Acadia Hockey & Atlantic Hockey Group Partner to Present Specialized Camp

The participants of the POE Under 14 specialized Acadia hockey camp in partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group
The participants of the POE Under 14 specialized Acadia hockey camp in partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group

This past weekend, August 8-10th, the Acadia University Axemen men’s hockey team partnered with the Atlantic Hockey Group to present a specialized POE Prep Hockey Camp, for the Under 14, 2002 birth dates at the Acadia Arena in Wolfville.

The weekend was a great success with over 25 participants learning from Axemen coaches, players, and Atlantic Hockey Group instructors. The kids had the opportunity to experience the expertise of Acadia University’s world class Kinesiology department as well as the strength and conditioning leadership of  Elliott Richardson. Goaltenders had specialized learning from Axemen Assistant Coach, & former QMJHL and Acadia goalie Michael Chiasson.

Acadia Axemen Coach Darren Burns had the following to say about the camp, “It was a tremendous weekend of hockey and a great experience for the kids. It was not an easy weekend as the kids had three practices and four games in three days.”

The newly formed partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group allows the Acadia hockey camp program to utilize the Atlantic Group’s professionalism, experienced and well respected coaches along with Acadia’s university players to bring in the top aspiring players in Atlantic Canada at this age level.

Burns concluded, “It is important on so many levels for kids in our Atlantic region to play with and against each other. It will only help them improve their game. It was a great success and we will begin planning futures events like this one right away.”

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Burbidge, Pettet named to NS Hockey U18 team

The Acadia Axemen hockey program would like to wish our congratulations to Maggie Burbidge of Falmouth, who has been named to the Under 18 Nova Scotia Female Hockey team for 2014-15.

Maggie Burbidge
Maggie Burbidge

Maggie, who is currently just 13 years old until mid-January, has played her minor hockey with the Acadia Axemen minor hockey program. She was named to the team in a posted letter from the Hockey Nova Scotia’s High Performance Development Committee on the Hockey Nova Scotia website.

You can read the full post here:

Last season, Burbidge was a member of the Acadia Peewee AAA hockey team, and attended school at Newbridge Academy in Lower Sackville, where she was enrolled in the advanced hockey program.

Topping the year off, Maggie was selected to the East Coast Selects Q team, composed of girls from the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and the eastern U.S., from Maine to New York State, competing in the World Selects Invitational tournament in Finland. Maggie is the daughter of Jeff & Alana Burbidge.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns had the following to say, “It has been an absolute pleasure to watch what Maggie has done so far in her young career. She is a tremendous role model for the players in the valley on, and off the ice.”

Burns who coached Burbidge last year with her Peewee AAA team added, “We are extremely proud of her accomplishments and Acadia Hockey looks forward to following her for years to come.”

Brette Pettet
Brette Pettet

Also named to the team was Kentville native Brette Pettet, who finished last season on the Team Atlantic Canada under 18 team, while playing the rest of the season with Minnesota Prep School, Shattuck St. Mary’s. Brette is just 15 years of age, and was a big part of Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. national U-16 Tier 1 girls’ hockey championship win in 2013. At the time, she was the only Grade 8 student on a team made up mostly of Grade 9 to 11s.

Congratulations to both Maggie and Brette on this outstanding achievement.

Inside Acadia athletics: Athletic director Kevin Dickie

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Athletics - AAcadia University athletics have rich history and a longstanding winning tradition in each respective program. High quality facilities as well as tremendous local fan support help make an Acadia afternoon on the turf, or evening in the rink unbeatable. The man at the helm of Acadia’s athletic prowess is athletic director, Kevin Dickie.

Dickie started as athletic director at the University of New Brunswick in 2005, before returning to Acadia in 2011. Dickie had prior coached a very successful Axemen hockey team for three years beginning in 1997. He led the team to three consecutive AUS (Atlantic University Sport) hockey conference final appearances and to the CIS championship game in 1998. “Acadia’s National reputation drew me to Acadia originally, and the chance to coach one of the best hockey programs in Canada,” Kevin says. “What drew us back to Wolfville was the community and the leadership on Acadia’s campus.”

With big upgrades coming to the athletics complex this summer, Dickie said, “The upgrade in our facilities, thanks to the McCain Family, will do three things; help us be a national program as facilities are that important. It will also help us attract future partnerships to improve other areas of our facility, as well as enhance campus life for both our students and community.”Read more »

Poliziani-From final round pick to blueline fixture

Storm Stories is a Guelph Storm original weekly feature for the 2012-13 season spotlighting current Storm Players and giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at the player’s lives on and off the ice.

DanielPoliziani7At the core of what defines Daniel Poliziani as an athlete and as a person is an unwavering love for the game of hockey; it’s easy to find and obvious to anyone that knows the Burlington, Ontario native. It’s in his blood.

Daniel’s grandfather Danny played his junior hockey for the Barrie Flyers and Quebec Aces, coached along the way by legendary “Hap” Emms and “Punch” Imlach. As a professional, he was a member of the Boston Bruins organization, and later suited up for Hershey and Providence in the American league.

“When I was growing up, my grandfather would tell me countless stories about his hockey career,” Poliziani says. “I’d sit there for hours; I loved them. I could never get enough.”

His father, Dan Poliziani, spent his playing days at the college level for Yale University and then as a professional for New Haven in the American Hockey League. After a tragic on-ice eye injury cut Dan’s playing career short, he went back to Yale where he spent the next twelve years coaching varsity hockey.

He also coached his son Daniel during his early hockey years.

“As soon as Daniel was old enough to recognize the sights and sounds of the hockey rink, he wanted to put skates on,” Dan says. “Not so much to skate, but to be carried around the ice and feel the cold breeze on his face.”

Thinking back to those days, Daniel says “Hockey players always remember the 6:00am practices. But I loved getting up early, and I remember my dad always helped me get half dressed at home so I could get out on the ice that much sooner.”

“And for whatever reason I always loved the smell of freshly zamboni’d ice.”

Daniel credits his father with the development of his work ethic and character.Read more »

Axemen in partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group set date for Aug 8-10 at Acadia Arena

The Acadia Axemen in partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group have announced a specialized hockey camp for the Under 14, 2002 birthdates from August 8-10th at Acadia Arena in Wolfville, POE Prep Hockey Camp.

article_largeCoach Darren Burns had this to say about the announcement,

“We are very excited to be able to host a camp like this for the 02 age group. We feel that this is just the beginning for providing a destination for kids in Atlantic Canada to come in the summer. I believe that this is something which could expand very rapidly and provide a very cost effective way of creating a tremendous experience for kids.  We are very fortunate to have the expertise of having a world class kinesiology department as well as the strength and conditioning leadership of Elliott Richardson’s program here at Acadia. The specialization at the goaltending position with  our own Michael Chiasson will also be a staple of this weekend.  Creating this partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group allows us to utilize their professionalism , experienced and well respected coaches along with our university players to bring in the top aspiring players in Atlantic Canada at this age Level.Read more »

Fioretti Named CHL Humanitarian of the Year

Sam Fioretti after winning the 2014 CHL Humanitarian of the Year award on Saturday in London, Ontario. (Photo: Aaron Bell/CHL Images)

Sam Fioretti’s hard work in the community has now earned him national recognition.

The former Moose Jaw Warriors captain was named the 2014 CHL Humanitarian of the Year on Saturday at the annual CHL Awards in London, Ontario.

“It’s a huge honour to win an award like this for the entire CHL,” said Fioretti over the phone from London on Sunday. “It’s not only for me, but it’s an award for my teammates, who also put a lot of time into the community and were always eager to give back.

The award caps off Fioretti’s four-year WHL career with all four seasons spent in Moose Jaw where he became a well known face in the community for more than his hard work and skill on the ice.

Last season, Fioretti worked hard to continued many of the community programs that had been started in previous years, but also worked to create and spearhead two new initiatives. He worked with the Moose Jaw Police Service to go into schools to speak with students about bullying and then started the Warrior Workouts program aimed at teaching kids the correct ways to get active.

“I’ve got to say a big thank you to the community of Moose Jaw,” said Fioretti. “They embraced these two programs and made it very enjoyable to be apart of them.

“We’re role models as WHL players and it’s nice to give back to the community which gives so much to us.”Read more »

Junior A hockey: Ancaster’s Giftopoulos has added good feet to great hands

Compliment someone on how good their hands are and those within earshot will almost certainly cock their eyebrow and wonder what the heck you’re talking about. Unless, of course, you’re speaking to someone who’s a massage therapist, a doctor delivering babies or someone working in the bomb-disposal business, in which it makes perfect sense.

Or a hockey player.

Good hands have certainly been a bonus for Remy Giftopoulos. His talented mitts have always allowed him to score. Even as a small boy playing minor hockey, he had the gift.

His ability to make some magic with a stick and a puck landed the Ancaster native in the Ontario Hockey League as a 16-year-old with big dreams and lofty expectations. Which is when reality hit hard. At that level, hands are secondary. Speed is king.

“I’ve been told one of my weaker points was my skating,” the 20-year-old says. “I definitely realized it when I came to the next level.”

In order to perform magic with the puck, you have to be able to get the puck. Which comes from wheels. As a guy who never took powerskating lessons growing up and who’d developed some bad habits on his blades, it was a splash of cold water in the face.Read more »

Large recruiting class for hockey Axemen

Athletics - AJohn Decoste – Register/Advertiser Published on June 27, 2014

Hockey season may be several months away, but with a number of holes to fill in his lineup, hockey Axemen head coach Darren Burns is already hard at work.

The Axemen lost seven players from their 2013-2014 roster to graduation – goalie Evan Mosher, defencemen Cullen Morin, Chris Owens and Leo Jenner, and forwards Joe Gaynor, Dustin Ekelman and K.C. Brown. Burns found himself with another hole to fill when defenceman Colin Archer learned he had been accepted into medical school in Alberta.

After what he described as a deeper off-season for recruits than a year ago, Burns said eight players have committed to attend Acadia and join the Axemen roster this fall.

With a fairly young roster, “the next two years, we aren’t as likely to lose as many players,” Burns said. “This was a crucial recruiting year,” which coincided with a larger number of recruits being available.

In identifying potential recruits, “we first look to add character and skill.” If the players have size and speed, too, that’s a bonus.

“We needed to address creating more offence up front,” he said, as well as the loss of a player like Owens, an offensive catalyst on the blueline.

Burns believes that in the eight recruits – four forwards, three defencemen and a goalie – he has both replaced his departing players and improved his team.
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Archer accepted to Medicine program in Edmonton

Axemen assistant captain in 2013-14 Colin Archer, has been accepted into Medicine at the University of Alberta.
Axemen assistant captain in 2013-14 Colin Archer, has been accepted into Medicine at the University of Alberta.

The Acadia Axemen will be bidding farewell to one of their leaders, defenceman and assistant captain, Colin Archer. Archer has been accepted into the Medicine program at U of A in Edmonton, Alberta.

Archer came to Acadia midway through the 2011-12 season after deciding to leave Montreal’s McGill University. Due to this, he was forced to red shirt, and only practice for the Axemen for the remainder of the season.

The 2012-13 season saw Archer suit up for 26 regular season games, recording 2 points and 38 PIM’s, making a reputation for himself as a tough competitor who took care of his defensive zone first. 2013-14,  he played in all 28 regular season games, recording 5 points and 46 PIM’s. Archer captured the AUS championship with the Axemen in the 13-14 playoffs, recording 3 points in 8 games. He also saw action in the CIS national tournament before being injured in the opening game for Acadia.

The loss of Colin Archer, adds to hole on the backend left by graduating defensemen Chris Owens, Leo Jenner, and Cullen Morin. The Acadia coaching staff is expected to rely heavily on the recruiting process to fill these holes on the blueline for the 2014-15 season. Geoff Schemitsch, Travis Gibbons, and Chris Buonomo are the returnees for the Axemen on defense.Read more »

Great on the Ice, Great off the Ice – Paul Coffey

A great night, great support, and great featured guests. The seventeenth annual Acadia Axemen Celebrity Hockey dinner took place on Thursday, June 19th with headline guest and four time Stanley Cup winner Paul Coffey.

The night opened up with the master of ceremony, TSN correspondent and studio anchor, Paul Hollingsworth welcoming a crowd of nearly 500 Acadia Axemen supporters, including many Axemen alumni, as well as coaches and players from other Acadia varsity teams.

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The silent auctions continued throughout the night with many great items including autographed jerseys from NHL greats and Cole Harbour natives Nathan MacKinnon & Sidney Crosby, along with jerseys & autographed photos from the featured guest himself, Paul Coffey.



Coach Darren Burns took to the stage and thanked the community for the tremendous support throughout the year, and let the crowd know how much he appreciates being a part of the valley community.Read more »