Former Moosehead centreman commits to Acadia

QMJHL – Halifax Mooseheads vs Shawinigan Cataractes – Halifax Mooseheads C, Zack Jones (42). Scotiabank Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia – February 1, 2020. (Trevor MacMillan/Halifax Mooseheads)

The Acadia Axemen are proud to welcome Zack Jones to the hockey program, he will join the team starting in the January.

 

Jones is a Bridgewater, MA, in the United States, and played the last 3 years in the QMJHL with the Halifax Mooseheads. The 5’9” center is a left-handed shot, who will add an offensive punch to the Axemen lineup, having scored 38 goals and 85 points in 158 regular season games with the Mooseheads.

 

We asked Zack what made him choose Acadia, he said, “Acadia University seems like a great school and I am very excited to attend. Living in Halifax for the last few years, I have heard nothing but great things as a school. It checks off everything I was looking for in a hockey program, and after talking with the coaching staff it was a great fit for me.”

 

In the 2019-20 season he had 15 goals and 34 points in 63 games. The shortened 2020-21 season saw him put up 13 points in 29 games, and last season he had his best season in the QMJHL, with 18 goals and 38 points in 66 games.

 

Coach Darren Burns likes the addition of the centreman saying, “Zach will be a very welcome addition to our team. He plays with a lot of pace works extremely hard and has an excellent reputation as a teammate. He’s a player we were looking to add this past off season. To be able to bring him in now will help us. He is tailor made for AUS hockey and with his addition we have immediately gotten better.

 

Prior to joining the Mooseheads, Zack was an All-Star in the National Collegiate Development Conference with the Boston Junior Bandits where he scored 35 points (4 goals 31 assists) in 50 games. The NCDC is a league comprised of 16 to 20-year-old players. Jones also had 53 points (22 goals 31 assists) in 2017-18 with the U16 Boston Junior Bandits.

 

We asked Jones what Axemen fans can expect to see from his game in January, he said, “the Axemen fans can expect a hard-working, fast skater and a playmaker. I like to play hard in the D zone first, before getting into the offense. With saying that, I can bring offensive production as well and will do whatever it takes to help our team win games.”

 

Jones and the Axemen will return to AUS regular season action, following the holiday break, on January 6th as they face the Dalhousie Tigers at the Halifax Forum.

Zazula named to USports ‘Team AUS’

TORONTO – For the eighth time since 2015, a team of U SPORTS men’s hockey all-stars will be facing members of Canada’s National Junior Team Selection camp as a part of its preparation for the 2023 World Junior Hockey Championship.

U SPORTS has selected players exclusively from the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference to represent the All-Star team and face Team Canada’s hopefuls in a pair of games at the Avenir Centre in Moncton on Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. AT and Dec. 12 at 12 p.m. AT.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.avenircentre.com

The U SPORTS squad is loaded with firepower, as the Top 10 AUS scorers have all made the roster, with every player scoring at a greater than a point-per-game clip. The team will be led by AUS leading scorer Liam Hawel from the STFX X-Men, who has posted 27 points in 18 games this season (12-15-27). The former Soo Greyhound and Kitchener Ranger also played seven games for the Laval Rocket of the AHL in the 2020-21 season before joining the X-Men for the 21-22 campaign where he scored 18 goals and added 19 assists.

The U SPORTS defence is led by UPEI Panthers blueliner Matthew Brassard. The former Barrie Colt and Niagara Ice Dog is the leading point-getter amongst rearguards in Canadian university men’s hockey with 23 points in 18 games (3-20-23). Legendary UNB head coach Gardiner MacDougall, who will also oversee the U SPORTS entry at the upcoming FISU Winter World University Games in Lake Placid, New York, will guide the All-Star team with six members of his UNB REDS, including fourth year forward Brady Gilmore (3-16-19)

“This is an excellent opportunity for U SPORTS to show our continued support for Hockey Canada in helping them best prepare the Canadian World Junior Team for the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Atlantic Canada,” said Lisette Johnson-Stapley, Chief Sport Officer of U SPORTS. “We are honoured to be invited annually to the selection camp, while simultaneously showcasing some of the best talent Canadian university hockey has to offer. We greatly appreciate Hockey Canada’s support in hosting some of Canada’s top university players.”

Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team has faced various U SPORTS competition on a regular basis since 1988. U SPORTS began its current All-Star team format in 2015 and in seven previous camps has a 6-6-1 record.

U SPORTS MEN’S HOCKEY ALL-STAR ROSTER

Name / Nom Pos Hometown / Ville natale Yr/Année Team/Équipe
Jonah Capriotti G Mount Hope, ON 2nd UPEI
Matthew Welsh G Halifax, NS 3rd Saint Mary’s
Noah Carroll D Strathroy, ON 5th UNB
Adam McCormick D Woodstock, NB 2nd UNB
Yann-Felix Lapointe D Granby, QC 2nd Moncton
Justin MacPherson D Richmond Hill, ON 2nd Saint Mary’s
Matthew Brassard D Barrie, ON 4th UPEI
Ross MacDougall D St. Stephen, NB 4th UNB
Luke Zazula D Langley, BC 2nd Acadia
Vincent Deslauriers F Ste. Anne-des-Plains, QC 5th Moncton
TJ Shea F Tignish, UPEI 4th UPEI
Kyle Maksimovich F Hamilton, ON 4th UPEI
Troy Lajeunesse F Dokis, ON 5th UPEI
Mika Cyr (INJ)

*will not play

F Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska, NB 2nd Moncton
Nathael Roy F St-Redempteur, QC 2nd Moncton
Matthew Struthers F London, ON 2nd STFX
Liam Hawel F Kanata, ON 2nd STFX
Austen Keating F Kitchener, ON 3rd UNB
Brady Gilmour F Cobourg, ON 4th UNB
Jason Willms F Kitchener, ON 3rd UNB
Shaun Miller F Cole Harbour, NS 3rd Dalhousie
Andrew Coxhead F Fall River, NS 2nd Saint Mary’s
Jacob Hudson F Antigonish, NS 2nd STFX

TEAM STAFF

Gardiner MacDougall Head Coach UNB
Forbes MacPherson Assistant Coach UPEI
Derek Cormier Assistant Coach Moncton
Tyler Naugler Assistant Coach SMU
Christopher Becker Equipment Manager UNB
Jordan Lamontagne Equipment Manager Moncton

 

Rippon with the OT winner for Acadia

Antigonish, NS – The Acadia Axemen went into the Christmas break on a high note, dropping the STFX X-Men 5-4 in overtime, with defender Merrick Rippon (Ottawa, ON) ending the game and sealing the win Wednesday night at the Antigonish Arena.  

Acadia had it over the X Men in the early going, hemming the home team into their own zone and not allowing much in the way of offence. The X-Men picked up the pace later in the period, and produced a couple of solid scoring chances on a power play but Acadia goalie Connor McCollum (Pickering, ON) was up to the task. There was a bit of the rough stuff too, with neither team backing down from the other.  

Acadia lit the lamp first with about six minutes left to play, with Axemen defender Hudson Wilson (Toronto, ON) one-timing a face off win by centre Cole Nagy (Saskatoon, SK) into the back of the X net.  

With five seconds left in the period, Nagy added a goal himself, knocking one home after the puck bounced in front of the X net from the boards. Brendan Tomilson (Cameron, ON) and Liam Kidney (Enfield, NS) assisted.  

Shots at the end of the first period were 13-7 in favour of Acadia as they held a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard.   

Acadia looked to increase their lead on an early powerplay in the second period, but the X penalty killers did their job. Shortly thereafter, a nifty passing play from Zack Trott (Mulmur, ON) and Matthew Struthers (Milton, ON) resulted in Jacob Hudson (Antigonish, NS) potting his ninth goal of the season for the blue and white with just over three minutes played.  

The game opened up at that point and it was STFX’s Josh Nelson (Lockport, IL) tying the game three minutes later, roofing one short side off a pass from Ethan Crossman (Sackville, NB) and Connor Roberts (Owen Sound, ON).   

The tie score was short lived though, with Kidney notching his seventh of the season off an assist from Brendan Sellan (Orangeville, ON), giving Acadia the lead.    

The teams continued to exchange chances for the rest of the period but the score remained 3-2 for the visitors after 40 minutes. Shots at the end of the period were 22-20 in favour of the X-Men.  

A late penalty in the second left STFX shorthanded to start the third, and X goalie Lucas Pfeil (Owen Sound, ON) had to come up with some big saves early.  

Another big bounce off the backboards led to another Acadia goal with about five minute gone, with Sellan batting one home, and Tomilson and Rippon assisting. STFX answered 28 seconds later though, with Nelson hitting paydirt for his second goal of the game, off assists from Clark Webster (Kensington, PE) and Patrick Kyte (Pembroke, ON).   

The X-Men had a two-man powerplay about halfway through the period, and it was Hudson who knotted the game at four, scoring his second of the game off a rebound from a Struthers shot, with Trott getting the other assist.   

With just under seven minutes left to play, STFX appeared to score but the goal was called off due to a high stick. The teams continued to battle but regulation solved nothing and they went to overtime. 

The X-Men had a 4-on-4 power play for the first 1:30 of overtime but could not solve McCollum. After stopping several other X scoring chances, the Axemen went on a 2-on-1 rush, setting the stage for Rippon’s game winner, coming off assists from Sellan and Peyton Hoyt (Lincoln, NB).  

McCollum made 31 saves on the night for the win, while Pfeil had 28 stops in the X net.  

With two goals on the night, Nelson was the first star and Subway player of the game, while teammate Hudson garnered the second star, also netting a pair of goals. Acadia’s Rippon was the third star of the game. 

The X Men resume play on December 2nd when they head to Halifax to take on Saint Mary’s, while Acadia is back at it on December 3rd when they play Dalhousie, also in Halifax. 

Recap courtesy Matt Draper, STFX Athletics