Couture with 31 saves in Axemen loss
The Acadia Axemen and the StFX X-Men squared off in Wolfville to open the regular season on Friday night, with the visitors coming out on top 3-2 in a hard-fought battle.
The story of the opening period was the goaltending, as both netminders made save after save, including a number of highlight reel saves both by Acadia’s Thomas Couture, who made a glove save to rob a StFX forward of an open net, and Joseph Raaymakers, who made at least 4 saves on point blank shots by Acadia from the slot. The period ended scoreless with Acadia getting the edge in shots on goal 17-14.
The second period saw only one goal, as StFX’s Struthers buried a rebound past Couture to make it 1-0. Again, both netminders were the story, turning aside the offensive attacks. The shots after 2 periods were 33-28 in favour of the Axemen.
The teams exploded with 4 goals in the 3rd period including 3 goals within 2:22, as Bailey Peach tied the game at 1 on the powerplay when he one timed a pass from Charlie Desroches into the back of the StFX net at 3:18. Cole Nagy picked up the second assist on the goal. Then just 53 seconds later, at 4:11 of the period, Brendan Sellan put a backhander between the legs of Raaymakers to give the Axemen a 2-1 lead. Zack Jones picked up the assist on the goal.
StFX answered right back though just over a minute later at 5:40 when Declan Smith tied the game at 2. The X-Men regained the lead on the powerplay for good when Wiles let a shot go from the point that beat a screened Thomas Couture at 11:57 of the 3rd period.
Acadia pressed for the equalizer on a 4 minute powerplay late in the 3rd period but couldn’t beat Raaymakers. Final shots on goal in the game, Acadia with 51, StFX with 34.
The Axemen were without Peyton Hoyt who was serving the final game of his 3 game suspension dating back to game 2 of the SMU semi-final playoff series, and also Nick Deakin-Poot, who was serving his 1st of 2 games in his suspension from an altercation in the final game of the same SMU series.
Acadia heads to Halifax on Saturday night to face the Dal Tigers (0-1), while StFX hosts SMU (1-0).