Acadia’s Heelis named player of the year

Liam Heelis, a third-year forward from Acadia University, was named the CIS player of the year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night. CIS Photo
Liam Heelis, a third-year forward from Acadia University, was named the CIS player of the year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night. CIS Photo
Story courtesy of March 19, 2014, 9:16 PM

SASKATOON – Liam Heelis, a third-year forward from Acadia University, was named the CIS player of the year in men’s hockey, Wednesday night.

The Georgetown, Ont., native became the second Axemen player in three seasons and the fourth in program history to claim the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy. He follows in the footsteps of forwards Andrew Clark (2012), Kevin Baker (2006) and Duane Dennis (1994).

Other winners announced during the SaskTel All-Canadian Presentation at TCU Place in Saskatoon were McGill rearguard Ryan McKiernan, who was named CIS defenceman of the year; Calgary netminder Jacob DeSerres, selected as the country’s best goaltender; Queen’s goalie Kevin Bailie, who received the Clare Drake Award as rookie of the year; UNB forward Chris Culligan, who claimed the R.W. Pugh Award as the nation’s most sportsmanlike player; Queen’s head coach Brett Gibson, who captured the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award; and Alberta defenceman Ben Lindemulder, who merited the Dr. Randy Gregg Award recognizing his excellence in hockey, academics and community involvement.

The PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op gets under way on Thursday at the Credit Union Centre and culminates Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Local Time (3:30 p.m. Eastern) with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet.

SENATOR JOSEPH A. SULLIVAN TROPHY (player of the year): Liam Heelis, Acadia

Heelis is the third straight AUS player – and sixth in the past seven years – to win the Sullivan Trophy. Saint Mary’s forward Lucas Bloodoff was the recipient last season.

The six-foot-one, 195-pound sniper exploded in his third university season as he won the AUS scoring title with 42 points, including a CIS-leading 24 goals, in only 26 league games, a significant improvement from his 10-12-22 mark as a sophomore a year ago. A terrific special teams player, he tied for the CIS lead with four short-handed markers and was second in the Atlantic conference with seven power play goals. He also potted three game-winners and ranked second in the Maritimes with 117 shots.

Thanks in large part to his stellar play, the Axemen took second place in the ultra-competitive AUS conference with a 21-4-3 record and were ranked in the top five nationally for most of the season.

A former OHL player with Owen Sound and Peterborough, Heelis has now accumulated 86 career points in 81 regular season games with the Axemen. Last December, the arts major played an integral part as a team of AUS standouts claimed gold for Canada at the FISU Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy.

“We are extremely proud of Liam’s accomplishments, not only on the ice this year, but as a leader in the community at Acadia,” said Axemen head coach Darren Burns. “His determination, leadership and commitment as a person showed every day in practice and in games, enabling him to be a very dominant player for our team this year. I would be hard pressed to say that I have witnessed a player improve as much as Liam has in the AUS. His outstanding season was no doubt instrumental in our team’s success.”

The other finalists for the Sullivan Trophy were forwards Zach Harnden of Western and Derek Hulak of Saskatchewan.Read more »

Burns, Alcoe boast strong links to university’s past winning teams

story by GLENN MacDONALD of
Published March 19, 2014 – 11:57pm
AC Darren Burns
Links to Acadia’s University Cup glory days in the 1990s can be found behind the Axemen bench.

Head coach Darren Burns was a player when Acadia won its first national championship in 1993 and was an assistant to Mark Hanneman when the Axemen captured its second Canadian banner three years later.

Assistant coach Mike Alcoe has been a mainstay for a quarter for a century. He was there for the national titles in ’93 and ’96 and was Burns’ assistant when the Axemen last appeared at nationals in 2006.

And they’ll be there this week in Saskatoon as Acadia returns to the CIS University Cup championship.

“After all these years, we’re still here,” Burns, in his 13th season as Acadia head coach, said earlier this week.

“(Alcoe) has put 20-plus years into the program. People like him typify what goes behind the scenes at Acadia, not just with the hockey program but the university in general. To see guys like Mike and the work he puts in year after year, it’s nice for him to get this experience again. His loyalty to the program and his loyalty to me is a special thing.

“We have a big job but we also want to enjoy the moment. It’s a fine line. We have to be prepared. You just can’t be happy to be there.”Read more »

Axemen veteran has chance to finish university career with national title

Published March 19, 2014 – 7:23pm
Last Updated March 20, 2014 – 1:18pm
Acadia defenceman Leo Jenner lifts the trophy after the Axemen won the AUS men’s hockey championship over the Saint Mary’s Huskies on March 10. (TIM KROCHAK / Staff)
Acadia defenceman Leo Jenner lifts the trophy after the Axemen won the AUS men’s hockey championship over the Saint Mary’s Huskies on March 10. (TIM KROCHAK / Staff)

It took until Leo Jenner’s fourth — and likely final — Atlantic university hockey season to earn a trip to nationals.

The Acadia defenceman and his Axemen were close twice before. Last season and in 2011, all they had to do was reach the conference championship and they would’ve punched their tickets to nationals either as the AUS champion or as a wild card. But each time they lost in the semifinals, falling a game short.

This season, they earned it. The CIS No. 2-ranked Axemen captured their first AUS banner in eight years to advance to the University Cup, which opens Thursday in Saskatoon.

“This was the hardest year for the Atlantic conference to do it,” said Jenner, a six-foot-four, 225-pound stay-at-home blue-liner.

“There were a couple times where all we had to do was make it to the AUS final. This year, we had to take the hard route by winning the whole thing just to get to the (CIS).

“It’s definitely more fulfilling to actually win something. We didn’t want the handout.”Read more »



OTTAWA (CIS) – For the second straight year, the University of Alberta Golden Bears have earned the number one seed heading into the CIS men’s hockey championship in Saskatoon.CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE

The seeding and pools were announced Sunday for the PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op. The six-team tournament, hosted by the University of Saskatchewan, gets under way on Thursday at the Credit Union Centre and culminates next Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Atlantic Time with the gold-medal final, live on Sportsnet.

Sportsnet also has live coverage of the last two contests of the preliminary round, Saturday at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Atlantic, on Sportsnet 360. All seven games from the championship will also be webcast live on

Joining Canada West champion Alberta at the competition will be the second-seeded Acadia Axemen (AUS champs), No. 3 Windsor Lancers (OUA champs), No. 4 McGill Redmen (OUA finalists), No. 5 Saskatchewan Huskies (hosts) and No. 6 Carleton Ravens (OUA bronze medallists).

Alberta will skate in Pool A with McGill and Carleton in the round-robin portion of the tourney, while Acadia, Windsor and Saskatchewan battle in Pool B. Opening day will see the Golden Bears take on the Ravens at 4 p.m. and the Axemen square off against the Lancers at 10 p.m.

The Bears are the most decorated team in CIS men’s hockey history with 13 University Cup titles. Acadia (2), McGill (1) and Saskatchewan (1) have also claimed the CIS banner in the past.

NOTES: A complete championship preview will follow on Tuesday… A meet-the-teams media conference is scheduled for 4:15 p.m. Atlantic on Wednesday at the Credit Union Centre… The CIS major award winners and all-Canadians will be announced on Wednesday night.Read more »

Axemen Heelis named league MVP, Burns AUS Coach of the Year


Story courtesy of

HALIFAX, N.S. – Atlantic University Sport is pleased to announce the 2013-14 AUS men’s hockey major award winners and all-stars as selected by the conference’s eight head coaches following regular season play.

Third-year Acadia forward Liam Heelis of Georgetown, Ont. was named the Atlantic University Sport most valuable player.

Other AUS major award winners announced today were UNB’s Philippe Maillet of Terrabone, Que., who was named rookie of the year; UNB’s Chris Culligan of Howie Centre, N.S., who was selected as the most sportsmanlike player; StFX’s Murdock MacLellan of Mabou, N.S. who earned the Godfrey award for student-athlete community service; and Acadia head coach Darren Burns, who was named the AUS coach of the year for the third time in his career.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER (Kelly Trophy): Liam Heelis, Acadia

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

Heelis, a third-year forward from Georgetown, Ont., led the CIS in goals this season with 24. He led the AUS conference in scoring with 42 points in 26 games played. Also named a first team all-star today, he had an AUS-leading four short-handed goals and was second in power-play goals with seven. He also boasted the second most shots with 117.

He becomes the fifth Acadia player to claim the Kelly Trophy since 1979-80 and the second league MVP from the Axemen program in the past three seasons.
Read more »

photo_2015046_resize_article                             huskieslogo

The 2014 Subway Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey final playoff schedule is as follows (seeding is in brackets):

Final Series (Best 3-of-5): Acadia (2) vs. Saint Mary’s (5)
Game 1: Thursday, March 6 – Saint Mary’s at Acadia, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, March 7 – Saint Mary’s at Acadia, 7 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, March 9 – Acadia at Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Monday, March 10 – Acadia at Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m.*
Game 5: Wednesday, March 12 – Saint Mary’s at Acadia, 7 p.m.* (*if necessary)

The winner of this final series will advance to the CIS 2014 PotashCorp University Cup presented by Co-op being hosted by University of Saskatchewan at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Sask., March 20-23.

All games of the AUS championship series will be webcast at

Tickets available at the Acadia Box Office for games #1, #2, #5 at 1-800-542-84251-800-542-8425 or 902-542-5500902-542-5500.

Beasts of the East: AUS Goalie Rankings

by Andrew Hastings  story courtesy of on Jan-21-2014
The AUS has some beasts in net and here are the studs!

With perennial powerhouses Acadia and UNB pulling away in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) standings, the success of both programs can be linked to strong play between the pipes. However, in ranking the Conferences’ best goaltending performances thus far, one must look beyond these probable selections and dig out some equally impressive goalie performances from the bottom half of the conference.

Photo Credit: Ted Pritchard/Chronicle Herald
At the risk of killing the suspense, we begin at the top with Acadia’s Evan Mosher in the number one spot. A somewhat obvious choice, Mosher’s stellar 1.91 Goals Against Average and equally impressive .927 Save Percentage are both tops in the AUS. In net for twelve of the Axemen’s fifteen wins this season, Mosher’s provided plenty of confidence to Head Coach Darren Burns. Currently in his third year with the Axemen, the Conception Bay, Newfoundland native has posted an impressive .800 win percentage and, prior to last weekend’s 5-3 loss to UNB, had yet to surrender more than two goals in a start since November 29, 2013.Read more »