Zack Jones with a goal and an assist in the victory
HALIFAX, NS – The Acadia Axemen handed Saint Mary’s their first loss of the season, defeating the Huskies 4-2 on Saturday night in Halifax.
The game was part of Saint Mary’s homecoming festivities, and saw the Huskies honour their 1973 National Championship men’s hockey team with a ceremonial puck-drop in front of 600+ fans in attendance at the Dauphinee Centre.
The Axemen were looking to spoil the Huskies party, fresh off a huge 9-2 win over the UPEI Panthers on Friday night. Acadia came out the gates ready to play, peppering the Huskies net with shots, but goaltender Matthew Welsh (Halifax, NS), turned them away early.
Huskies defenceman Ben Roger (Markham, ON) had the best opportunity of the first period for Saint Mary’s, but Axemen goaltender Brayden Peters (Taber. AB) made a nice glove save.
Late in the period Acadia would capitalize on a four-on-three powerplay after Huskies forward Charlie Dafonseca (Thornhill, ON) was sent to the penalty box for interference. Axemen forward Brady Burns (Port Williams, NS) was stopped in front, but the rebound landed on the stick of forward Cole Nagy (Saskatoon, SK), who made no mistake, beating Welsh to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
The Axemen would take the one goal lead into the intermission, outshooting the Huskies 17-6 through 20 minutes of play.
Early in the second period, the Huskies pressed for an equalizer but were unable to beat Peters. Acadia would add to their lead just over four minutes into the second, as a scramble in front of the goal saw forward Nicholas Deakin-Poot (Georgetown, ON) bang a rebound past Welsh to double the visitors lead to 2-0.
But the Huskies explosive offence showed their ability to erase a deficit in a hurry, as they would tie it up 2-2 less than a minute later.
On the ensuing faceoff, Huskies defenceman Jaxon Bellamy (Hampton, NB) cycled around goal, dished to his partner Dennis Busby (Oro-Medonte, ON) at the point, who passed it back to Bellamy in the low slot, where he roofed a shot past Peters to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Just 30 seconds later, the Huskies would equalize, as a strange bounce off the faceoff saw the puck deflected up into the crease, where Dafonseca knocked it into the back of the goal to tie the game at 2-2.
Midway through the period, Axemen forward Corson Hopwo (Duncan, BC), hit Huskies defenceman Justin MacPherson (East Gwillimbury, ON) from behind, and was given a four minute double-minor. The Huskies would have several chances to take the lead on the powerplay, but where unable to capitalize.
The game would remain deadlocked at 2-2 heading into the second intermission, with the Axemen outshooting the Huskies 14-11 in the second period.
Five minutes into the third period, Acadia went on the powerplay and scored their second man-advantage marker of the night, as forward Brendan Sellan (Bolton, ON) had his initial shot blocked, but the rebound fell back on his stick and he lifted it past Welsh to put the Axemen up 3-2.
The Axemen would add on to their lead several minutes later, as forward Zack Jones (North Falmouth, MA) stole the puck at the Huskies blueline and walked in untouched, firing a high shot over Welsh to extend the lead to 4-2, which would go down as the final score.
Acadia outshot Saint Mary’s 40-28 on the night, with Brayden Peters stopping 26 shots for the win, while Matt Welsh stopped 36 shots in defeat.
Axemen forward Zack Jones was named Player of the Game with a goal and an assist.
The Axemen second straight improves their record to 2-1-0-1 to begin the campaign. Acadia will be back on home ice next weekend, taking on the UNB REDS on Friday and Moncton Aigles Bleus on Saturday.
The Huskies loss drops their record to 3-1-0 on the season. Saint Mary’s will be back one home ice next weekend, as they host the Moncton Aigles Bleues on Saturday, and UNB REDS on Saturday, with puck-drop at 7 p.m. for both games at the Dauphinee Centre.
Recap by Allan April / Saint Mary’s Huskies Athletics
Photos by Eduardo Ibarra / Saint Mary’s Huskies Athletics