Burns Entering his 14th Season at the Helm of the Axemen

story courtesy of thechronicleherald.ca by Cameron Davidson

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Entering into his 14th season at the helm of the Axemen Hockey squad, head coach Darren Burns has led the Axemen to 10 straight playoff appearances, and to two AUS (Atlantic University Sport) Championships, one in 2005/06 and another this past season. Burns has been at Acadia since 1990, though was an assistant coach elsewhere for four years while living in the Annapolis Valley. Burns also played his university hockey as an Axemen from 1990-1995, winning a CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) National Championship in 1992-93. Burns added another National Championship as an assistant coach with the Axemen in 1995-96.

Burns, now age 44, was initially drawn to Acadia as a player to pursue a teaching career. “I wanted to go where hockey was still important and was a big part of the community and school. A place that followed hockey like a junior team, and Acadia definitely had that, and still does,” he said.

Last year’s AUS Championship was massive for both Axemen Hockey and the amazing local fans. “It was important for the program to win the AUS Championship for sure. It was a great experience. It is something that we cannot take for granted and we need to strive for higher achievements. The thing that meant the most to me was seeing the sense of accomplishment for the players and seeing how excited the community was. Anytime something good happens for Acadia and the surrounding area, I am happy.”

With respect to the diehard Axemen Hockey fan base, Burns adds, “It is vital for our program to have the support it does. There is no hockey team in the CIS that gets the support our players and team does. It’s not even describable how important it is. It’s very motivating for me as a coach and for the players.”

Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Burns talked about what the recruiting front was coming into this year. “Our recruiting for this season is like every other; our players need to be great people who realize they are leaders on campus and in the community and want to strive for excellence.” As for what fans should expect to see in 2014/15, “I would expect fans are going to see a committed team who skates well, moves the puck well, and does not get outworked. This is an expectation of our program. [The AUS] will be a very tough league this year.”

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Moyer playing for Karlskrona in Sweden

RussMoyerAcadia Alumnus Russ Moyer is back across the pond for another year of hockey. This season Russ will be suiting up for Karlskrona HK of the Allsvenskan hockey league in Sweden. The Allsvenskan league is the second highest level of hockey in Sweden and consists of 14 teams playing a 52 game regular season.

The former Acadia University defenceman, known for his offensive prowess, was an Axemen from 2003-2007, winning an AUS championship with the Axemen in 2006. Following his time with Acadia, Moyer played in the IHL, AHL, and CHL with North American teams before moving overseas to play in Denmark and in the Swedish Division 1 league, before playing last season in the Allsvenskan with current rival Oskarshamn.

Here is an interview Russ did this month after a preseason game.

Good luck on the upcoming season Russ!

Owens gets invitation from IceCaps

John Browne

Published on August 12, 2014 in Newfoundland’s paper The Telegram

St. John’s native and AUS all-star will attend AHL team’s training camp

Chris Owens is ready for the next step in his hockey career. The 24-year-old St. John’s native who helped the Acadia Axemen win the AUS championship in his final year of university hockey, has been invited to the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps training camp, scheduled for Sept. 28-29 at Mile One Centre.

Defenceman Chris Owens, shown playing with the Acadia University Axemen last season, has received an invitation to attend the training camp of the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps next month. © Photo by Peter Oleskevich/Acadia University
Defenceman Chris Owens, shown playing with the Acadia University Axemen last season, has received an invitation to attend the training camp of the American Hockey League’s St. John’s IceCaps next month.
© Photo by Peter Oleskevich/Acadia University

“I’m looking forward to it,” Owens said Monday. “I grew up here, so it’s cool to get a shot with a professional team at home.”

Owens said top-notch conditioning is a priority with him and he’s been working out all summer to be in the best shape possible.

“You need to be ready to compete,” said the 5-10, 190 pound defenceman who was a first-team conference all-star last season

Busy times

He’s also helping out at four Newfoundland and Labrador hockey schools, including the Danny Cleary Hockey School at Jack Byrne Arena and the Atlantic Ice Warriors Hockey School in Clarenville, both running this month.

Owens says he brings “a pretty good offensive upside and strong defensive game” to the table for those teams interested in his services.

“I’m smart with the puck and I make a pretty good first pass,” he added.

Owens had 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists) in 28 games with the Axemen last season and averaged almost a point per game in his four years at Acadia with 104 points (30 goals, 74 assists) in 109 games.Read more »

Graduated Pats Look Toward New Opportunities

This is an outtake from an article, for the complete article, please visit http://reginapats.com/article/graduated-pats-look-toward-new-opportunities

By Daniel Fink – ReginaPats.com

Boston Leier
Axemen Recruit Boston Leier

Regina, Saskatchewan – As the Regina Pats move ever closer to the 2014-15 season, three members of last year’s squad look to take the next steps in their hockey careers.  Dyson Stevenson, Boston Leier and Jesse Zgraggen were the Pats’ three overage players in the 2013-14 season.  All three continue their hockey careers in the upcoming year, all following different paths.  Stevenson plays his first season of professional hockey with the AHL’s Portland Pirates, Leier heads to Acadia University to suit up for the Axemen in the CIS and Zgraggen ventures across the Atlantic to play for Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss Elite League.

For Boston Leier, the decision to head east and play for Acadia while attending school came from a desire to find new challenges and a different environment.

“Me and a friend of mine went on a recruiting trip out there and it’s a pretty exciting place,” said Leier.  “Everyone there is a pretty tight knit family and it just seemed like the kind of place I wanted to be.  I really wanted to experience something different.  It’s not every day something like that comes up and I wanted to take advantage of it while I could.”

Of course it didn’t hurt that Leier’s coach for the 2013-14 season, Malcolm Cameron, is an alumni of the Axemen.

“Malcolm talked about (Acadia) very highly and he was a good influence on (choosing Acadia) too.  Obviously I made my own decisions though.  I know the athletic director out there pretty well, he’s a good family friend of ours.  He said he thought it was a very good fit for me.”

As with anything in life, moving to a new stage of a hockey career presents new challenges.  All three players, face different hurdles to overcome on and off the ice with their new teams and leagues.Read more »

Acadia Hockey & Atlantic Hockey Group Partner to Present Specialized Camp

The participants of the POE Under 14 specialized Acadia hockey camp in partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group
The participants of the POE Under 14 specialized Acadia hockey camp in partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group

This past weekend, August 8-10th, the Acadia University Axemen men’s hockey team partnered with the Atlantic Hockey Group to present a specialized POE Prep Hockey Camp, for the Under 14, 2002 birth dates at the Acadia Arena in Wolfville.

The weekend was a great success with over 25 participants learning from Axemen coaches, players, and Atlantic Hockey Group instructors. The kids had the opportunity to experience the expertise of Acadia University’s world class Kinesiology department as well as the strength and conditioning leadership of  Elliott Richardson. Goaltenders had specialized learning from Axemen Assistant Coach, & former QMJHL and Acadia goalie Michael Chiasson.

Acadia Axemen Coach Darren Burns had the following to say about the camp, “It was a tremendous weekend of hockey and a great experience for the kids. It was not an easy weekend as the kids had three practices and four games in three days.”

The newly formed partnership with the Atlantic Hockey Group allows the Acadia hockey camp program to utilize the Atlantic Group’s professionalism, experienced and well respected coaches along with Acadia’s university players to bring in the top aspiring players in Atlantic Canada at this age level.

Burns concluded, “It is important on so many levels for kids in our Atlantic region to play with and against each other. It will only help them improve their game. It was a great success and we will begin planning futures events like this one right away.”

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Burbidge, Pettet named to NS Hockey U18 team

The Acadia Axemen hockey program would like to wish our congratulations to Maggie Burbidge of Falmouth, who has been named to the Under 18 Nova Scotia Female Hockey team for 2014-15.

Maggie Burbidge
Maggie Burbidge

Maggie, who is currently just 13 years old until mid-January, has played her minor hockey with the Acadia Axemen minor hockey program. She was named to the team in a posted letter from the Hockey Nova Scotia’s High Performance Development Committee on the Hockey Nova Scotia website.

You can read the full post here: http://www.hockeynovascotia.ca/hns_12370_51292.html

Last season, Burbidge was a member of the Acadia Peewee AAA hockey team, and attended school at Newbridge Academy in Lower Sackville, where she was enrolled in the advanced hockey program.

Topping the year off, Maggie was selected to the East Coast Selects Q team, composed of girls from the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and the eastern U.S., from Maine to New York State, competing in the World Selects Invitational tournament in Finland. Maggie is the daughter of Jeff & Alana Burbidge.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns had the following to say, “It has been an absolute pleasure to watch what Maggie has done so far in her young career. She is a tremendous role model for the players in the valley on, and off the ice.”

Burns who coached Burbidge last year with her Peewee AAA team added, “We are extremely proud of her accomplishments and Acadia Hockey looks forward to following her for years to come.”

Brette Pettet
Brette Pettet

Also named to the team was Kentville native Brette Pettet, who finished last season on the Team Atlantic Canada under 18 team, while playing the rest of the season with Minnesota Prep School, Shattuck St. Mary’s. Brette is just 15 years of age, and was a big part of Shattuck St. Mary’s U.S. national U-16 Tier 1 girls’ hockey championship win in 2013. At the time, she was the only Grade 8 student on a team made up mostly of Grade 9 to 11s.

Congratulations to both Maggie and Brette on this outstanding achievement.

Former Acadia coach helped guide tiny nation Latvia to successful Olympics

Halifax native Tom Coolen, an assistant coach with Latvia, draws up a play on the bench during a third-period timeout in his team’s Olympic hockey quarter-final against Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Wednesday. (MARK HUMPHREY / CP)
Halifax native Tom Coolen, an assistant coach with Latvia, draws up a play on the bench during a third-period timeout in his team’s Olympic hockey quarter-final against Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia on Wednesday. (MARK HUMPHREY / CP)
Tom Coolen has climbed from the AUS to the NHL.

The former Acadia Axemen hockey coach was named one of four assistants to Buffalo Sabres’ head coach Ted Nolan earlier this week.

The Sabres announced Aug. 4 he would join Nolan’s staff in Buffalo, along with Bryan Trottier, Danny Flynn and goaltending coach Arturs Irb.

Coolen, 60, was born and raised in Halifax and is best known around Nova Scotia for building an AUS dynasty at Acadia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He guided the Axemen to their first-ever national hockey championship in 1993 and you could even go so far as to say he helped raise the profile of the entire conference on the CIS landscape.
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Inside Acadia athletics: Athletic director Kevin Dickie

original post at http://thechronicleherald.ca/community/annapolis-valley/1226553-inside-acadia-athletics-athletic-director-kevin-dickie

Athletics - AAcadia University athletics have rich history and a longstanding winning tradition in each respective program. High quality facilities as well as tremendous local fan support help make an Acadia afternoon on the turf, or evening in the rink unbeatable. The man at the helm of Acadia’s athletic prowess is athletic director, Kevin Dickie.

Dickie started as athletic director at the University of New Brunswick in 2005, before returning to Acadia in 2011. Dickie had prior coached a very successful Axemen hockey team for three years beginning in 1997. He led the team to three consecutive AUS (Atlantic University Sport) hockey conference final appearances and to the CIS championship game in 1998. “Acadia’s National reputation drew me to Acadia originally, and the chance to coach one of the best hockey programs in Canada,” Kevin says. “What drew us back to Wolfville was the community and the leadership on Acadia’s campus.”

With big upgrades coming to the athletics complex this summer, Dickie said, “The upgrade in our facilities, thanks to the McCain Family, will do three things; help us be a national program as facilities are that important. It will also help us attract future partnerships to improve other areas of our facility, as well as enhance campus life for both our students and community.”Read more »

Rapaces GapAcadia Axemen alumnus goaltender Kristofer Westblom will be playing overseas this season (2014-15) for Les Rapaces de Gap of the Magnus League in France.

Westblom spent last season with the Central Hockey League’s Brampton Beast after spending the past 2 seasons with the Dayton Gems and Fort Worth Brahmas, also of the CHL.

Westblom spent 3 seasons playing for the Axemen from 2008-11, including 62 regualr season games, amassing a 34-27 record. kris_westblomWestblom (class of 2011) was the 2010-11 Atlantic Conference recipient of the Godfrey Award. The Godfrey Award, named after Dr. Bill Godfrey, is given annually to the player who best represents the spirit of intercollegiate hockey by his leadership both on and off the ice and by his conduct throughout the season.

Kris was named to the AUS first team all stars in the 2009-10 season, and was also named to the AUS All-Rookie team in 2008-09.

Prior to playing for Acadia University, Kristofer was a standout goalie in the Western Hockey Junior League for the Kelowna Rockets. He was drafted in the 2005 NHL Amateur draft, in the third round, 65th overall by the Minnesota Wild.

To follow Kris throughout the year, check out Gap’s website at http://lesrapacesdegap.free.fr/accueil.php