MEDIA-DAY-14(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport stakeholders, fans and members of the media gathered today and yesterday at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax and the Crowne Plaza Moncton, respectively, to take part in the first annual AUS men’s hockey media days to kick off the 2014-15 season.

Head coaches Pat Powers (St. Thomas), Serge Bourgeois (Université de Moncton), Gardiner MacDougall (UNB) and Forbes MacPherson (UPEI) briefed media and fans in attendance in Moncton on this year’s teams and their expectations for the season.

In front of a Halifax audience, head coaches Trevor Stienburg (Saint Mary’s), Brad Peddle (StFX), Darren Burns (Acadia) and Chris Donnelly (Dalhousie) did the same.

Each of the eight coaches were joined by a pivotal player from the roster. Coaches and players took part in question and answer periods with media and other stakeholders.

2014 season preview interview with Darren Burns – Click Here
Season Preview – Important Facts – Click Here

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MH-ACA_Preview-2014(WOLFVILLE, N.S.) – The Acadia Axemen opened the 2013-14 season unranked in the CIS Top 10, but by the second week of regular the season they cracked the list at number eight after a perfect 4-0 start which extended into a 10 game streak without a loss in regulation time.

Ranked third in the country by the Holiday Break, the Axemen took the top spot in the AUS standings and established themselves as the team to beat in the Atlantic conference.

As the season closed out, the Axemen ended up in second place, trailing first place UNB by four points with a 21-4-3 record but securing quarter-final bye heading into the post-season.

A four-game victory in the best-of-five semifinal series against Moncton matched up the Axemen with the rival Saint Mary’s Huskies, who had knocked off the first place Varsity Reds.

Acadia went on to defeat the Huskies in the best-of-five final series to capture their first AUS championship since 2006 and the ninth Atlantic conference title in team history.

The championship team was rewarded with the prestigious selection of team captain Liam Heelis as the AUS and CIS Most Valuable University Hockey Player Award.

Heelis was also chosen as the AUS male representative for the coveted CIS BLG Award that honours one male and one female athlete as the top Canadian University Athlete of the Year.

The Axemen will open the 2014-15 regular season Saturday night in Halifax where they will take on the Dalhousie Tigers. Game time is at 7:00pm.Read more »

northeastern_logo VS Athletics - A

Sunday, October 5th at 4pm Atlantic Standard Time

The Northeastern men’s ice hockey team takes the ice for the first time this season, on Sunday at 4pm Atlantic Standard Time at the Matthews Arena. Their opponent is the Acadia Axemen who will be coming off a Saturday night game against the Quinnipiac Bobcats.

The Northeastern Huskies, who were picked 16th in the preseason poll this past Monday, return 21 letter winners from last season’s 19-14-4 squad, including Hobey Baker Award candidate Clay Witt in goal. Witt set program records for goals against average (2.37) and save percentage (.932) in 2013-14, and is back for his second season as the Huskies’ starting netminder. Witt, along with fellow senior Torin Snydeman, will serve as an assistant captain this season while Dax Lauwers and Adam Reid will wear the ‘C.’

The Huskies have 10 of its top 11 scorers back from a season ago, including rising junior Kevin Roy and sophomore center Mike Szmatula, both of whom received Hockey East accolades at the conclusion of last season. Roy enters his third season with 80 points in 66 career games (1.21 points per game), and could become the 46th player in program history to reach 100 career points this season.

Axemen head coach Darren Burns said, “Northeastern has many returning players this year and had a great year of recruiting. We will, no doubt, have to be at the top of our game on Sunday afternoon.”

This will mark Acadia’s final pre-season game before opening up the AUS regular season on Saturday, October 11th in Halifax against the Dalhousie Tigers.

The Axemen will look to continue to gel as a group after adding eight new faces to the lineup since winning the AUS championship last season.

To watch the game live online, click here or paste the following link in your internet browser:

(Northeastern information source

Quinnipiac Bobcats vs Athletics - A

Saturday, October 4th at 8pm Atlantic Standard Time

The Acadia Axemen are traveling south of the border this weekend to take on a pair of NCAA Division 1 opponents in exhibition hockey play.

In the first match on Saturday at 8pm Atlantic Standard Time, the Axemen face-off against the Quinnipiac Bobcats at the High Point Solutions Arena at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Connecticut.

The Quinnipiac University men’s ice hockey team are ranked 15th in the first United States College Hockey Division I Men’s Poll of the 2014-15 season, as announced on Sept. 29, 2014, after finishing the season at #9 last year. The Bobcats were picked to finish fifth in the 2014-15 ECAC Division in Hockey Preseason Polls by the league’s coaches and third by the league’s media. In addition, the coaches chose senior co-captain Matthew Peca (Petawawa, Ontario) as an All-ECAC Hockey Preseason selection while sophomore Sam Anas (Potomac, Maryland) was chosen by the media for the all-league team.

Acadia Coach Darren Burns had this to say about Saturday’s opponent, “We are very excited to play Quinnipiac, as we know they are a very strong team. We will have to be prepared to be at our best defensively, as they are an explosive team, which is well coached.”

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Liam Heelis to Attend Florida Panthers Prospect Camp

Most Outstanding Player Liam Heelis Blaine Favel

Acadia Axemen captain Liam Heelis will be taking his show on the road later this week; all the way to Florida and Tennessee! Liam, the reigning CIS Men’s Hockey MVP, will take part in the NHL’s Florida Panthers prospect camp from Sept 11-16.

The 23 year old, Heelis will join 2 goalies, eight defenseman and 14 other forwards. Included in those prospects is last year’s first overall pick in the NHL entry draft, Aaron Ekblad, who was also a junior teammate of current Axemen defenceman Chris Buonomo with the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

The prospect camp will be composed of a day of medical and physical testing, an on ice practice in Florida, followed by a round robin tournament in Nashville, Tennessee between 4 teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators & the Florida Panthers.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns expressed his excitement for Heelis saying, “We are very excited for Liam that he has been invited back to Florida’s camp. We believe he continues to get better as a player and this opportunity will be another positive step in his goal of playing in the NHL. He has continued to work hard and it will be good for him to get this experience heading into our season.”

Also on the prospect roster for the Panthers is Saint Mary’s Huskies forward Stephen MacAuley, UNB defenceman Keevan Cutting, former Halifax Moosehead Mackenzie Weegar, and Glace Bay native Logan Shaw, who played last season with San Antonio of the AHL.Read more »

Burns Entering his 14th Season at the Helm of the Axemen

story courtesy of by Cameron Davidson


Entering into his 14th season at the helm of the Axemen Hockey squad, head coach Darren Burns has led the Axemen to 10 straight playoff appearances, and to two AUS (Atlantic University Sport) Championships, one in 2005/06 and another this past season. Burns has been at Acadia since 1990, though was an assistant coach elsewhere for four years while living in the Annapolis Valley. Burns also played his university hockey as an Axemen from 1990-1995, winning a CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) National Championship in 1992-93. Burns added another National Championship as an assistant coach with the Axemen in 1995-96.

Burns, now age 44, was initially drawn to Acadia as a player to pursue a teaching career. “I wanted to go where hockey was still important and was a big part of the community and school. A place that followed hockey like a junior team, and Acadia definitely had that, and still does,” he said.

Last year’s AUS Championship was massive for both Axemen Hockey and the amazing local fans. “It was important for the program to win the AUS Championship for sure. It was a great experience. It is something that we cannot take for granted and we need to strive for higher achievements. The thing that meant the most to me was seeing the sense of accomplishment for the players and seeing how excited the community was. Anytime something good happens for Acadia and the surrounding area, I am happy.”

With respect to the diehard Axemen Hockey fan base, Burns adds, “It is vital for our program to have the support it does. There is no hockey team in the CIS that gets the support our players and team does. It’s not even describable how important it is. It’s very motivating for me as a coach and for the players.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Burns talked about what the recruiting front was coming into this year. “Our recruiting for this season is like every other; our players need to be great people who realize they are leaders on campus and in the community and want to strive for excellence.” As for what fans should expect to see in 2014/15, “I would expect fans are going to see a committed team who skates well, moves the puck well, and does not get outworked. This is an expectation of our program. [The AUS] will be a very tough league this year.”

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Graduated Pats Look Toward New Opportunities

This is an outtake from an article, for the complete article, please visit

By Daniel Fink –

Boston Leier
Axemen Recruit Boston Leier

Regina, Saskatchewan – As the Regina Pats move ever closer to the 2014-15 season, three members of last year’s squad look to take the next steps in their hockey careers.  Dyson Stevenson, Boston Leier and Jesse Zgraggen were the Pats’ three overage players in the 2013-14 season.  All three continue their hockey careers in the upcoming year, all following different paths.  Stevenson plays his first season of professional hockey with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, Leier heads to Acadia University to suit up for the Axemen in the CIS and Zgraggen ventures across the Atlantic to play for Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss Elite League.

For Boston Leier, the decision to head east and play for Acadia while attending school came from a desire to find new challenges and a different environment.

“Me and a friend of mine went on a recruiting trip out there and it’s a pretty exciting place,” said Leier.  “Everyone there is a pretty tight knit family and it just seemed like the kind of place I wanted to be.  I really wanted to experience something different.  It’s not every day something like that comes up and I wanted to take advantage of it while I could.”

Of course it didn’t hurt that Leier’s coach for the 2013-14 season, Malcolm Cameron, is an alumni of the Axemen.

“Malcolm talked about (Acadia) very highly and he was a good influence on (choosing Acadia) too.  Obviously I made my own decisions though.  I know the athletic director out there pretty well, he’s a good family friend of ours.  He said he thought it was a very good fit for me.”

As with anything in life, moving to a new stage of a hockey career presents new challenges.  All three players, face different hurdles to overcome on and off the ice with their new teams and leagues.Read more »