Harper & Stallard with 3 points each

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – With 1:44 remaining in the game and a 4-2 lead, the hockey Axemen almost threw away a win.

In less than two minutes remaining in regulation time, the StFX X-Men tied the game at four to force the game into overtime.

At 4:42 of the extra period, Stephen Harper was hauled down on a breakaway and the story was written. Last season’s top goal scorer for the Axemen made no mistake in ending the game on a penalty shot as he beat Blade Mann-Dixon low on the blocker side.

“I have seen him in practice and he has that scoring touch, so I had all my money in him,” commented Rodney Southam following the game when asked what his thoughts were when Harper capitalized on the penalty shot to win.

While the score told one story, the shots on goal told another. The Axemen outshot the U SPORTS No. 3 ranked X-men 39-29 and it wasn’t until the third period that StFX held that advantage based on several powerplay opportunities.

The opening period saw both teams exchange goals only seconds after the other scored.

Jordy Stallard scored his first of two goals at 5:51 of the first frame. Forty-one seconds later, Dan Robertson replied on a short side glove hand shot that beat Logan Flodell.

At the 16:46 mark, StFX took their first lead of the game that lasted 42 seconds. Cole MacDonald scored his first of two goals, beating Flodell from the same spot on the ice as the previous goal, but the blocker hand side on the powerplay. (more…)

DiGiacinto scores a pair in Axemen win

HALIFAX, NS – In a rematch of the game from last Friday night, the Dalhousie Tigers once again hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Halifax Forum. The Axemen were able to get the best of the Tigers in the second matchup, as they took the 4-1 win.  

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to open the scoring in this one as a weak shot from the sideboards was kicked away by Logan Flodell (Regina, SK), but it rolled all the way to the point for Connor Welsh (Halifax, NS) to fire back. Welsh’s shot took a deflection off an Axemen defender in front and caught Flodell by surprise and snuck under the pad to make it 1-0.  

At the back end of a power-play opportunity, the Axemen were able to answer back when a juicy rebound created a crowd in front, and after multiple short-range shots were stopped by Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS), Mason McCarty (Blackie, AB) was able to collect another rebound at the post and managed to lift it over the outstretched pad of Pickard to even the score midway through the period.  

Both teams had a few quality shots on odd-man rush chances late in the period, but the first period ended with the teams even at 1-1.  

On a great breakout play from their own end, Eric Henderson (Kingsville, ON) crossed the blue-line down the left side and made a fantastic turn toward the boards to wrap a no-look backhand pass across the slot for Cristiano Digiacinto (Hamilton, ON) to hammer a one-timer into the opposite corner to give his team the lead at the midway point of the second.  

The Tigers were given a few power-play chances in the period, but the Axemen were able to do a great job of crowding the slot area to clog passing lanes and force the Tigers to take outside shots that were unable to get through the traffic.  

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Colella leads Acadia with 2 pts

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – In Friday night hockey action, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Halifax Forum. The Axemen were able to pick their attacking opportunities in this one and come away with a 2-1 win. 

There was plenty of back and forth action to start the game, but the scoring chances were limited in the early minutes.  

The Tigers got the first major scoring chance in the period, breaking in on a two-on-one chance with Jonathan Cyr (Ottawa, ON) receiving a nice pass right at the top of the crease, but Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) made a great play to break it up.  

The Axemen were able to counter with a chance of their own starting from behind the Tigers goal, with Mason McCarty (Blackie, AB) made a move around the post to try to jam it in, but the rebound bounced out for Rodney Southam (Saskatoon, SK) to take a swing at as well, but Reilly Pickard (Halifax, NS) stood strong against the post.  

After a fairly quiet first frame, the teams went into the break scoreless.  

It didn’t take long for the Axemen to change that in the second period, however, on an Axemen power play. Ross MacDougall (St. Stephen, NB) hammered a shot from the point that Maurizio Colella (Tottenham, ON) made a great play to redirect in the slot to send it under the pad of Pickard to open the scoring.  

The Axemen continued to generate attacking pressure after the goal, hungry for another. They came close to finding another one with Loch Morrison (Christopher Lake, SK) blasting a slap shot from the point that got over the glove of Pickard, but rang off the bar and out of play.  

Late in the period, the Tigers turned the puck over in the attacking zone, and a great chip play along the boards by McCarty forced the Tigers defenders to pinch, but McCarty was able to get clear for a breakaway. Coming down the right side, McCarty picked his spot and fired a hard shot over the blocker of Pickard and popped the water bottle to make it 2-0.  

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Stallard with 4 points in Acadia win

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen closed out the opening weekend of AUS regular season play with a statement 6-4 win against the reigning U SPORTS Champions, the UNB Reds.

Saturday night’s match-up between the UNB Reds and the Acadia Axemen began with one of the quieter periods of hockey this year at the Andrew H. McCain Arena. Neither team found the back of the net as both Acadia goalie Logan Flodell and UNB goalie Samuel Harvey were rock solid between the pipes, making 11 saves each.

UNB opened the scoring, just under five minutes into the second frame. Tristan Pomerleau circled from the Acadia blueline and darted down the left-wing boards, before driving the net and finishing off his own rebound through the five-hole of goalie Logan Flodell. The goal was assisted by Stephen Anderson and Patrick Watling.

Axemen Captain Liam Maskaant responded with his first goal of the season after a 3 on 2 rush concluded with Maskaant’s wrister being deflected into the top corner over the UNB goaltender’s glove. Eric Henderson and Jordy Stallard grabbed assists on the play.

Just 19 seconds later, forward Jack Flaman gave Acadia the lead beating Samuel Harvey with a wicked wrist shot following a play made by teammate Ross MacDougall. The goal was Flaman’s first of the regular season. (more…)

Corneil with goal & assist for Acadia

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen were handed their first loss of the regular season at their home opener on Friday night, as the visiting Moncton Aigles Bleus defeated them by a score of 5-2.

The Axemen were the first team on the board, a little over halfway through the first frame. Forward Johnny Corneil snatched the puck from the Moncton defenceman at the Acadia blue line and bolted up the ice eventually deking out the Moncton goalie, sliding home his first goal of the season.

Les Aigles Bleus responded with just 2:34 left in the first when Wilson Forest ripped a perfect slapshot from the point that beat Acadia goalie Dawson Carty over his shoulder. The powerplay goal was assisted by Maxime St-Cyr and Robbie Graham.

The two teams went to the dressing room following the first period tied up at 1.

Moncton was first to score in the second, just 1:38 into the period. Forward Joey Richard received a pass on the left-wing and wristed a shot through the Acadia defenceman beating Carty to the short-side. Maxime St-Cyr tallied his second assist of the night and Danick Crete also assisted on the goal. (more…)

Recruit to join Axemen in 2020-21

Photo courtesy of Eric Wynne & Chronicle Herald

The Axemen aren’t waiting until the offseason to get commitments from future recruits. Tyler Hinam, who was a QMJHL and CHL Memorial Cup Champion last season with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, has announced he will join the Acadia Axemen starting in the 2020-21 season.

The Cole Harbour native, has spent his entire junior career with the Huskies, after playing two years of major midget with the Halifax Macs. Through his first 3 seasons in the QMJHL, Hinam scored 97 points in 182 regular season games, and he is off to a strong start this season with 5 points in just 2 regular season games. The 6’1 right winger will add strength, skill and intensity to the Axemen lineup.

Hinam was excited with finalizing his decision to join the Axemen saying, “I chose Acadia for a number of reasons. I really wanted to play closer to home after being away for the past 4 years, they have a great hockey program, it’s a great school academically, and it has that small school environment. All those reasons made choosing Acadia a really easy decision.”

Perhaps also aiding in his decision to choose the Axemen, Tyler’s father, Mark, is an Acadia University alumnus.

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns said this on announcing Hinam’s commitment, “We are extremely excited to be able to add Tyler to our team for next season; he is a proven winner with a tremendous attitude and work ethic. His leadership abilities will make him a great addition to our team; his passion and mind for the game are second to none.”

When asked what he would bring to the Acadia lineup next season, Tyler added, “I think I’ll be able to bring a hard, physical, 2-way game and try to chip-in offensively when I can.”

To view Tyler’s full statistics, click here.

The Acadia Axemen kick off the AUS regular season this Friday at 7pm, as they host the U de M Aigles Bleus at the Andrew H. McCain Arena in Wolfville.

Southam scores twice for Acadia

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen’s preseason winning run came to an end after an overtime thriller on Saturday night against McGill University.

Hockey fans at the Andrew H. McCain Arena were once again treated to a whirlwind of a first period, and they certainly did not have long to wait for the first celebrations.

Just ten seconds into the game Axemen forward Cristiano Digiacinto redirected a Liam Maaskant point shot past the goalie for the first goal of the game. Stephen Harper was credited with the second assist.

At 4:31 into the period McGill’s Antoine Dufort-Plante struck on the power play after ripping one from the top of the circles over goaltender Dawson Carty’s right shoulder. Assists went to Nikolas Brouillard and Christophe Lalonde.

Just a few minutes later Rodney Southam tallied his own powerplay goal after tapping in a cross-crease pass from Ryan Foss at the 7:48 mark. Garrett McFadden was the second assist on the play.

With a little over three quarters gone in the frame, Phil Gilmour evened the score for McGill after a shot from the corner somehow found its way into the back of the Acadia net. Harlan Orr and Nathanael Halbert assisted.

An even 2-2 score is where the period concluded.

It took just 1:49 of second-period action for the next goal to be scored, as Ryan Penny was able to bury a Michael Cramarossa pass on a 2 on 1 rush to give McGill its first lead of the game.

Michael Campoli recorded his first point of the night with the other assist on the goal. (more…)

Flaman nets two in Acadia win

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen continued their preseason winning ways on Friday night with a high scoring win against the visiting Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus.

The first period was an action-packed 20 minutes, with both teams firing on all cylinders straight from the drop of the puck.

The Axemen opened the scoring with two quick goals in the first five minutes of action.

Garrett McFadden batted in the rebound of teammate Michael Zipp’s shot for his first of the year only 2:48 into the game. Jack McClelland had the second assist.

Only 32 seconds after the first goal, Axemen forward Stephen Harper tapped in a perfect feed from defenceman Alexander Lepkowski to tally his second goal in as many games.

The scoring for the period was just getting started.

Moncton got on the board at 7:06 into the period when captain Vincent Deslauriers pickpocketed an Acadia defenceman before heading towards goal and beating Acadia goalie Dawson Carty with a perfect shot to the far-side high glove.

With 7:48 remaining in the first, Axeman forward Cristiano Digiacinto snapped one from the offensive zone faceoff dot into the short-side top corner past goalie Alexi Thibaudeau.

A hectic scrum in front of the Acadia goal led to Moncton forward Edouard Michaud finally tucking home the loose puck from Robbie Graham’s shot with a little over 5 minutes left in the first frame. (more…)

Harper notches OT winner

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The host of the 2020 University Cup started in the right direction and took their first step forward with an exhibition overtime win against the visiting Dalhousie Tigers.

The Acadia Axemen’s bench for the 2019-2020 season had only two new faces including rookies Eric Henderson and Morgan Nauss and it was Henderson that recorded his first goal of his U SPORTS career.

Henderson was the recipient of a beautiful pass across the crease from Owen MacDonald that Henderson easily tapped in for the Axemen’s first and only goal until the overtime period.

The Tigers responded with 2:56 off the clock in the final frame when Andrew Shewfelt hammered home a rebound after teammate Jack Hanley’s shot on Dawson Carty in close.

The Tigers out-shot the Axemen 27-19 in regulation time and were 0-8 on the powerplay.

Forced into overtime after remaining tied at one after regulation time, Acadia’s Stephen Harper ended the three-on-three overtime period with a shot high on the glove hand of Tiger goaltender Connor Hicks to give the Axemen the win.

The Axemen host Moncton on Friday followed by their third and last exhibition game against the visiting McGill Redmen on Sunday.

The Tigers fall to 0-2 in exhibition play after losses to Saint Mary’s and the Axemen tonight. Dalhousie opens the AUS regular season next Wednesday night in Antigonish against the StFX X-Men.

Axemen look to Analytics for Added Edge

Brett Dickie working this week with the Axemen off-ice, on the on-ice analytics

The Acadia Axemen are hard at work on the ice, preparing for the upcoming 2019-2020 AUS campaign; a season that will see the team host the USports National Championship in March, in Halifax. But the hockey program isn’t just relying on physical and mental readiness this season, they are also looking at analytics as a potential added edge, in the ultra competitive AUS conference.

The team will be tracking various statistics and events that take place within the game, which will directly result in post game reports that will be discussed among the coaching staff. While the data will be looked at on a team basis, the main objective is on player development and giving the players an added piece of information to work with, on the ice.

Acadia will be working closely on the analytics this season with Brett Dickie. Brett has helped out with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s last season while working on his Masters of Sports Management at uOttawa. In addition, he worked with Kinduct, a sports analytics company, in Halifax this past summer.

Dickie says of his work, “Obviously in today’s game, if you’re not conducting some sort of advanced statistics or looking at additional information in any capacity, then you probably have some catching up to do. I’m very excited to work with the coaching staff and how we can incorporate data and analytics towards the everyday decision-making process, both on a team and individual level.”

Acadia Axemen head coach Darren Burns is excited about the additional information from the analytics, saying, “We are very excited to add Brett to our staff. He has worked very hard in his studies of analytics. There is no question his passion for the game will be a huge help this year and ensuring we are exhausting every avenue of helping our players improve and our team get better.“

Acadia takes the ice for their first pre-season game on Tuesday, September 17th in Wolfville as they face the Dalhousie Tigers at 7pm at the Andrew H. McCain Arena.