The fourth question, on AUS enthusiasts minds regarding the 2014-15 Axemen, was who they would rely on for secondary scoring? As every team knows, when the season goes down to the wire, and throughout the playoffs, teams can’t only rely on their big guns to produce on the scoreboard, there needs to be secondary scoring for a team to succeed.

For the Axemen, gone from last year’s squad are a couple of power forwards in Joe Gaynor and Dustin Ekelman; couple that with forward Dylan Anderson suffering a high ankle sprain early on, a nagging injury to Michael Clarke that would sideline him for most of the first half of the season, and as we mentioned in our first post in this series, Tyler Ferry and Travis Randell had been moved from forwards back to the blue line. So given these departures, injuries, and positional moves, where would the secondary scoring come from after Heelis, Cazzola, and Thompson?

Cue the recruits… The Axemen loaded up with a number of high end offensively gifted forwards through recruiting in the off-season, landing Zach Franko & Boston Leier from the WHL, and Sam Fioretti & Remy Giftopoulos from the OHL. This looked good on paper for the Axemen, but could the first year players step in and make an immediate impact in the tough grind of the AUS?

Well the stats speak for themselves.Read more »

Acadia University’s Connections with Mr. Béliveau

Jean Beliveau in 1998, touring thru Valley with Connie MacNeil and Garth Vaughan.
Jean Beliveau in 1998, touring thru Valley with Connie MacNeil and Garth Vaughan. (Photo from Kevin Dickie)

The world lost a great man on Tuesday evening, a hockey legend, an ambassador of the game, and a role model for us all. Mr. Jean Béliveau passed away at the age of 83, his name appears on the Stanley Cup 10 times as a player, all with the Montreal Canadiens where he played his entire 20 year NHL career, and was captain of the storied franchise from 1961 until his retirement in 1971. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in June of 1972.

Béliveau’s career didn’t end when he hung up his skates, however. He moved his love of hockey off of the rink and into the community. In addition to working as the senior vice-president and director of relations for the Canadiens, Béliveau has devoted time to working with children. He began the Jean Béliveau Foundation, which gives grants to youth organizations for equipment, in 1971 with the money that was given to him in honour of his 500th goal, and has travelled across Canada on behalf of the Big Brothers Association. Béliveau became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1969. He has had countless other awards bestowed upon him over the years, and reluctantly had to turn down opportunities to become a senator and governor general of Canada. He opted not to go to Ottawa as he felt he had to stay home and help raise his daughter’s children, who lost their father, a Quebec police constable, to suicide.

We at Acadia University had some special connections with ‘Le Gros Bill’ as he was nicknamed in his playing days. In 1998 he received an Honourary Degree from Acadia University. Béliveau’s ancestry traces back to Antoine Béliveau, who settled in 1642 in Port Royal, Nova Scotia. The Béliveau’s were expelled along with the Acadians in 1755 and the family settled in the Boston area before moving to Québec to the Trois Rivières area in the mid-19th century.

Mr. Béliveau didn’t just view his appearances as duties or jobs, instead he was a man who was 100% genuine; he wanted to know more about where he was, the history, and what he could do to help, he genuinely cared.Read more »

AC Celebration AC Liam HeelisWe’ve looked at the Axemen defence & and the goaltending so far in this five part series, and now it’s time to look at the third question. Question #3 going into this season, regarding this year’s Acadia Axemen team from AUS enthusiasts was whether or not the big line could repeat on their production of a year ago?

Last season, Mike Cazzola, Liam Heelis, and Brett Thompson were all but unstoppable, they put up big numbers and controlled games. Cazzola and Heelis tied at the top of AUS league scoring with 42 points each, with Heelis being awarded the top spot after scoring 24 goals in 26 games. Heelis was also named CIS Hockey’s most valuable player. Brett Thompson, the third member of the big line finished 8th in AUS scoring with 33 points in 27 games. This scoring machine led the Axemen to a 21-7 regular season record and an AUS title, leading to a trip to the CIS University Cup.

Going into this season, the question was can they do it again? Well, let’s look at the AUS leaders after 16 games at the exam/holiday break. The big three sit 1, 2, and 4 in league scoring, with Heelis sitting 4th with 20 points, Cazzola 2nd with 23, and Brett Thompson with a league best 24 points, along with being tied for tops in the AUS with 12 goals; Thompson’s 12 goals tie his CIS career high from last year for goals in a season.Read more »

BrandonGloverOn Sunday, in our first of five questions answered by the Axemen in the first half of the AUS season, we looked at the question of defence. Today, we look at question number 2 on the minds of many AUS enthusiasts for the Acadia team heading into the 2014-15 season, goaltending.

Last season, Evan Mosher led the Axemen to the AUS championship and a birth in the CIS University Cup tournament. Along the way, Mosher was named a first team AUS all-star and a second team CIS all-star, and a nominee for the CIS top goaltender. Mosher graduated and moved on to the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards this season, leaving questions in goal for Acadia, how do you replace arguably the second best goalie in the country?

The Axemen recruited former QMJHL Gatineau Olympiques and Acadie-Bathurst Titan starting goalie, Robert Steeves, and went in to training camp relying heavily on second year goalie Brandon Glover. Glover was selected to the AUS all-rookie team last season after posting a 4-2 record in 7 games with a .882 save % and a 3.13 goals against average. Impressive numbers for a first year backup, but would he be able to fill the shoes left by the departure of Mosher?Read more »

2014-08-11-11-13-12-Chris OwensThe first half of the AUS season is over, actually more than half the games on the season have been played already, as this season due to the National tournament being hosted by the AUS conference, the teams played 16 of the 28 games prior to the Exam/Holiday break, instead of the standard 14. The Axemen finished those 16 games with a 12-3-1 record, tied for 2nd, and one point out of the AUS top spot. Over the next ten days, we’ll look back at the Axemen first half of the season, and the top 5 questions AUS enthusiasts and fans had about this year’s Axemen team, and the outcome thus far in those 5 areas.

The first and arguably most important question was the team’s defense.

As the season began, they had only 1 regular defenseman from last year, Travis Gibbons, in the lineup. With Cullen Morin, Leo Jenner, Colin Archer, and Chris Owens graduating or moving on from last year’s team, and AUS all-rookie team member Geoff Schemitsch projected to be out for most of the first half with an injury. There were many questions about how the Axemen defense would fair, and rightfully so.IMG_0534 - Copy

But the Axemen recruits Dan Poliziani, Stephen Woodworth, and Matt Pufahl have played exceptionally well in their first taste of AUS/CIS action. Still short on the backend, the Axemen moved two players who had played forward last year, in Tyler Ferry and Travis Randell, back to defense; Randell had seen action in 2012-13 as a defenceman for the Axemen. The two didn’t miss a beat on the blueline… at no time are we left thinking that they look like forwards playing defence, instead they looked like naturals on the blueline. 2nd year defenceman Chris Buonomo also saw action in four games in the first half of the season.Read more »

NickViditoAcadia Axemen fans, we need your help!

One of our biggest Axemen fans, Nick Vidito, has been in the hospital for the past few weeks dealing with horrible breathing issues and medical complications. He needs a venting machine to help him breathe and will be unable to leave the hospital without it. But here’s the catch: it costs $30,000.

Please read his story below, and we ask you to help a fellow Acadia hockey fan out and consider donating, and share this page so that others may consider donating as well.

Let’s bring help Nick home! Thank you.