Zack Jones with a goal and an assist in the victory

HALIFAX, NS – The Acadia Axemen handed Saint Mary’s their first loss of the season, defeating the Huskies 4-2 on Saturday night in Halifax. 

The game was part of Saint Mary’s homecoming festivities, and saw the Huskies honour their 1973 National Championship men’s hockey team with a ceremonial puck-drop in front of 600+ fans in attendance at the Dauphinee Centre. 

The Axemen were looking to spoil the Huskies party, fresh off a huge 9-2 win over the UPEI Panthers on Friday night. Acadia came out the gates ready to play, peppering the Huskies net with shots, but goaltender Matthew Welsh (Halifax, NS), turned them away early. 

Huskies defenceman Ben Roger (Markham, ON) had the best opportunity of the first period for Saint Mary’s, but Axemen goaltender Brayden Peters (Taber. AB) made a nice glove save. 

Late in the period Acadia would capitalize on a four-on-three powerplay after Huskies forward Charlie Dafonseca (Thornhill, ON) was sent to the penalty box for interference. Axemen forward Brady Burns (Port Williams, NS) was stopped in front, but the rebound landed on the stick of forward Cole Nagy (Saskatoon, SK), who made no mistake, beating Welsh to put the visitors ahead 1-0. 

The Axemen would take the one goal lead into the intermission, outshooting the Huskies 17-6 through 20 minutes of play. 

Early in the second period, the Huskies pressed for an equalizer but were unable to beat Peters. Acadia would add to their lead just over four minutes into the second, as a scramble in front of the goal saw forward Nicholas Deakin-Poot (Georgetown, ON) bang a rebound past Welsh to double the visitors lead to 2-0. 

But the Huskies explosive offence showed their ability to erase a deficit in a hurry, as they would tie it up 2-2 less than a minute later. 

On the ensuing faceoff, Huskies defenceman Jaxon Bellamy (Hampton, NB) cycled around goal, dished to his partner Dennis Busby (Oro-Medonte, ON) at the point, who passed it back to Bellamy in the low slot, where he roofed a shot past Peters to cut the deficit to 2-1. 

Just 30 seconds later, the Huskies would equalize, as a strange bounce off the faceoff saw the puck deflected up into the crease, where Dafonseca knocked it into the back of the goal to tie the game at 2-2. 

Midway through the period, Axemen forward Corson Hopwo (Duncan, BC), hit Huskies defenceman Justin MacPherson (East Gwillimbury, ON) from behind, and was given a four minute double-minor. The Huskies would have several chances to take the lead on the powerplay, but where unable to capitalize. 

The game would remain deadlocked at 2-2 heading into the second intermission, with the Axemen outshooting the Huskies 14-11 in the second period. 

Five minutes into the third period, Acadia went on the powerplay and scored their second man-advantage marker of the night, as forward Brendan Sellan (Bolton, ON) had his initial shot blocked, but the rebound fell back on his stick and he lifted it past Welsh to put the Axemen up 3-2. 

The Axemen would add on to their lead several minutes later, as forward Zack Jones (North Falmouth, MA) stole the puck at the Huskies blueline and walked in untouched, firing a high shot over Welsh to extend the lead to 4-2, which would go down as the final score. 

Acadia outshot Saint Mary’s 40-28 on the night, with Brayden Peters stopping 26 shots for the win, while Matt Welsh stopped 36 shots in defeat. 

Axemen forward Zack Jones was named Player of the Game with a goal and an assist.  

The Axemen second straight improves their record to 2-1-0-1 to begin the campaign. Acadia will be back on home ice next weekend, taking on the UNB REDS on Friday and Moncton Aigles Bleus on Saturday. 

The Huskies loss drops their record to 3-1-0 on the season. Saint Mary’s will be back one home ice next weekend, as they host the Moncton Aigles Bleues on Saturday, and UNB REDS on Saturday, with puck-drop at 7 p.m. for both games at the Dauphinee Centre.  

Recap by Allan April / Saint Mary’s Huskies Athletics
Photos by Eduardo Ibarra / Saint Mary’s Huskies Athletics 

Whynot with 5 points in the victory

WOLFVILLE – The Acadia Axemen found the win column and the back of net easily on Friday night at home has they picked up a 9-2 victory over the UPEI Panthers.  

Acadia scored three goals in each period, while UPEI scored once in the first and third periods.  

Ethan Ernst scored the eventual game-winning goal in the final two minutes of the opening period, his first of the night. He finished as the only two-goal scorer of the night. 

Kentville’s Cam Whynot had a standout night after not finding the scoresheet in the opening weekend. He scored his first AUS goal 12:22 into the first period, while assisting on four other Axemen goals for a five-point night.  

Port Williams’ Brady Burns also had a multi-point night, finishing with three assists. The duo lead Acadia in scoring through three games with five points apiece.  

The Panthers goals came from Kurtis Henry in the first to make it a 1-1 game and Noah Sedore in the third, to close the gap at that point to 6-2.  

Brayden Peters made his first start between the pipes for Acadia, making 30 saves in the win. 

The Panthers Joe Ranger made 23 saves in the loss, while Jonah Capriotti made 15 saves in relief.  

Saturday night the Axemen are in Halifax to face Saint Mary’s to wrap up their weekend, while UPEI is now off until next Friday night when they host Dalhousie. 

Burns scores two in Axemen loss

The Dalhousie Tigers earned their first win of the season with a 4-3 shootout win over the Acadia Axemen on Saturday night in Halifax.  

The Axemen opened the scoring halfway through the first period. Ethan Ernst (Weyburn, SK) found Brady Burns (Port Williams, NS) with a cross ice pass which Burns put home in the top corner of Nicholas Chenard’s (Tecumseh, ON) net.  

Dalhousie returned from the first intermission with a fire lit under them. Alec Belanger (Quebec, PQ) pulled the Tigers level just three minutes into the second period off a feed from Evan MacKinnon (Beaverbank, NS).  

Fifteen minutes later the Tigers went on the powerplay and Belanger got his second of the game off a scramble in front of the Acadia net to put the Tigers up 2-1. The second period would end with the Tigers holding their first lead of the season.  

Burns opened the scoring in third frame with his second of the game, banking in his own rebound off a feed from Zach Jones (North Falmouth, MA).  

Late in the frame, Derek Gentile (Sydney, NS) broke down the wing with five minutes left in the game and was able to beat Thomas Couture (Levis, QC) with a shot off the post and in. Minutes later Acadia tied it up again, but this time it was Erst getting his first of the season on a breakaway.  

Neither team could break the tie in the final minutes of the game, forcing an overtime period. After an uneventful overtime period, the Tigers and Axemen went to a shootout.  

The Tigers elected to shoot first, sending Gentile out for the open attempt. Gentile found the back of the net and scored the only goal of the shootout, giving the Tigers a 4-3 win and their first points of the season.  

Alec Belanger was named the player of the game for his two-goal performance. 

The Dalhousie Tigers hit the road next weekend for a New Brunswick road trip, visiting UNB on Friday and the Aigles Bleus on Saturday.  

The Axemen return home to host the UPEI Panthers on Friday at 7pm.  

Written by Chelsea Norris, Dalhousie Athletics  

Couture with 31 saves in Axemen loss

The Acadia Axemen and the StFX X-Men squared off in Wolfville to open the regular season on Friday night, with the visitors coming out on top 3-2 in a hard-fought battle.

 

The story of the opening period was the goaltending, as both netminders made save after save, including a number of highlight reel saves both by Acadia’s Thomas Couture, who made a glove save to rob a StFX forward of an open net, and Joseph Raaymakers, who made at least 4 saves on point blank shots by Acadia from the slot. The period ended scoreless with Acadia getting the edge in shots on goal 17-14.

 

The second period saw only one goal, as StFX’s Struthers buried a rebound past Couture to make it 1-0. Again, both netminders were the story, turning aside the offensive attacks. The shots after 2 periods were 33-28 in favour of the Axemen.

 

The teams exploded with 4 goals in the 3rd period including 3 goals within 2:22, as Bailey Peach tied the game at 1 on the powerplay when he one timed a pass from Charlie Desroches into the back of the StFX net at 3:18. Cole Nagy picked up the second assist on the goal. Then just 53 seconds later, at 4:11 of the period, Brendan Sellan put a backhander between the legs of Raaymakers to give the Axemen a 2-1 lead. Zack Jones picked up the assist on the goal.

 

StFX answered right back though just over a minute later at 5:40 when Declan Smith tied the game at 2. The X-Men regained the lead on the powerplay for good when Wiles let a shot go from the point that beat a screened Thomas Couture at 11:57 of the 3rd period.

 

Acadia pressed for the equalizer on a 4 minute powerplay late in the 3rd period but couldn’t beat Raaymakers. Final shots on goal in the game, Acadia with 51, StFX with 34.

 

The Axemen were without Peyton Hoyt who was serving the final game of his 3 game suspension dating back to game 2 of the SMU semi-final playoff series, and also Nick Deakin-Poot, who was serving his 1st of 2 games in his suspension from an altercation in the final game of the same SMU series.

 

Acadia heads to Halifax on Saturday night to face the Dal Tigers (0-1), while StFX hosts SMU (1-0).

Morgan Nauss named Acadia Team Captain

Acadia Axemen ’23-’24 leadership group pictured from left to right: Nick Deakin-Poot, Peyton Hoyt, Morgan Nauss, Hudson Wilson, Merrick Rippon, & Reilly Webb.

The Acadia Axemen are proud to announce their leadership group for the 2023-24 season. Hammonds Plains’ native Morgan Nauss will be the Axemen team captain this season, with alternate captains Hudson Wilson, Reilly Webb, Merrick Rippon, Nick Deakin-Poot & Peyton Hoyt.

Acadia Head Coach Darren Burns made the announcement during practice on Thursday, and afterwards said, “We are very proud to announce our captains for this year’s team. In taking into consideration player voting and our coaching staff’s assessment, it was clear that all of these players deserved to wear a letter; they certainly check all the boxes for what we want our program to embody.

Morgan Nauss will wear the ‘C’ . Without question, he has been a team player from day one. He is a very underrated player who always puts team first. We feel extremely confident that this group will lead our team on and off the ice this season with integrity, commitment and respect for Acadia.”

 

Nauss, a 4th year defenceman with the team, played his junior career with the Halifax Mooseheads and Chicoutimi Sagueneens, he was an assistant captain for Chicoutimi for 2 seasons. Over 5 seasons and 285 regular season QMJHL games, he amassed 96 points. Morgan joined the Axemen in 2019-20 and has played in 63 regular season games, with 8 points. Nauss takes over the captaincy from Jack Flaman who graduated from the program following last season.

We caught up with the new Captain, and Nauss said, “It is an honour to be named Captain of the Acadia Axemen. I plan to lead by example on and off the ice, along with many other leaders we have on our team.”

Alternative Captains Hudson Wilson and Reilly Webb, both wore the ‘A’ last year as well for the Axemen. Wilson played majority of his junior career with the Ottawa 67’s before ending his 5th season with the Peterborough Petes. He committed to Acadia in 2020-21, however the season was cancelled due to the pandemic, so is beginning his 3rd season and has played 40 regular season games, with 9 points. Wilson was an assistant captain with Ottawa in 2018-19.

 

Reilly Webb split his OHL career with the Hamilton Bulldogs and Saginaw Spirit, and like Wilson, joined Acadia in the cancelled 20-21 season. He enters his 3rd season playing in 51 games with 12 points.

 

Merrick Rippon played majority of his junior career with the Ottawa 67’s after a half a season with the Mississauga Steelheads in 2017-18. He enters his 3rd season with the Axemen after joining Acadia in 2021-22, and has played in 48 regular season games, scoring 16 points from the blueline.

 

Nick Deakin-Poot, split his junior career between the OHL’s Guelph Storm and the QMJHL’s Saint John SeaDogs. He was an assistant captain for his final season with the SeaDogs in 2019-20, before joining Acadia before the pandemic cancelled season in ’20-’21. The forward is playing in his 3rd season, after playing in 46 games in his first 2 seasons, with 20 points, adding 4 points in 8 playoff games.

 

Peyton Hoyt, played his QMJHL career with 3 teams, spending 2 seasons with the Cape Breton Eagles, before moving on to Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, and finishing his last season and a half with the Val-d’Or Foreurs. Hoyt was an assistant captain for the Foreurs in his final season. After the cancelled season with Acadia, Peyton has played in 49 regular season games, scoring 28 points in 2 seasons, adding 3 points in 5 playoff games.

 

Acadia hits the ice for their regular season opener on Friday night, when they host the StFX X-Men at 7pm at the Andrew H. McCain Arena. Get your tickets today at the Acadia Box Office or online at acadiau.universitytickets.com