Axemen vying for 3rd, pick up important win vs SMU

Leier nets a pair, Steeves earns shutout

Wolfville, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen (17-10-2) ended their regular season on home ice on a high note, defeating the U SPORTS No. 6 ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies 3-0. Axemen goaltender and Subway First Star of the Night Robert Steeves turned aside all 24 shots by the Huskies for his second shutout of the season.

“TheGuys played awesome tonight. They let me see the puck. I let go of some funny rebounds and the guys were able to clear it and take the guys sticks. It was a great win,” Steeves said following the win.

“We knew it was a big one with third place on the line. We’ve been through a bit of a slump and the win against UNB was a stepping stone and I thought we played a hell of a game tonight.,” added Steeves.

Neither team was able to score in the first. Despite chances from both sides, the game remained a scoreless affair heading into the second period.

By the end of the first period, the Axemen held an 8-7 shot lead.

Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves made a series of impressive saves, including a diving glove, save, on the Huskies second power-play in the opening period to keep his team in the game. Read more ›

Axemen end losing streak with OT win over No. 2 UNB

Farrell nets 2 in Acadia victory

Wolfville, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 8 ranked Acadia Axemen (16-10-2) snapped a five-game losing streak in dramatic fashion, downing the No. 2 UNB Varsity Reds (22-2-4) 4-3 in overtime. Kyle Farrell notched two goals in the win, while Remy Giftopoulos scored the OT winner 1:30 into the extra frame.

The snapped losing streak of five games was the longest since the 2007-2008 season.

Acadia outplayed UNB in the first and it was reflected on the scoreboard, as the Axemen took a 1-0 lead into the second.

The Axemen opened the scoring early when forward Kyle Farrell was sprung on a partial breakaway, where he lifted a backhand past glove of the UNB goaltender Alex Dubeau.

Despite losing their lead in the second, thanks to two goals from UNB, Kyle Farrell added his second of the game to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the third.

UNB answered back early in the second, with a power-play marker from defenseman Randy Gazzola, who came in tight on the Axemen goalie and tucked a backhand into the bottom left corner of the net to tie the game at 1-1. Read more ›

Acadia to host 2020 U SPORTS University Cup

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Acadia University’s Department of Athletics is pleased to announce that Acadia University has been awarded hosting rights for the 2020 U SPORTS Men’s Hockey National Championship, referred to as the University Cup.

“The bids that we received were excellent which demonstrates a strong interest in hosting a U SPORTS national championship,” said Graham Brown, President and CEO of U SPORTS. “It is encouraging to see our member institutions developing creative ways to host national championships offering the best experience for our student-athletes as well as for Canadian sports fans, and guaranteeing the best attendance on site. This is promising for the future of U SPORTS and all of its members.”

This will be the fourth consecutive U SPORTS National Championship to be hosted in the coming seasons, beginning with the 2016 women’s soccer championship, this year’s Final 8 men’s basketball championship, this coming fall’s 2018 women’s rugby championship, and now the 2020 University Cup.

Acadia University will partner with Sports Entertainment Atlantic to stage the University Cup in 2020, with the Acadia Axemen serving as hosts.

S|E|A is no stranger to attracting U SPORTS championship events to Nova Scotia’s capital. The Halifax-based company is partnering with Acadia University for this year’s Men’s Final 8 after working with Dalhousie on last season’s event at the Scotiabank Centre.

The Axemen, who captured two national championships during the 1990s and have been a perennial Top 10 program over the last two decades, will host the men’s hockey national championship for the first time. Acadia’s Executive Director of Athletics, Kevin Dickie, said that the right to host the University Cup is a reflection on the program’s success. Read more ›

Axemen struggles continue with loss to Panthers

UPEI downs Acadia 6-3

Wolfville, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen (15-10-2) continued their cold streak, dropping their fifth straight game in regulation, this time 6-3 to the UPEI Panthers (9-17-1). Despite an attempted comeback late in the game, the Axemen could not make up for their poor first period, which saw them give up three goals.

The Panthers took advantage of sloppy play by the Axemen and jumped out to a dominating 3-0 lead by the end of the first period.

UPEI scored their first when Cody Payne threw a pass out to forward Gabe Guertler who tipped it through the legs of the Axemen goalie Robert Steeves to make it 1-0.

Panthers forward Marcus Power added one 11 seconds into a power-play, taking the rebound off the boards and burying it low blocker side on Steeves.

Subway First Star of the Night, Darcy Ashley snuck in on the left side of the offensive zone and netted a pass in tight from Beni Berisha to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead into the intermission.

Read more ›

Acadia drops 6-2 decision to Dalhousie

Harper with 2 assists in Axemen loss

Photo courtesy of Trevor MacMillan

By Mark Moffat

In AUS men’s hockey action at the Halifax Forum, the Dalhousie Tigers defeated the Acadia Axemen 6-2 in a game that was defined and dictated by penalties.

In the first period, Dalhousie got the first goal when Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) collected a loose puck, cut across the slot and put a backhand into the net at 2:28 to make it 1-0. The seemingly endless string of penalties started in the first period and didn’t waiver, with 10 infractions called in the first period and 21 called in the game. Both teams were playing intense out of the gate, which led to occasion skirmishes after the whistle in this period, and throughout the game. The first ended with a 1-0 Tigers lead.

The second period saw Dalhousie get another one as Josh Worthen (Dartmouth, NS) got a rebound in the slot and fired a wrist shot in at 3:14 on the powerplay to make it 2-0. Acadia struck back when Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) got the puck after some pretty passing and put a wrist shot from the slot in at 11:26 on the powerplay to narrow it to 2-1. The Tigers would regain the two goal lead as Mike Evelyn (Ottawa, ON) managed to score from in close as he was taking a spinning fall at 14:04 on the powerplay to give Dalhousie a 3-1 lead after two periods. Read more ›

Axemen fall 4-1 to StFX

Leier scores in return from injury

Antigonish, NS – In a battle of U SPORTS top ten ranked teams, the No. 2 StFX X-Men defeated the No. 7 Acadia Axemen by a 4-1 score Wednesday evening at the Charles V. Keating Centre on Bell Let’s Talk night.

After exchanging first period goals, the X-Men netted two in the second period and held on for the win.

It was the Axemen who opened the scoring in the game off a Boston Leier (Saskatoon, SK) first period goal. Carrying the puck into the StFX zone along the right-side boards, Leier deked an X-Men defender and cut towards the front of the net where he wristed a shot past X goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, NS) over his glove shoulder. Michael Zipp (Edmonton, AB) and Taylor Makin (Lethbridge, AB) picked up assists on the goal that came at 11:47.

The X-Men replied with a power play marker with 1:19 left in the opening period as defenseman Cole MacDonald (Wetaskawin, AB) passed to Craig Duininck (St. Cloud, MN) at the top of the face-off circle, who then found Matt Needham (Pentincton, BC) in front of the Axemen net. Off the quick pass Needham one-timed the puck past goaltender Robert Steeves (St. Joseph-de-Kent NB) off the backhand to even the game at one goal apiece.

In a fairly evenly matched first period the visiting Axemen held an 11-9 shot advantage.

The X-Men scored two goals in the second period, despite being outshot 10-4. The goals came off the sticks of Cole MacDonald and Michael Clarke (London, ON) as StFX took a 3-1 advantage after 40 minutes of play.

MacDonald’s goal came just over eight minutes into the period. After the X-Men did a good job to keep the puck in the Axemen zone, Jagger Dirk (Penticton, BC) unleashed a shot from the point that went wide, but a lucky bounce off the boards brought it back in front of the net and right onto the stick of MacDonald who quickly deposited it into the mesh. Holden Cook (Oshawa, ON) also had a helper.

Clarke then connected with Cook and MacDonald again at the 18:20 mark to score the X-Men’s third goal. MacDonald passed through the central ice zone to Cook who brought it into Axemen territory. Clarke took a nice drop pass from his linemate Cook and roofed the puck on a quick shot high over the blocker of Steeves.

The X-Men’s final goal of the evening came on the power play at 16:21 of the third period as Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, NS) tipped in a Kristoff Kontos (Pentanguishene, ON) shot from the point. Cody Hendsbee (Richmond, ON) also assisted on the play.

Chase Marchand with 33 saves on the night picked up his league-leading 15th win of the season. Steeves turned aside 18 pucks as the Axemen outshot the home squad 34-22.

The Axemen struggled on their power play opportunities, going 0-for-10 on the night. Read more ›

Acadia falls 6-0 to UNB

Axemen dress 16 skaters due to injuries & suspensions

(FREDERICTON, NB) Cam Brace(Etobicoke, ON) and Chris Clapperton(Cap d’Espoir, QC) each scored twice to lead the UNB Varsity Reds to a 6-0 victory over the visiting Acadia Axemen on Saturday.

Clapperton opened the scoring, just 1:22 in.

The teams then settled into a relatively even first period.

“That was our plan, to come out right away and get that first goal, so that worked,” said Varsity Reds defenceman Tristan Pomerleau(Riviere du Loup, QC).

Clapperton struck again late in the second, and Mark Simpson(Rothesay, NB) made it 3-0 just 46 seconds later.

Brace scored both his goals in the third.

“They were a little short on their side. We just stuck to the game plan,” said Brace, who noted the Varsity Reds got offence from every line. “When all lines are going, all lines are working, I think that’s the most dangerous thing about our team.”
Read more ›

UPEI tally 5 in 2nd period to top Axemen

Harper with a goal in the 5-1 loss

By Thomas Becker of UPEI

There was a power surge at MacLauchlan Arena Friday night, as the Panthers put up five goals in the second period to overpower the Acadia Axemen 5-1.

Marcus Power was in the forefront of all the action, posting a hat trick in the decisive frame. Riley Whittingham and Cody Payne were the other two skaters to hit the back of the net, while Ryan MacKinnon and Darcy Ashley recorded two assists each.

“It’s great seeing all the hard work we put in this week paying off like that,” said Power, who was named Subway Player of the Game.

With only their second win in their last 10 games, Panthers head coach Forbes MacPherson was pleased with the way his team fought against a tough Acadia (15-6-2) squad. And with only a handful of weeks remaining in the season and a pair of teams chasing them for the final two playoff spots, he’s anxious to see how they’ll respond when they hit the ice again on Saturday and beyond.

“We have to find some consistency,” he said. “Some guys played some of their best hockey in awhile tonight, so that tells me two things – how well they can play, but how inconsistent they’ve been.”  Read more ›

U SPORTS No. 6 Axemen hand No. 7 Huskies 6-2 loss

Axemen score 5 powerplay goals in victory

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 6 ranked Acadia Axemen (14-5-2) were on fire downed the visiting No. 7 Saint Mary’s Huskies (15-6-1) by a score of 6-2 in front of a near capacity crowd of 2060.

Of the eight goals scored on the night, six came on the power-play, with the Axemen going 5-for-7 on the man-advantage for the night.

The Axemen jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, despite fairly even play between the two teams for the majority of the period.

Acadia broke the scoreless tie with 6:16 remaining in the first frame, when forward Boston Leier redirected the point shot by Subway First Star of the Game, Matthew Pufahl into the top left corner of the net to make it 1-0.

The Axemen followed the old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, scoring on a nearly identical play, this time forward Sam Fioretti tipped the puck under the legs of the Huskie goaltender Cole Cheveldave to make it 2-0. Read more ›

U SPORTS No. 7 Axemen pickup 4-2 over No. 6 Huskies

Steeves stars with 36 saves in victory

(Halifax, NS) The Acadia Axemen added an empty-net goal to beat the Saint Mary’s Huskies 4-2 on Saturday night at the Halifax Forum.  It was a back and forth game, with the Huskies coming back to tie it up twice. The third Axemen lead of the night proved to be too big a hill to climb. 

Axemen tender Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.) was the player of the game – making 36 saves on the night.  Mathew Pufahl (Saskatoon, Sask.), Remy Giftopolous (Ancaster, Ont.), Sam Fioretti (Calgary, Alta.) and Taylor Makin (Blairmore, Alta.) scored for Acadia. 

Jake Coughler (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Calder Brooks (Emerald Park, Sask.) responded with goals for SMU. Bronson Beaton (Springhill, N.S.) picked up two assists. Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, Que.) got the start for the Huskies making 15 saves in the losing cause.  

Pufahl put the Axemen on the board just 23 seconds into the game. Cristiano Digiacinto (Hamilton, Ont.) and Rodney Southam picked up helpers on the play.  Coughler tied things up at 1-1 with just over 3-minutes left in the first. Beaton and Dylan Diperna (Nobleton, Ont.) had the assists. 

Read more ›