, the hockey Axemen almost threw away a win.

In less than two minutes remaining in regulation time, the StFX X-Men tied the game at four to force the game into overtime.

At 4:42 of the extra period, Stephen Harper was hauled down on a breakaway and the story was written. Last season’s top goal scorer for the Axemen made no mistake in ending the game on a penalty shot as he beat Blade Mann-Dixon low on the blocker side.

“I have seen him in practice and he has that scoring touch, so I had all my money in him,” commented Rodney Southam following the game when asked what his thoughts were when Harper capitalized on the penalty shot to win.

While the score told one story, the shots on goal told another. The Axemen outshot the U SPORTS No. 3 ranked X-men 39-29 and it wasn’t until the third period that StFX held that advantage based on several powerplay opportunities.

The opening period saw both teams exchange goals only seconds after the other scored.

Jordy Stallard scored his first of two goals at 5:51 of the first frame. Forty-one seconds later, Dan Robertson replied on a short side glove hand shot that beat Logan Flodell.

At the 16:46 mark, StFX took their first lead of the game that lasted 42 seconds. Cole MacDonald scored his first of two goals, beating Flodell from the same spot on the ice as the previous goal, but the blocker hand side on the powerplay.Read more »

DiGiacinto scores a pair in Axemen win

HALIFAX, NS – In a rematch of the game from last Friday night, the Dalhousie Tigers once again hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Halifax Forum. The Axemen were able to get the best of the Tigers in the second matchup, as they took the 4-1 win.  

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to open the scoring in this one as a weak shot from the sideboards was kicked away by Logan Flodell (Regina, SK), but it rolled all the way to the point for Connor Welsh (Halifax, NS) to fire back. Welsh’s shot took a deflection off an Axemen defender in front and caught Flodell by surprise and snuck under the pad to make it 1-0.  

At the back end of a power-play opportunity, the Axemen were able to answer back when a juicy rebound created a crowd in front, and after multiple short-range shots were stopped by Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS), Mason McCarty (Blackie, AB) was able to collect another rebound at the post and managed to lift it over the outstretched pad of Pickard to even the score midway through the period.  

Both teams had a few quality shots on odd-man rush chances late in the period, but the first period ended with the teams even at 1-1.  

On a great breakout play from their own end, Eric Henderson (Kingsville, ON) crossed the blue-line down the left side and made a fantastic turn toward the boards to wrap a no-look backhand pass across the slot for Cristiano Digiacinto (Hamilton, ON) to hammer a one-timer into the opposite corner to give his team the lead at the midway point of the second.  

The Tigers were given a few power-play chances in the period, but the Axemen were able to do a great job of crowding the slot area to clog passing lanes and force the Tigers to take outside shots that were unable to get through the traffic.  

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Colella leads Acadia with 2 pts

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – In Friday night hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Halifax Forum. The Axemen were able to pick their attacking opportunities in this one and come away with a 2-1 win. 

There was plenty of back and forth action to start the game, but the scoring chances were limited in the early minutes.  

The Tigers got the first major scoring chance in the period, breaking in on a two-on-one chance with Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) receiving a nice pass right at the top of the crease, but Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) made a great play to break it up.  

The Axemen were able to counter with a chance of their own starting from behind the Tigers goal, with Mason McCarty (Blackie, AB) made a move around the post to try to jam it in, but the rebound bounced out for Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) to take a swing at as well, but Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) stood strong against the post.  

After a fairly quiet first frame, the teams went into the break scoreless.  

It didn’t take long for the Axemen to change that in the second period, however, on an Axemen power play. Ross MacDougall (St. Stephen, NB) hammered a shot from the point that Maurizio Colella (Tottenham, ON) made a great play to redirect in the slot to send it under the pad of Pickard to open the scoring.  

The Axemen continued to generate attacking pressure after the goal, hungry for another. They came close to finding another one with Loch Morrison (Christopher Lake, SK) blasting a slap shot from the point that got over the glove of Pickard, but rang off the bar and out of play.  

Late in the period, the Tigers turned the puck over in the attacking zone, and a great chip play along the boards by McCarty forced the Tigers defenders to pinch, but McCarty was able to get clear for a breakaway. Coming down the right side, McCarty picked his spot and fired a hard shot over the blocker of Pickard and popped the water bottle to make it 2-0.  

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