Colella with goal for Axemen in loss

ANTIGONISH, NS – Fourth-year forward Matt Needham (Kamloops, BC) scored with 1:09 left in the game to lift the StFX X-Men to a 2-1 victory over the U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen Friday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

The loss was only the fifth of the season for the AUS first place Axemen (17-5-0). The X-Men improve to 8-10-3, and are currently tied for fifth place with UPEI. 

The teams played a scoreless first period though both had ample scoring opportunities as they played a physical opening 20 minutes. Acadia had a slight 13-11 edge in shots. 

The X-Men wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the second period as Will Bower (Saint John, NB) tallied 28 seconds in. He was in the crease to tuck a rebound past Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) after he saved a point shot from Adam Holwell (St. John’s, NL). 

The lone goal held up as the only one scored in the middle period. 

The game got more physical as both squads took penalties late in the period and had their chances on the power play, including a brief 5-on-3 for the Axemen 

Shots were 18-8 in favour of the X-Men in the second period as they held onto the one-goal lead after 40 minutes. 

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Owen MacDonald with a hat trick to lead Acadia

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen continued their hot start to the new decade with a convincing 6-2 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers and extending their winning streak to seven.

Only 1:14 into the first the visiting Dalhousie Tigers took an early hold on the game. Captain Colton Heffley got his stick on a Connor Welsh shot in the slot to redirect the puck past Acadia goaltender Dawson Carty for his first of the year.

The Axemen bounced back quickly and 4:13 into the opening period the teams drew even after a Rodney Southam shot was rifled off the post, before bouncing off the Dalhousie goalie’s back and into the net. The goal was assisted by Maurizio Colella and Morgan Nauss. Acadia was not done there. Just 16 seconds later Acadia’s Owen MacDonald gave the home team a 2-1 lead. MacDonald followed his linemates up the ice charging towards the net before stuffing home a Cristiano Digiacinto rebound right in front of goal. Stephen Harper also assisted.

Johnny Corneil grabbed the third goal of the night for the Axemen with 6:03 remaining in the first frame. Some great vision by Jack Flaman lead to Corneil’s chance in the slot which he finished swiftly with a quick move to the backhand and sliding the puck through the goaltender’s five-hole.Read more »

Flaman nets 3, Flodell stops 38 in win

Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan

By Ron Annear & Thomas Becker

Acadia’s Jack Flaman scored twice in the third period, as the Axemen took down the UPEI Panthers 5-3.

Flaman finished with a natural hat trick, scoring his first goal late in the first followed by the two in the third. Owen MacDonald recorded a goal and an assist, while Cristiano Digiancinto also connected on a goal. Eric Henderson had two assists in the win.

MacDonald opened the scoring at 2:13 of the first off a Panther miscue in front of their net to take an early lead. However, that lead was short-lived, as Owen Headrick fired a shot from the point three minutes later to tie the game at one.

The Axemen (16-4-0) reclaimed the lead on a shorthanded Digiacinto on a feed from assisted by Liam Maaskant at 11:46. Flaman scored Acadia’s third goal of the period with just 59 seconds remaining.

UPEI (7-9-3) carried the play for most of the period and broke through at 12:17 when rookie forward Jordan Maher gathered a rebound off Conor MacEachern’s quick shot from the point and put it past Logan Flodell. In just his second game with the Panthers, rookie defenceman Matt Brassard recorded his first AUS goal at 15:52. Kyle Maksimovich and Kameron Kielly were credited with the assists.Read more »

Flodell with 47 saves for the win

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 6 ranked Axemen open a new year with a 5-2 win over the visiting Saint Mary’s Huskies.

The Axemen pick up their fifth win in a row on the back of goaltender Logan Flodell. Flodell was named the Subway Player of the Game with 47 stops on 49 shots.

“Personally, I wanted to get in front of everything and knock anything down that I could to keep the boys in the game. We played so well defensively, I know they had quite a bit of shots but we kept them to the outside. Our PK (penalty kill) was phenomenal today, so that’s good,” noted Flodell after the game.

Only one goal in the opening period came at the 15:59 mark of the first frame when Mason McCarty scored his ninth goal of the season after batting in a rebound of Huskie goaltender Eric Brassard who stopped 24 shots.

The Axemen extended the lead to 3-0 in the second period with goals from Ryan Foss and Owen MacDonald.

Two minutes into the second period, Foss along with linemates Stephen Harper and Cristiano Digiacinto scored Acadia’s second goal on a 3-2 break. Foss was the recipient of a pass from Digiacinto after Harper’s shot on the net rebounded on the stick of Digiacinto who fed the puck across the crease to Foss for the easy open net goal.Read more »

Acadia hockey – a decade in review

As we enter 2020, let’s take a few minutes to look back on the closing decade for the Acadia Axemen. A decade that saw the Axemen win an AUS championship, earn four appearances at the University Cup National tournament – including a bronze medal, 2 winners of the USports Player of the Year trophy for University Hockey in Canada, and 2 Axemen players awarded the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation.

The Axemen have been in the AUS playoffs every year in the 2010-2019 decade, most years being a top 4 seed. In 2013-14, the Axemen achieved AUS playoff success as they hoisted their only AUS championship of the decade.

That 2013-14 AUS championship led the team to their first UCup appearance of the 2010’s; however, they dropped 4-2 and 3-2 losses to Windsor and Saskatchewan. The following year the Axemen returned to the National Tournament in the new single knockout format, losing to UQTR is overtime in their first game.

Acadia made national news at the 2016-17 University Cup, as they came in to the 8-team tournament seeded #8 and were matched up against the #1 ranked powerhouse Alberta Golden Bears. The Axemen upset the favorites with a 4-1 win to send the Golden Bears home empty handed. After dropping a 3-0 setback to UNB, the Axemen defeated AUS rival StFX 7-3 to win the bronze medal on the National stage. The following year in 2017-18, Acadia returned to UCup to face a rematch against Alberta, and this time the Golden Bears defeated the Axemen in a high scoring game 8-6.

Perhaps most impressive in terms of personal accolades, were the two standout seasons offensively from Acadia forwards which earned them the honor of top players in the Nation. Andrew Clark’s 2011-12 season was a thing of beauty, as he led the AUS in scoring, was named 1st Team All-Canadian, 1st Team AUS all-star, and awarded the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as CIS player of the year. The following year in 2012-13, Clark was named a 1st Team AUS All-star, and 2nd team all-Canadian. Two years later, Acadia’s Liam Heelis had an outstanding season, as he too was awarded the Player of the year trophy for the USports (formerly CIS) hockey, was named 1st Team All-Canadian, and 1st Team AUS All-star.Read more »

Acadia sits atop of AUS Standings at the Holiday Break

With 18 games in the books and the first half of the year complete, the Acadia Axemen sit on top of the ultra competitive AUS men’s hockey conference with a 14-4 record. Many a night in the first half, the Axemen roster consisted of 14 or 15 skaters – 9 forwards and 5 defenceman; with two of those forwards often being defenceman playing out of their normal positions.

Despite the Axemen losing a total of 59 man games in the first half of the year, which could have been an easy way to excuse a bad first half, the Axemen refused to use a short bench as an excuse, instead they dug in deeper and rose to the moment every night.

After losing the first game to U de M Aigles Bleus on home ice, 5-2 to open the season, the Axemen then reeled off 9 straight wins. With each win their confidence built, and their strength came in playing as a team, outworking their opponents, capitalizing on chances, and backed by great goaltending. The Axemen then faced some mid first half struggles, dropping 3 of 4 games, before going back on a four-game win streak to close out the 1st half.

In looking back at the first half of the season, Acadia Head Coach Darren Burns was happy with his team’s result saying, “Our staff was very happy with our first half. In knowing we are hosting the nationals planning started close to two years ago, so we knew we were going to experience some growing pains last year in preparation, we feel as a team we have made a lot of progress over the last 18 months. It’s a positive to see the players commitment showing in the first half results.”

Looking at the different aspects of the Axemen game over the first 18 games, their powerplay is vastly improved over last year. At this point last year, the Axemen were desperate for answers as their powerplay struggled mightily, however this year, they have clipped along at a 22.8% conversion, good for 2nd best in the AUS, trailing only UNB’s 30%.Read more »

Owen MacDonald nets the OT winner

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen closed out the 2019 half of their season on a high note with a nail-biting overtime win over the visiting Moncton Aigles Bleus.

Acadia took advantage of a powerplay opportunity to get their first goal of the night. After some patient play from Owen MacDonald, he feathered a perfect pass across the ice to Jordy Stallard who ripped a wrist shot over the blocker of the Moncton goaltender. The goal came at 6:49 of the first and was also assisted by TJ Fergus.

The rest of the period remained quiet with solid goaltending from both Moncton’s Etienne Montpetit and Acadia’s Logan Flodell.

It was 1-0 Axemen after the first period.

Les Aigles Bleus were next to strike, tying up the game just before the halfway mark of the second period. After dangling through a pair of Acadia players creating a 3 on 1, Danick Crete eventually finished off the rush by slamming home a rebound at the side of the Acadia goal. Robbie Graham and Alexis Roy assisted.

The Axemen regained their lead at the 14:03 mark of the period on the powerplay. Right off of an offensive zone faceoff, the puck took a weird bounce off of a Moncton players’ helmet before glancing off the goalie for a rebound potted home by Cristiano DiGiacinto on the edge of the crease. Mason McCarty grabbed the assist.

The period closed with the Axemen on top 2-1.

Maurizio Colella would give the Axemen a two-goal cushion on the powerplay 5:59 into the third period. A long battle along the boards eventually came loose to Mason McCarty who fed Colella in the slot for a one-timer that beat Montpetit to the blocker. Cristiano DiGiacinto had the second assist.Read more »

Flodell stops 40 shots for the win

WOLFVILLE N.S. – After a quick back and forth game of hockey, the Acadia Axemen won their third straight game with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked UNB Reds.

Acadia was the first team to strike, taking advantage of a powerplay opportunity. Alexander Lepkowski buried his second of the season after finding a loose rebound from a Johnny Corneil shot and flipping the puck over the downed goalie and into the net.

The goal celebrations were short-lived as the Reds answered right back just under a minute later with a goal of their own. After Alexandre Goulet ripped a shot off the post, Olivier LeBlanc was in the right place to gather the rebound and stuff the puck in the open Acadia goal. Stephen Anderson also assisted.

The game was tied 1-1 after the first.

It took only 24 seconds into the second period for the Axemen to reinstate their lead. A speedy two-on-one rush was ended by Eric Henderson driving the net hard and having Maurizio Colella’s pass bounce off of him and past UNB goalie Rylan Parenteau.

Jack Flaman was next on the scoresheet for the Axemen, scoring 6:27 into the frame. He was sprung on a breakaway following a blocked shot and squeezed a quick wrister through the netminder.

The Reds responded with a goal of their own under a minute later. Matthew Boucher received a perfect backdoor pass from Alexandre Goulet for an easy tap-in to bring UNB within a goal.Read more »

Carty with win in net for Axemen

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen were led by a Cristiano Digiacinto’s hat-trick to cap off a successful week of hockey with a 3-1 win against the UPEI Panthers Saturday night in Wolfville.

In what was a fast and physical first period, neither team was able to get the upper hand on the opposition. Thanks to some stellar goaltending from both UPEI’s Simon Hofley and Acadia’s Dawson Carty, who had 18 and 13 saves respectively, the game remained deadlocked as the teams headed to their dressing rooms.

UPEI’s Owen Headrick opened the scoring with a wicked top corner one-timer set up by Kyle Maksimovich on a 5 on 3 powerplay. The goal came at 6:59 of the second period and was also assisted by Darian Pilon. The rest of the period saw no more goals, but lots of chances at both ends of the rink.

The Panthers lead 1-0 after two.

Acadia was quick to tie up the game in the third. Just 4:34 into the frame Cristiano Digiacinto found some real estate in the slot and buried a quick Mason McCarty pass into the bottom right corner. Tate Olsen had the second assist on the goal.Read more »

Stallard leads the way with 2 goals and an assist

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen got back to their winning ways after defeating the U SPORTS No. 8 ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies, by a score of 5-2.

The Axemen were the first to find the back of the net, with the first goal coming just 1:01 into the first period. Johnny Corneil was the opening goal scorer after getting his own rebound in front of the goal and beating SMU goalie Eric Brassard to the low glove side. Ross MacDougall and Cristiano DiGiacinto picked up the assists.

The second goal came only 1:24 after the first when Axeman Jordy Stallard buried his sixth of the season when a 2 on 1 rush ended with a perfect shot to the low glove, off the post and in. Garrett McFadden had the assist on the goal

The Axemen lead 2-0 after the first twenty.

It was just over halfway through the second frame when Nick Welsh scored to bring the Huskies within a goal. He received a nice pass on the left side of the offensive zone before beating Axemen goalie Logan Flodell to the far side with a quick wrister. Jonathan Hampton and Mitchell Balmas assisted.

Just 40 seconds later the Axemen struck back, as Jordy Stallard jammed home his second of the night after a scramble in front of the SMU net concluded with an easy loose puck tap-in. Mason McCarty and TJ Fergus were credited with assists on the tally.

With 2:21 remaining in the period TJ Fergus scored his first of the season on the powerplay.Read more »