Huskies win game four and semifinal series against Axemen
McCollum stops 33 in Acadia loss
Wolfville, N.S. – It was another nail-biter between the Acadia Axemen and Saint Mary’s Huskies in Game 4 of the AUS semi-finals. While both teams put in a valiant effort, it was the Saint Mary’s Huskies who prevailed with a 3-0 victory and series win.
Jeremy Helvig (Kingston, Ont.) was named Subway First Star of the Night after putting in his second shutout of the series.
A costly 5-minute major by the Axemen in the third period ended up being the difference maker.
Nathan Dunkley (Campbellford, Ont.) scored the game and series-deciding goal with 9:49 remaining in the third.
Dunkley picked up the puck at center ice thanks to a misread by the Axemen penalty killers.
Acadia had the puck in the Huskies’ zone and threw it back out to center so that their defense could kill some extra time. However, that was when Dunkley stole the puck, came in on a breakaway and lifted the puck high blocker side to make it 1-0.
A mere 14 seconds later, Keith Getson (Bridgewater, N.S.) doubled the lead while parked in front of the Acadia net with a backhander that he slid through the legs of the Acadia goalie to make it 2-0.
Tight defense was the theme of the last three games. In the past two games of this series, there have only been five goals scored between the two teams, with one of those being an empty-netter.
The first two periods were scoreless.
In the first period, it seemed like Acadia was going to strike first thanks to a handful of odd-man rushes; however, those chances were shut down by the Huskies’ D and Helvig.
Saint Mary’s had their chances too, but the Axemen kept them off the scoresheet.
At the end of the opening period, the shots were tied 11-11.
Once again in the second period, neither team was able to find the back of the net.
Acadia had the best chance when Nick Deakin-Poot redirected a shot that hit the post but stayed out.
The Huskies had a power-play in the second frame that allowed them to get set up in the Acadia zone and record solid shots on the net, but there was nothing that could fool Axemen netminder Conor McCollum (Pickering, Ont.).
Acadia held a slight advantage in shots by the end of the second frame, with a 27-24 lead going into the third.
Adam McMaster (Beamsville, Ont.) almost scored in the opening minute of the third on the power-play, ringing the puck off the goal post.
Saint Mary’s got their best opportunity of the game in the third after Axemen forward Jack Flaman (Vibank, Sask.) took a 5-minute boarding major, giving the Huskies a huge power-play chance.
It was this power-play that saw Dunkley and Getson score to put the game out of reach for Acadia.
The Axemen continued to fight but were unable to solve the Huskies’ goaltender.
Andrew Coxhead (Bedford, N.S.) sealed the victory for Saint Mary’s in the final two minutes by adding an empty-net goal to make it 3-0.
Bad blood seemed to be brewing throughout the series but it was not until the final minute that a fight broke out between the teams, with a number of players dropping the gloves.
The teams combined for 130 minutes in penalties for the game.
Tonight, was another stellar night for the men between the pipes. Acadia goalie Conor McCollum put in a strong performance, turning aside 33 of 35 shots on the night. Likewise, Jeremy Helvig stopped 40 of 40 shots in his phenomenal game.
Acadia Axemen forward Adam McMaster and Saint Mary’s defensman Dennis Busby (Oro-Medonte, Ont.) were named second and third stars of the night, respectively.
With a 3-1 semifinal series win, the Huskies move on to face the winner of the Moncton/UNB series in the AUS finals.