The Acadia Axemen are headed to the CIS championships in Saskatoon!

2013-14 Acadia Axemen - AUS Champions
2013-14 Acadia Axemen – AUS Champions

The Axemen completed the victory with a 3-1 win over the Saint Mary’s Huskies Monday night in Halifax.  The victory clinched the AUS Conference title for the Axemen, and sends them to Saskatoon as the AUS representative in the CIS National tournament.

The Axemen, still trying to solve Huskies netminder Anthony Peters after his stellar Game 3 performance, reversed their fortunes on the power play.  Dustin Ekelman scored for Acadia with the man advantage, giving the Axemen a 1-0 lead and forcing the Huskies to abandon their physical style of play a bit.  Now having to play catch up, the Huskies continued to battle, and it paid off at the seven minute mark of the second period, when Steven Shipley redirected a harmless shot from Matt Tipoff past a helpless Evan Mosher.  The score was tied, and the Huskies continued to swarm.

But disaster struck for the Huskies less than eight minutes later, as Saint Mary’s defenseman Cameron Wind handed the puck to former Halifax Moosehead Travis Randell in front of his own net.  Randell made no mistake, faking out Peters and scoring what eventually would hold up to be the game winner.Read more »

Saint Mary’s Fends Off Elimination With Game 3 Win

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The Acadia Axemen walked into the Halifax Forum Sunday with a chance to wrap up the AUS Conference championship series.

They will walk in Monday with a chance to do the same.  The Saint Mary’s Huskies gritted out a 2-1 win behind their goaltender, Anthony Peters, and his stellar play.  Peters stopped 23 of 24 shots, many of them the difficult kind.  The Huskies jumped on their goalie’s back as he carried them to victory.

This game had all the explosive potential of a spark in a keg of dynamite.  The two teams have developed a definite playoff hatred for one another, as evidenced by the combined 118 penalty minutes they recorded.

There was a scary moment in the game, as Geoff Schemitsch took a vicious hit along the boards and was unable to get off the ice under his own power.  There was no word on his condition going into Game 4.

Lucas Bloodoff got the festivities started for Saint Mary’s in the second as he scored on a rebound off Acadia goaltender Evan Mosher.  Mosher, forced into a great save, could only watch as the rebound squeaked away from him and Bloodoff buried it.  Mosher recorded 18 saves of his own in the contest, almost matching Peters save for save.Read more »

Axemen Move To Within One Win Of AUS Championship

1979668_679494915430678_122915648_n The Acadia Axemen and Saint Mary’s Huskies renewed their hockey rivalry Friday night in Wolfville in Game 2 of the AUS Conference championship series.  Despite a much better performance from Huskies’ goaltender Anthony Peters, the Huskies still fell behind in the series 2-0 of the best of five.  Acadia took Game 2 with a 3-0 win.

It was a sharp contrast to Game 1, which the Axemen took by a 6-3 score.  After a scoreless first period, the Axemen broke through at 6:37 of the second, as Travis Randell scored off a fantastic pass from Alex Beaton.  The Axemen were up 1-0, a rare treat as Peters turned in a much improved performance from the night before.

Acadia netminder Evan Mosher matched his counterpart save for save in this one, however, stifling all 19 shots he faced for the shutout victory.  Peters stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced.  He was on the bench when Acadia scored two empty net goals – one from Travis Gibbons and one from Dustin Ekelman – in the last two minutes of the game, as Saint Mary’s had pulled Peters for their sixth attacker.  It was a move that ultimately backfired as Acadia sealed the deal and moved within one victory of the CIS championships to be held in Saskatoon later this month.

Watch the video highlights of the game here:

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Axemen Solve Peters In Penalty Filled Affair

1960010_679494982097338_947950298_nYou don’t go far in the playoffs without good goaltending.

Good goaltending doesn’t begin to describe what Saint Mary’s Huskies goaltender Anthony Peters has given his team.  In two rounds thus far, Peters has put the Huskies on his back and led them to the AUS Conference Final.  His most impressive feat was almost single-handedly eliminating the top team in the AUS, the UNB Varsity Reds in four games.  Going into Game 1 of the AUS Finals against the Acadia Axemen, Peters sported a 1.67 goals-against-average and an almost inhuman 0.950 save percentage.  The Huskies were considered by many to be a major threat.

Someone forgot to tell the Axemen.  They took Game 1 with a 6-3 victory, a game in which Peters turned in a subpar performance and was outplayed by his Acadia counterpart, Evan Mosher.  Peters managed 17 saves on only 23 shots, while Mosher cae up huge when it counted, recording 25 saves on 28 shots.

Acadia struck first on a power play in the first period, Cullen Morin’s shot finding the back of the Huskies’ goal on a shot from the point.  Less than three minutes later, however, the Huskies scored on a power play of their own, with Lucas Bloodoff beating Mosher.  It was the beginning of a steady stream of penalties, as the two teams racked up 46 minutes in penalties between the two of them.  Earlier in the period, Acadia killed off a five on three advantage in fine style, and the hits just kept on coming after that.Read more »

Despite Gritty Effort, Moncton Eliminated By Acadia

1969293_675665932480243_809091411_nThe Moncton Aigles Bleus did everything in their power to stave off elimination Sunday night.  Unfortunately for the plucky team from Moncton and their fans, it wasn’t enough.

The Acadia Axemen wrapped up their AUS semi-final series with a 3-2 win in Moncton Sunday, rebounding from a 4-1 setback the night before.  They reversed a trend that had been set in the series…Moncton had scored first in the previous three games.  The Axemen were able to rally back in Games 1 and 2 with 5-2 and 6-5 wins in those two games, but were drubbed 4-1 in Game 3.

This time, Mike Cazzola got the festivities rolling with a vicious wrist shot that beat Moncton goalie Adrien Lemay just 11 seconds into the contest.  The lead gave the Axemen the edge, as less than five minutes later, defenseman Chris Owens beat Lemay in almost the same spot.  The Moncton crowd fell silent and it looked as though the onslaught would begin.

But Moncton rallied, and showed everyone why they were not to be written off in this contest just yet.  Les Aigles Bleus scored on a penalty that was called on Acadia forward Liam Heelis to narrow the gap to 2-1 before the end of the first period.  The goal was credited to Alex Emond.Read more »

Moncton Stays Alive With Home Ice Win

photo_2015046_resize_articleThe University of Moncton Aigles Bleus came into Game 3 of the AUS semi-final down 2-0 to the Acadia Axemen.  A loss would end Moncton’s season and send the Axemen to the next round.

Moncton had other ideas.  They struck first, 21 seconds into the game, repeating a trend that echoed through the first two games of the series.  In all three games, Moncton had opened the scoring, albeit in a losing cause…the most crushing being a 4-0 lead that dissolved before their eyes into a 6-5 overtime loss.

After Samuel Groulx opened the scoring for the Aigles Bleus, Mike Cazzola of Acadia answered back less than three minutes later.  He scored on a 5 on 3 power play, tying the game.  The two teams then settled back into a defensive holding pattern, giving no ice and making their opponents fight for every inch gained.  There were very little scoring chances exchanged in the first two periods, the shot clock showing Acadia holding an edge in shots 16-14 after the first two periods.  Goalies Evan Mosher of Acadia and Adrien Lemay of Moncton had to stay sharp with such little action, and they did, holding their teams in.

Something had to give.Read more »

Acadia Takes 2-0 Series Over Moncton On Home Ice

hockey_axemanNever say die.

That seems to be the theme of the 2013-14 AUS playoffs for the Acadia Axemen.  The Axemen, after receiving a pass into the AUS conference semi-finals, drew the Aigles Bleus of Moncton University.  The Axemen finished the CIS rankings at #3, while Moncton finished at the #10 rank.  It was a much anticipated matchup, with the first two games at Acadia Arena in Wolfville.  When the dust settled, Acadia had taken a 2-0 series lead in the best of five series with a 5-2 win in Game 1 on February 26, and a 6-5 double overtime win in Game 2 on February 27.

In Game 1, the Aigles Bleus scored less than a minute into the game and took the play to the Axemen in the first period.  But they ran into a wall in Axemen goaltender Evan Mosher.  In what would be one of his finest games in an Acadia jersey, Mosher held his team in the game, making several acrobatic saves throughout the contest, until his teammates could seize control.

And they did.  The Axemen recovered from the early Moncton goal to build a 3-1 lead, and despite Moncton closing the gap to 3-2 late in the second, they couldn’t solve Mosher again, and Acadia rewarded their netminder’s work by building a 5-2 and locking it down in the third.  Mosher finished the game with 27 saves, many of them the eye-popping kind, while his counterpart in the Moncton goal, Adrien Lemay, did his part.  He stopped 30 shots, but couldn’t stop the Axemen tide all on his own.Read more »

Acadia Falls Short to UNB, Downed 2-0

1899912_670588486321321_1242098214_nThe UNB Varsity Reds came to Wolfville on February 15 with one thing in mind…securing first place in the AUS hockey standings.  As the season progressed, it became more and more clear that first place in the AUS conference would come down to one game, as the Acadia Axemen and UNB Varsity Reds battled each other all season for the top spot.  It had all the making of a classic.  Acadia…led by forward Liam Heelis in scoring, but having to face UNB without the AUS leading scorer in Heelis in the lineup.  UNB…having battled the Axemen hard all season.  The stage was set for a game for the ages.

The UNB Varsity Reds jumped at the Axemen, but Acadia held firm, starting goalie Evan Mosher made some in tight saves, and the Axemen weathered the early storm.  They then took the play to the Reds, outshooting them 9-5 in the period, but were unable to solve UNB starting netminder Charles Lavigne.  Lavigne made several key saves in the period, the most notable coming during the man advantage, as he bailed out his power play unit with several stops.  When the dust settled at the final buzzer of the first, the score read 0-0. Read more »

Axemen Victory Sets Up Winner Take All Final Game

photo_2015046_resize_articleThe Acadia Axemen and the UNB Varsity Reds have been battling each other all season for first place in the AUS conference.  It seems only fitting that it comes down to the final game of the regular season.

The Axemen secured their place in this regular season classic by dumping the Moncton Blue Eagles 5-2 in Wolfville.  After a scoreless first period, the Axemen went to work.  Playing without leading scorer Liam Heelis, the Axemen still jumped out to a three goal lead on goals by Dylan Anderson, Brett Thompson, and KC Brown.  Acadia ruled the rink in both goals and shots, much to the delight of the Wolfville crowd.  At the end of two periods, the shots read 23-12 in favor of Acadia, and the Axemen seemingly had the game well in hand.  With UNB holding a sizeable lead in their own AUS action against the Dalhousie Tigers, the date with destiny seemed set.

Not so fast.

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Axemen Continue to Roll with 6-1 Win Over Dalhousie

CazzolavsDalThe Acadia Axemen continue to roll towards a date with destiny.  That destiny is a meeting with the UNB Varsity Reds in their last regular season game, a game that has huge implications for first overall in the conference. It’s a game that promises to have a major impact on the AUS playoff picture.

But first, the Dalhousie Tigers stood in the way.

The Axemen proved why the Tigers were no more than a speed bump on the road to first place.  They dropped the Tigers with a resounding 6-1 victory on home ice February 8, outshooting them 48-18, including a 22-5 edge in the first period.  It was a barrage that resulted in a 3-0 Acadia lead after the opening frame.

The CIS fourth ranked Axemen made a statement to UNB that they will keep pace with them, as UNB also won their game, 4-0 over Moncton.  They currently sit two points back of UNB in the standings.Read more »