Category: Team Stories

2019-20 AUS men’s hockey major awards and all-stars announced

Acadia’s Logan Flodell named AUS MVP

(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2019-20 AUS men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference’s seven head coaches following regular season play.

Second-year Acadia Axemen goaltender Logan Flodell (Regina, Sask.) has been named the AUS MVP.

Other major award winners include Saint Mary’s Mitchell Balmas of Sydney, N.S., who was named rookie of the year; Moncton’s Vincent Deslauriers of Blainville, Que., who was selected as most sportsmanlike player; Acadia’s Liam Maaskant of Clinton, Ont., the recipient of the Godfrey Award for student-athlete community service; and Acadia head coach Darren Burns who was named AUS coach of the year for the fourth time in his career.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Logan Flodell, Acadia Axemen

The Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey most valuable player is Logan Flodell of the Acadia Axemen.

Flodell, a second-year goaltender from Regina, Sask., played in 26 games for the Axemen this season. He led the conference with a save percentage of .918. His goals against average of 2.79 was the third best in AUS.

Acadia finished the regular season with a 19-9-2 record, good for second place in the conference standings, securing a bye through to the semi-final round of the Subway AUS Men’s Hockey Playoffs.

In addition to being named AUS MVP, Flodell earned a place on the AUS first team all-star squad for the first time in his career.

Flodell now becomes the AUS nominee for the for the U SPORTS Senator Joseph A. Sullivan trophy as the nation’s top player.

The Atlantic conference has claimed nine of the past 16 national player of the year awards.

Former Axemen standout Liam Heelis is the most recent player from an Acadia team to be named national MVP. He won the award in 2013-14.

Philippe Maillet of UNB is the most recent player from the Atlantic conference to earn the national honour. He won the award in 2016-17.

Read More »

Acadia uses final weekend to prep for playoffs

The Acadia Axemen have secured a first round bye in the AUS playoffs. With two games left to play in the regular season, the Axemen have an 18-8-2 record, good for 38 points, 6 more than 3rd place Saint Mary’s. The Axemen clinched the bye last weekend earning a point in a 4-3 overtime shootout loss to the Moncton Aigles Bleus.

Coach Darren Burns is pleased with earning the bye saying, “I believe our team should feel really good about reaching one of their goals of securing a bye. There is no doubt that we needed the time for some guys to get ready to play and back in our lineup.”

The Axemen have battled injuries all season but have continued to find a way to win through a strong defensive game, great goaltending, and a knack to find the back of the net.

Acadia has the 2nd most goals in the AUS, tied with SMU with 104, trailing only UNB who have amassed 143 goals. Meanwhile at the other end of the ice, the Axemen have given up the 2nd lowest number of goals against this season, with just 85, trailing only UNB’s 53 goals against.

2nd year netminder, Logan Flodell has been stellar in the Axemen net this season with a 15-8 record, leading the conference with a .918 save percentage.

Meanwhile, Cristiano Digiacinto continues to have a breakout season, tied for the AUS lead in goals with 19, even with UdeM’s St-Cyr. Digiacinto has an impressive 36 points in 28 games and a +13 rating, having also amassed 80 minutes in penalties on the season.

Coach Burns looks forward to the playoffs and his team’s preparation adding, “The playoffs are an exciting time. As a coaching staff we are eager to see what our team is capable of. We really haven’t had an opportunity to see how good we can be since early September during practices. We still have two games left where we must work hard to improve our game. It’s important not to overlook this weekend. We have lots to works on over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the playoffs.  This practice time will be crucial as the intensity and speed of the playoffs compared to the regular season is at a completely different level. If you’re not ready to go, you get left behind. That’s just how good this league is.”

The 1st round playoff matchups remain undecided heading into the last weekend of the regular season, with Dalhousie being eliminated from contention.Read More »

Acadia hockey – a decade in review

As we enter 2020, let’s take a few minutes to look back on the closing decade for the Acadia Axemen. A decade that saw the Axemen win an AUS championship, earn four appearances at the University Cup National tournament – including a bronze medal, 2 winners of the USports Player of the Year trophy for University Hockey in Canada, and 2 Axemen players awarded the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation.

The Axemen have been in the AUS playoffs every year in the 2010-2019 decade, most years being a top 4 seed. In 2013-14, the Axemen achieved AUS playoff success as they hoisted their only AUS championship of the decade.

That 2013-14 AUS championship led the team to their first UCup appearance of the 2010’s; however, they dropped 4-2 and 3-2 losses to Windsor and Saskatchewan. The following year the Axemen returned to the National Tournament in the new single knockout format, losing to UQTR is overtime in their first game.

Acadia made national news at the 2016-17 University Cup, as they came in to the 8-team tournament seeded #8 and were matched up against the #1 ranked powerhouse Alberta Golden Bears. The Axemen upset the favorites with a 4-1 win to send the Golden Bears home empty handed. After dropping a 3-0 setback to UNB, the Axemen defeated AUS rival StFX 7-3 to win the bronze medal on the National stage. The following year in 2017-18, Acadia returned to UCup to face a rematch against Alberta, and this time the Golden Bears defeated the Axemen in a high scoring game 8-6.

Perhaps most impressive in terms of personal accolades, were the two standout seasons offensively from Acadia forwards which earned them the honor of top players in the Nation. Andrew Clark’s 2011-12 season was a thing of beauty, as he led the AUS in scoring, was named 1st Team All-Canadian, 1st Team AUS all-star, and awarded the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as CIS player of the year. The following year in 2012-13, Clark was named a 1st Team AUS All-star, and 2nd team all-Canadian. Two years later, Acadia’s Liam Heelis had an outstanding season, as he too was awarded the Player of the year trophy for the USports (formerly CIS) hockey, was named 1st Team All-Canadian, and 1st Team AUS All-star.Read More »

Acadia sits atop of AUS Standings at the Holiday Break

With 18 games in the books and the first half of the year complete, the Acadia Axemen sit on top of the ultra competitive AUS men’s hockey conference with a 14-4 record. Many a night in the first half, the Axemen roster consisted of 14 or 15 skaters – 9 forwards and 5 defenceman; with two of those forwards often being defenceman playing out of their normal positions.

Despite the Axemen losing a total of 59 man games in the first half of the year, which could have been an easy way to excuse a bad first half, the Axemen refused to use a short bench as an excuse, instead they dug in deeper and rose to the moment every night.

After losing the first game to U de M Aigles Bleus on home ice, 5-2 to open the season, the Axemen then reeled off 9 straight wins. With each win their confidence built, and their strength came in playing as a team, outworking their opponents, capitalizing on chances, and backed by great goaltending. The Axemen then faced some mid first half struggles, dropping 3 of 4 games, before going back on a four-game win streak to close out the 1st half.

In looking back at the first half of the season, Acadia Head Coach Darren Burns was happy with his team’s result saying, “Our staff was very happy with our first half. In knowing we are hosting the nationals planning started close to two years ago, so we knew we were going to experience some growing pains last year in preparation, we feel as a team we have made a lot of progress over the last 18 months. It’s a positive to see the players commitment showing in the first half results.”

Looking at the different aspects of the Axemen game over the first 18 games, their powerplay is vastly improved over last year. At this point last year, the Axemen were desperate for answers as their powerplay struggled mightily, however this year, they have clipped along at a 22.8% conversion, good for 2nd best in the AUS, trailing only UNB’s 30%.Read More »

Exciting news, registration is now open for the 2020 Spring Hockey Super 7 program, geared for players born in 2013!
 
Get all of the details below. Acadia hockey is proud to partner with Atlantic Hockey Group on this Nova Scotia AAA Series.

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 ticketatlantic.com. For Corporate Seating and VIP Options, please contact admin@seatlantic.ca.Read More »

Recruit to join Axemen in 2020-21

Photo courtesy of Eric Wynne & Chronicle Herald

The Axemen aren’t waiting until the offseason to get commitments from future recruits. Tyler Hinam, who was a QMJHL and CHL Memorial Cup Champion last season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, has announced he will join the Acadia Axemen starting in the 2020-21 season.

The Cole Harbour native, has spent his entire junior career with the Huskies, after playing two years of major midget with the Halifax Macs. Through his first 3 seasons in the QMJHL, Hinam scored 97 points in 182 regular season games, and he is off to a strong start this season with 5 points in just 2 regular season games. The 6’1 right winger will add strength, skill and intensity to the Axemen lineup.

Hinam was excited with finalizing his decision to join the Axemen saying, “I chose Acadia for a number of reasons. I really wanted to play closer to home after being away for the past 4 years, they have a great hockey program, it’s a great school academically, and it has that small school environment. All those reasons made choosing Acadia a really easy decision.”

Perhaps also aiding in his decision to choose the Axemen, Tyler’s father, Mark, is an Acadia University alumnus.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns said this on announcing Hinam’s commitment, “We are extremely excited to be able to add Tyler to our team for next season; he is a proven winner with a tremendous attitude and work ethic. His leadership abilities will make him a great addition to our team; his passion and mind for the game are second to none.”

When asked what he would bring to the Acadia lineup next season, Tyler added, “I think I’ll be able to bring a hard, physical, 2-way game and try to chip-in offensively when I can.”

To view Tyler’s full statistics, click here.

The Acadia Axemen kick off the AUS regular season this Friday at 7pm, as they host the U de M Aigles Bleus at the Andrew H. McCain Arena in Wolfville.

Axemen look to Analytics for Added Edge

Brett Dickie working this week with the Axemen off-ice, on the on-ice analytics

The Acadia Axemen are hard at work on the ice, preparing for the upcoming 2019-2020 AUS campaign; a season that will see the team host the USports National Championship in March, in Halifax. But the hockey program isn’t just relying on physical and mental readiness this season, they are also looking at analytics as a potential added edge, in the ultra competitive AUS conference.

The team will be tracking various statistics and events that take place within the game, which will directly result in post game reports that will be discussed among the coaching staff. While the data will be looked at on a team basis, the main objective is on player development and giving the players an added piece of information to work with, on the ice.

Acadia will be working closely on the analytics this season with Brett Dickie. Brett has helped out with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s last season while working on his Masters of Sports Management at uOttawa. In addition, he worked with Kinduct, a sports analytics company, in Halifax this past summer.

Dickie says of his work, “Obviously in today’s game, if you’re not conducting some sort of advanced statistics or looking at additional information in any capacity, then you probably have some catching up to do. I’m very excited to work with the coaching staff and how we can incorporate data and analytics towards the everyday decision-making process, both on a team and individual level.”

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns is excited about the additional information from the analytics, saying, “We are very excited to add Brett to our staff. He has worked very hard in his studies of analytics. There is no question his passion for the game will be a huge help this year and ensuring we are exhausting every avenue of helping our players improve and our team get better.“

Acadia takes the ice for their first pre-season game on Tuesday, September 17th in Wolfville as they face the Dalhousie Tigers at 7pm at the Andrew H. McCain Arena.