Mallards Sign Prolific Veteran Kevin Baker

By: Mallards Communications Staff on

Former Axemen Kevin Baker signs with the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League after his previous team the Arizona Sundogs abruptly folded last month.
Former Axemen Kevin Baker signs with the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League after his previous team the Arizona Sundogs abruptly folded last month.
The Quad City Mallards have signed forward Kevin Baker, the Mallards announced today.
Baker, 35, scored 34 goals- tied for third most in the Central Hockey League- and totaled 64 points in 65 games with the Arizona Sundogs last season.  The Kingston, Ontario native also finished fifth in the CHL in power play goals (11) last year.  He went on to score five more goals and tack on nine points in 11 playoff games while pushing the Sundogs to an opening round upset of top-seeded Missouri and a berth in the semi-finals.
“When Arizona and Denver players became available, Kevin was one guy I really wanted to get,” said Mallards coach and general manager Terry Ruskowski.  “He’s not just a good player, he’s also a good person, someone who can provide leadership for our younger guys.  He’s someone we can count on to come through when the chips are down.”
The 6’ 1, 192-pound Baker joins the Mallards for his eleventh professional season having produced 276 goals and 327 assists for 603 points in 686 career games.  Along the way, Baker was named 2008-09 ECHL Most Valuable Player and 2005-06 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Player of the Year and twice (in 2006-07 and 2008-09) made the All-ECHL First Team.
Baker has scored 30 or more goals in back-to-back seasons and rung up 27 or more each of the last three years.  In all, he has found the net 30 or more times in a campaign on five occasions and scored at least 27 goals in six of his last seven seasons in North America.

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Former Axemen to play in Central Hockey League

Former Axemen Dustin Ekelman joins the Brampton Beast for the 2014-15 season (Photo By Josh Schaefer/CIS University Cup)
Former Axemen Dustin Ekelman joins the Brampton Beast for the 2014-15 season (Photo By Josh Schaefer/CIS University Cup)
09/29/2014 9:54 AM – original post on
BRAMPTON, ON – The Brampton Beast announced today that Grant Rollheiser will be playing between the pipes for a second year. The Beast also agreed to terms today with forwards Dustin Ekelman and Linden Bahm for the 2014-15 season.
Rollheiser was 6th round draft pick for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  The 6 foot 225 pound goalie had 871 saves in 30 games, with a .906 save percentage in the Beast’s inaugural year. In early November of last season ‘Rollie the Goalie’ led the Central Hockey League in save percentage at .956 and was second in goals against average with a 1.62 mark.
“I enjoyed being in Brampton last year,” said Rollheiser. “The fans, my teammates and our staff were great and I had a great experience with the organization last season.” Prior to the Beast, the Chilliwack native played for the Wichita Thunder and had his first professional appearance with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL. Rollheiser played four years at Boston University and helped champion the nationals in his freshman year.
Linden Bahm is a new addition to the Beast this year.  The right-winger played four years at Carleton University and finished his career with a total of 68 points in 119 games. The Kinburn, Ontario native is excited to get back on the ice and make his first professional appearance with the Beast.
Dustin Ekelman will also be joining the Beast this upcoming season. Originally from Whitby, Ontario, the rookie forward played four years at Acadia University and had 48 points in 113 games. Ekelman played alongside recent Beast signing Matt McCready in his first year of junior with the Toronto St. Michael’s Majors. The 25-year old looks to contribute energy and physical play to the Beast lineup this year.
The Beast start their season on Friday, October 24th at 7:30PM at the Powerade Centre. Individual game tickets are now on sale. Season tickets and group pricing is available for purchase. Visit or call for more information. For media inquiries or questions, please contact Mallory Dayot, Manager of Marketing at ext. 214 or

Acadia Downs Dal 7-2 in Liverpool, NS

The Acadia Axemen take warmup at Liverpool's  Queens Memorial Arena
The Acadia Axemen take warmup at Liverpool’s Queens Memorial Arena

The Acadia Axemen took to the road Friday for an AUS hockey exhibition game against the Dalhousie Tigers in Liverpool on Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore. The game was played at the Queens Memorial Arena.

The Axemen were victorious, downing the Tigers by a score of 7-2.

Acadia’s Brett Thompson opened the scoring in the first period, converting on the power play. Not long after that linemate Mike Cazzola got his first of two on the night to put the Axemen up 2-0. Before the period ended, Dalhousie closed the gap to one with a goal.

There was no scoring in the 2nd period, but the third period made up for the lack of scoring in the second. It started with Scott Trask getting on the board, but the Tigers battled back again, this time on the powerplay, to make it a 3-2 game.

From there the Axemen took over scoring 4 straight goals. Captain Liam Heelis answered back to regain Acadia’s 2 goal lead, Mike Cazzola notched his second of the game, and Travis Gibbons and Joel Ridgeway rounded out the scoring for Acadia.

The Axemen are heading to the United States next weekend for 2 exhibition games against NCAA opponents in Quinnipiac and Northeastern. The game against Quinnipiac is Saturday at 8pm Atlantic, and Sunday’s game versus Northeastern will be at 5pm Atlantic time.

Acadia opens up their AUS regular season October 11th on the road against the Dal Tigers at the Halifax Forum.

Athletics - AAcadia defeated Moncton 4-2 Sept. 18 in men’s hockey in an exhibition match in Cocagne, N.B.

Rookie Boston Leier scored twice for the Axemen; Sam Fioretti and Mike Cazzola each added a goal for the Acadia side.

The Aigles Bleus will visit Wolfville Sept. 24 and then the Axemen travel to Liverpool for an exhibition game against Dal Sept. 26

Athletics - A

Written by John Decoste Posted on Published on September 17, 2014

The Acadia hockey Axemen got their 2014-2015 season off to a positive start, scoring a 3-2 win over the Dalhousie Tigers in their pre-season opener Sept. 17 at the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick.

Rookie Zach Franko’s goal at 16:56 of the third period stood up as the game-winner, the only goal of the final 20 minutes after the teams had ended the first period tied 1-1 and the second deadlocked 2-2.

Andrew Rieder opened the scoring for the Tigers with an even-strength goal at 3:44 of the first period. The Axemen got on the board about 10 minutes later, at 13:34 when Taylor Makin scored on the power play.

Boston Leier, one of several first-year players in the Acadia lineup, gave the Axemen a 2-1 lead with an even-strength goal at 16:26 of the second period.

Before the period ended, the Axemen got into some penalty trouble, taking three straight minor penalties. Tanner Williams made them pay for their indiscretion, tying the score for the Tigers at 19:49 with his team enjoying a five-on-three pwer play.

Acadia had an 11-6 edge in shots in the first period, Dal outshot the Axemen 15-14 in the second, and Acadia had a solid 15-4 advantage in the third for a 40-25 edge overall. Each team scored once on the power play.

Liam Heelis to Attend Florida Panthers Prospect Camp

Most Outstanding Player Liam Heelis Blaine Favel

Acadia Axemen captain Liam Heelis will be taking his show on the road later this week; all the way to Florida and Tennessee! Liam, the reigning CIS Men’s Hockey MVP, will take part in the NHL’s Florida Panthers prospect camp from Sept 11-16.

The 23 year old, Heelis will join 2 goalies, eight defenseman and 14 other forwards. Included in those prospects is last year’s first overall pick in the NHL entry draft, Aaron Ekblad, who was also a junior teammate of current Axemen defenceman Chris Buonomo with the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

The prospect camp will be composed of a day of medical and physical testing, an on ice practice in Florida, followed by a round robin tournament in Nashville, Tennessee between 4 teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators & the Florida Panthers.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns expressed his excitement for Heelis saying, “We are very excited for Liam that he has been invited back to Florida’s camp. We believe he continues to get better as a player and this opportunity will be another positive step in his goal of playing in the NHL. He has continued to work hard and it will be good for him to get this experience heading into our season.”

Also on the prospect roster for the Panthers is Saint Mary’s Huskies forward Stephen MacAuley, UNB defenceman Keevan Cutting, former Halifax Moosehead Mackenzie Weegar, and Glace Bay native Logan Shaw, who played last season with San Antonio of the AHL.Read more »

Training Camp is Here

Originally posted on 2014-08-28

coach_youngThe first in a series of blogs by coach Travis Young.

Hello Lumberjack fans, and welcome to another exciting season of MHL action.  Training camp is less than a week away, and I know I speak for everyone in the organization when I say that we are very excited to see what the 2014-2015 season brings.  For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Travis Young and I have been the Head Coach of your Lumberjacks since January of 2014.

It has been a very busy off-season for the organization, highlighted by an exciting draft in Summerside where many future Lumberjacks were selected.  We look forward to seeing many of these draft picks, along with a very hungry group of returning players and some exciting free agents, compete at our training camp.

Personally, I am looking forward to my first full season behind the Jacks bench.  The last 6 weeks of the 2013-2014 season provided me with a wonderful opportunity to evaluate our team and address some areas of weakness.  I thought that as a group we made great strides, and competed extremely hard during a difficult part of the season.  The goal now, is to bring that mindset into training camp and carry it over throughout the upcoming season.  In speaking with both our returning players and incoming prospects, I know they have put the work in during the summer and are all focused on doing whatever it takes to bring a successful season to the South Shore.  Read more »

Campbellton Tigers Jr A Coach returning to familiar territory

Story by Will MacLaren – posted originally on 2014-08-27

troy_ryanThe bench boss of the Campbellton Tigers has been named an assistant coach for Team Canada East at the 2014 World Jr.A Challenge. This year’s tournament takes place from Dec.14-20 in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

Ryan, the 42 year old Halifax native, will be making his fifth appearance as assistant in the tournament, previous serving in the same role from 2006-2009. As well, the long time MHL and CIS coach and executive served as the Canada East’s General Manager in 2010.

Despite being there before, the chance to participate in the event is one that never gets old for Ryan.

“Anytime you have the opportunity to work with Hockey Canada and the Canadian Junior Hockey League it is a privilege and honour,” he said. “I am looking forward to representing the Campbellton Tigers and the Maritime Hockey League on an International stage. I would like to thank the selection committee, the Maritime hockey league, and the Campbellton Tigers organization for helping provide this opportunity.”

Ryan has more than a decade of coaching experience in the MHL and university hockey, winning MHL Coach of the Year and Hockey Nova Scotia Coach of the Year in 2007-08, and leading the Pictou County Crushers to an appearance at the RBC Cup in 2008.

In addition to Ryan, Team Canada East will feature head coach Marty Abrams (Wellington Dukes – OJHL) and assistants Mark Grady (Smith Falls – CCHL) and Marc Lafleur (Kirkland Lake – NOJHL). The staff is hoping to help Team Canada East rebound from a disappointing sixth place finish at the 2013 tournament in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.Read more »