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(Wolfville, NS) – Acadia University’s Department of Athletics announced Sunday that it will host a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League pre-season game featuring the Halifax Mooseheads and Acadie-Bathurst Titan. The game will be played at the Andrew H. McCain Arena in Wolfville on Friday, August 24th at 7pm.
The Halifax Mooseheads 25th anniversary season will be highlighted by the 2019 Mastercard Memorial Cup in May. The Mooseheads last hosted the national junior hockey championship in 2000 and captured the title in 2013.
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan captured the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup hosted in Regina, Saskatchewan. It marked the first national championship in the team’s history. The Titan have an Annapolis Valley flavour including Cole Rafuse from Kingston and Robbie Dowell drafted in 2018 from the Valley Major Midget Wildcats.
Tickets ($12 adults and $7 youth 16 & under) are available now through the Acadia Box Office weekdays from noon to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday 1pm-4pm or via phone at 1-800-542-8425 or online at boxoffice.acadiau.ca. Proceeds from the game will support the varsity men’s hockey program at Acadia University.
AMHERST, N.S. – This past Wednesday, July 18, former Hockey Axeman Mark McFarlane ’95 along with two additional inductees were installed into the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame (Oakland, CA) in association with CANSA (Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association).
From Amherst, N.S., McFarlane was a member of Acadia’s 1993 University Cup hockey championship team and graduated in 1995.
Prior to joining the Axemen, he played for the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League from 1988 to 1991 where he won a Memorial Cup.
After Acadia, Mark turned to the professional ranks, suiting up for several teams in the Southern Hockey League, the United Hockey League, the Central Hockey League and the East Coast Hockey League.
McFarlane won three Colonial Cup championships (UHL and CoHL) with the Quad-City Mallards and retired from professional hockey in 2004.
His number 22 was retired by the Mallards and in 2010 and he was inducted into the Axemen Hockey Honour Roll. Mark won five championships from Junior hockey onwards. Read more ›
By John DeCoste ’77
When he arrived at Acadia in the fall of 2006, coaching in the NHL – or anywhere else, for that matter – wasn’t necessarily on Paul McFarland’s radar screen.
Now that he has been a coach for six seasons – most recently with the Florida Panthers during the 2017-2018 season – McFarland has come to realize that coaching “was what I really wanted to do.”
McFarland was back in Wolfville as a special guest for the 20th anniversary of the hockey Axemen celebrity dinner June 13.
He acknowledged that growing up and playing hockey in Richmond Hill, Ontario, he had the same dreams and aspirations as any other Canadian youngster – to hopefully one day play in the NHL.
McFarland played four seasons of major junior hockey – two full seasons with the Kitchener Rangers, one with the Windsor Spitfires, and one season split between the two teams. Never a great scorer, he was (and is) an outstanding leader, which continues to serve him well in his coaching career.
McFarland ended up playing 155 OHL regular-season games with Kitchener and 81 with Windsor. While at Acadia, he played 112 games and didn’t miss a game for four seasons. Read more ›
This year’s graduates may have raised the bar to a whole new level for the Axemen hockey program with two players signing AHL contracts, one with the ECHL, and 3 more signing contracts to play overseas in elite leagues.
Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns had this to say about the success of the graduating Axemen,“It is great to see so many of our players pursuing pro hockey once they have finished their degree. This year is a great indication of what opportunities are out there for players who work hard. There’s no question we want to create an environment where players can continue to grow their game once done their major junior careers. We are very fortunate that our department and institution has created an environment with an arena which is second to none in the country; a brand new professional dressing room with a state of the art weight room right beside it. It’s an exceptional culture for hockey. As we tell every recruit, Hockey Matters at Acadia and we are very proud of that. ”
Let’s run down the signings from the past year’s graduates:
Boston Leier – Belleville Senators – AHL
Bossy has led the Axemen with heart and skill for the past 4 years, after the University Cup last season, he signed an AHL tryout contract with the Belleville Senators and recorded 6 points in 8 games before returning to Acadia to graduate with his degree. It wasn’t long after that the NHL’s Ottawa Senators AHL affiliate team came calling, and Leier signed on with Belleville. At the Senators development camp earlier this summer, he led his squad to tournament victory, and will attend the main camp for the Ottawa Senators heading into the fall. The WHL alumnus, played his junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers & Regina Pats before putting up 114 points in 111 regular season games with Acadia. Boston will look to be a big part of the success of the Belleville team this season. Read more ›
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward Sam Fioretti for the 2018-19 season. The Calgary, Alberta native will begin his professional career with the Stingrays after 4 years at Acadia University and four seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Western Hockey League.
“We talked to Sam through the spring. He was a really good player for Acadia, which is a very well-coached program,” said Stingrays Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Ryan Warsofsky. “He had a really good regular season and was one of their leaders. We’ve followed him the last couple of years and he has some energy, brings grit and plays on the edge. We’re really happy to bring him in next season.”
“Being a guy that played my major junior hockey in Moose Jaw and living in Canada I like the idea of going down and experiencing time in the states while playing hockey,” said Fioretti. “Talking to Coach Warsofsky, we developed a little bit of a relationship and through word of mouth I found out that people who have played in South Carolina love it down there. It just seemed like a great opportunity and a great spot to continue my career.” Read more ›
WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Graduating hockey Axeman Matt Pufahl will extend his hockey career with the Colorado Eagles this coming season. The Eagles will take over as the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche affiliate team. The AHL Board of Governors approved league expansion in July of 2017, with the Eagles set to come on board this season. The Eagles are located in Loveland, CO — about 100km north of Denver.
“I was expecting to go over to Europe, to be honest. I was looking over there with my new agent, when David Oliver (Director of Player Development, Colorado Avalanche) out of Colorado called me. I had been in contact with him before when I was there out of Junior Hockey. He asked me what my plans were and I indicated I had shifted my focus to Europe and hadn’t heard anything from North America,” noted Pufahl. Read more ›
Belleville, Ont. – The Belleville Senators have signed former Acadia Axemen forward Boston Leier to an American Hockey League contract for the 2018-19 season.
Leier was signed out of Acadia University on March 22 to an amateur tryout agreement after a four-year U SPORTS career in the AUS. In eight games with Belleville, his first foray into professional hockey, he scored four goals and added two assists.
Leier returned to Acadia to complete his courses and write several exams.
“I’m extremely excited to sign my first professional contract with Belleville,” Leier said. “It has been a goal of mine to do this since I entered junior hockey so I’m obviously very grateful for the opportunity. Every member of management, coaching staff and players made my short time there this season a great experience.
“I am excited to start a new chapter with Belleville and could not have done this without my many people, most importantly my family. I am thankful for the opportunities I had at Acadia University and without our athletic department, coaches, and past and current teammates I would not be where I am today and am very excited to get the season going in the fall.” Read more ›