Digiacinto with 3 goals, 1 assist in Acadia win

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – The Acadia Axemen picked up a valuable win despite a strong UPEI Panthers comeback on Friday.  

Acadia (18-7-1) did most of their work in the first period and carried a 5-1 lead into the intermission, but had to fight off a strong second and third period from UPEI (8-13-3). 

This loss continues UPEI’s four-game losing streak as their discipline haunted them throughout the game. 

A UPEI turnover in front of their own net led to an early Acadia goal by Johnny Corneil; Cristiano Digiacinto and Jordy Stallard assisted with 15:51 remaining. 

Five minutes later, Acadia’s Owen MacDonald scored on a rebound from a Maurizio Colella shot on the powerplay. 

Acadia scored again less than 30 seconds later as the Subway Player of the Game Cristiano Digiacinto scored his first of the evening. 

UPEI called a timeout in the first period in hopes of turning the tides. 

The Panthers finally answered back with a five-on-three powerplay goal from points leader Kameron Kielly, with Kyle Maksimovich picking up his first assist of the game. 

Penalties continued to hurt the Panthers late in the first, as Digiacinto scored his second of the night on a five-on-three power play. 

Acadia’s powerplay was not done either Colella scored on the man advantage with 20 seconds remaining. Owen MacDonald picked up his second point of the game with an assist on the goal. 

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Flodell brilliant in Acadia net with 36 saves

(Halifax, NS) In AUS men’s hockey action, the Saint Mary’s Huskies hosted the Acadia Axemen at the Dauphinee Centre and two power play goals helped propel the Huskies to a 4-2 win.

The Axemen were looking to get in control early, using regroups in the neutral zone to great effect. The Huskies, meanwhile, had a couple sloppy defensive plays that led to scoring chances for the Axemen. First was a dangerous pass through the middle on their breakout that was picked off by an Axemen forechecker; shortly after, a giveaway in front of the net gave Ryan Foss (Oakville, ON) an opportunity to open the scoring. Huskies goalie Eric Brassard (St. Hubert, QC) had to be sharp early to keep the game scoreless.

Once the Huskies started getting their feet moving, the game evened out. With a couple back-to-back power plays, they generated chances with shots from the point and opened the scoring halfway through the period.

On the man advantage, Stephen Johnson (Moncton, NB) came into the zone down the right wing. The rebound from his sharp angle shot popped straight out in the slot to Keith Getson (Bridgewater, NS), who put home the rebound. Anthony Repaci (Toronto, ON) also assisted.

The Axemen responded with just under four minutes left in the first frame. In a pretty passing play down low, the puck danced between Jordy Stallard (Brandon, MB) and Mason McCarty (Blackie, AB) before getting dished to Cristiano Digiacinto (Hamilton, ON), who had an open net for the Axemen’s first goal.

After an Acadia power play, the first period ended with the teams tied 1-1, each with 10 shots. (more…)

Digiacinto scores in Acadia loss

MONCTON, N.B. – Goals by Vincent Millette (Gabriel Vanier, Jeremy Hannah) and Maxime St-Cyr (Samuel Guilbault, Robbie Graham), 33 seconds apart midway in the first period, lifted the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus (1086-0=26pts, 4th position) to a 2-1 win over Acadia University Axemen (17-61-0=35pts, 2nd position) at the J.-Louis-Lévesque Arena on Saturday in an Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey game in front of over 525 spectators. 

The Judes Vallée coached team then held on in the second and third periods for the win. Winning goaltender Étienne Montpetit made 28 saves compared to 24 for his opponent, Logan Flodell. Cristiano Digiacinto (Stephen Harper, Liam Maaskant), in the eight minute of the third, had reduced to lead to a single goal.

Millette scored his first university career goal. Moncton was for on the power play and Acadia, 0 for 4. The Blue and Gold ended a four game losing streak while Acadia has lost its last three outings. 

Acadia plays Saint Mary’s on Wednesday iHalifax while the Aigles Bleus play two home games next weekend, against the X-Men Friday and the Tigers, Saturday.

Provided by Moncton Communications. 

Flodell with 38 saves for Acadia

RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics

(FREDERICTON, NB) The U SPORTS No. 1 UNB Reds scored a 2-1 shootout win over the No. 6 Acadia Axemen, in an exciting game at UNB’s Aitken Centre, on Friday night.

Kris Bennett (Brampton, ON) scored the Reds’ shootout winner, and was named the Subway Player of the Game.

“I thought, if I had a little pump fake, it might fake him out and it did,” said Bennett. “Fortunately, I’m lucky and I really think we deserved that win, one way or another.”

“Credit to the guys, especially Sam Harvey in net. It was a huge win,” he said.

The visitors struck first when Acadia’s Jordy Stallard (Brandon, MB) jammed home a loose puck at the side of the Reds net at 4:14 of the first period.

The Reds drew even mid-way through the opening frame. (more…)

Colella with goal for Axemen in loss

ANTIGONISH, NS – Fourth-year forward Matt Needham (Kamloops, BC) scored with 1:09 left in the game to lift the StFX X-Men to a 2-1 victory over the U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen Friday night at the Charles V. Keating Centre.

The loss was only the fifth of the season for the AUS first place Axemen (17-5-0). The X-Men improve to 8-10-3, and are currently tied for fifth place with UPEI. 

The teams played a scoreless first period though both had ample scoring opportunities as they played a physical opening 20 minutes. Acadia had a slight 13-11 edge in shots. 

The X-Men wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the second period as Will Bower (Saint John, NB) tallied 28 seconds in. He was in the crease to tuck a rebound past Logan Flodell (Regina, SK) after he saved a point shot from Adam Holwell (St. John’s, NL). 

The lone goal held up as the only one scored in the middle period. 

The game got more physical as both squads took penalties late in the period and had their chances on the power play, including a brief 5-on-3 for the Axemen 

Shots were 18-8 in favour of the X-Men in the second period as they held onto the one-goal lead after 40 minutes. 

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Owen MacDonald with a hat trick to lead Acadia

WOLFVILLE N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Acadia Axemen continued their hot start to the new decade with a convincing 6-2 victory over the visiting Dalhousie Tigers and extending their winning streak to seven.

Only 1:14 into the first the visiting Dalhousie Tigers took an early hold on the game. Captain Colton Heffley got his stick on a Connor Welsh shot in the slot to redirect the puck past Acadia goaltender Dawson Carty for his first of the year.

The Axemen bounced back quickly and 4:13 into the opening period the teams drew even after a Rodney Southam shot was rifled off the post, before bouncing off the Dalhousie goalie’s back and into the net. The goal was assisted by Maurizio Colella and Morgan Nauss. Acadia was not done there. Just 16 seconds later Acadia’s Owen MacDonald gave the home team a 2-1 lead. MacDonald followed his linemates up the ice charging towards the net before stuffing home a Cristiano Digiacinto rebound right in front of goal. Stephen Harper also assisted.

Johnny Corneil grabbed the third goal of the night for the Axemen with 6:03 remaining in the first frame. Some great vision by Jack Flaman lead to Corneil’s chance in the slot which he finished swiftly with a quick move to the backhand and sliding the puck through the goaltender’s five-hole. (more…)

Flaman nets 3, Flodell stops 38 in win

Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan

By Ron Annear & Thomas Becker

Acadia’s Jack Flaman scored twice in the third period, as the Axemen took down the UPEI Panthers 5-3.

Flaman finished with a natural hat trick, scoring his first goal late in the first followed by the two in the third. Owen MacDonald recorded a goal and an assist, while Cristiano Digiancinto also connected on a goal. Eric Henderson had two assists in the win.

MacDonald opened the scoring at 2:13 of the first off a Panther miscue in front of their net to take an early lead. However, that lead was short-lived, as Owen Headrick fired a shot from the point three minutes later to tie the game at one.

The Axemen (16-4-0) reclaimed the lead on a shorthanded Digiacinto on a feed from assisted by Liam Maaskant at 11:46. Flaman scored Acadia’s third goal of the period with just 59 seconds remaining.

UPEI (7-9-3) carried the play for most of the period and broke through at 12:17 when rookie forward Jordan Maher gathered a rebound off Conor MacEachern’s quick shot from the point and put it past Logan Flodell. In just his second game with the Panthers, rookie defenceman Matt Brassard recorded his first AUS goal at 15:52. Kyle Maksimovich and Kameron Kielly were credited with the assists. (more…)

Flodell with 47 saves for the win

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 6 ranked Axemen open a new year with a 5-2 win over the visiting Saint Mary’s Huskies.

The Axemen pick up their fifth win in a row on the back of goaltender Logan Flodell. Flodell was named the Subway Player of the Game with 47 stops on 49 shots.

“Personally, I wanted to get in front of everything and knock anything down that I could to keep the boys in the game. We played so well defensively, I know they had quite a bit of shots but we kept them to the outside. Our PK (penalty kill) was phenomenal today, so that’s good,” noted Flodell after the game.

Only one goal in the opening period came at the 15:59 mark of the first frame when Mason McCarty scored his ninth goal of the season after batting in a rebound of Huskie goaltender Eric Brassard who stopped 24 shots.

The Axemen extended the lead to 3-0 in the second period with goals from Ryan Foss and Owen MacDonald.

Two minutes into the second period, Foss along with linemates Stephen Harper and Cristiano Digiacinto scored Acadia’s second goal on a 3-2 break. Foss was the recipient of a pass from Digiacinto after Harper’s shot on the net rebounded on the stick of Digiacinto who fed the puck across the crease to Foss for the easy open net goal. (more…)

Acadia hockey – a decade in review

As we enter 2020, let’s take a few minutes to look back on the closing decade for the Acadia Axemen. A decade that saw the Axemen win an AUS championship, earn four appearances at the University Cup National tournament – including a bronze medal, 2 winners of the USports Player of the Year trophy for University Hockey in Canada, and 2 Axemen players awarded the Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation.

The Axemen have been in the AUS playoffs every year in the 2010-2019 decade, most years being a top 4 seed. In 2013-14, the Axemen achieved AUS playoff success as they hoisted their only AUS championship of the decade.

That 2013-14 AUS championship led the team to their first UCup appearance of the 2010’s; however, they dropped 4-2 and 3-2 losses to Windsor and Saskatchewan. The following year the Axemen returned to the National Tournament in the new single knockout format, losing to UQTR is overtime in their first game.

Acadia made national news at the 2016-17 University Cup, as they came in to the 8-team tournament seeded #8 and were matched up against the #1 ranked powerhouse Alberta Golden Bears. The Axemen upset the favorites with a 4-1 win to send the Golden Bears home empty handed. After dropping a 3-0 setback to UNB, the Axemen defeated AUS rival StFX 7-3 to win the bronze medal on the National stage. The following year in 2017-18, Acadia returned to UCup to face a rematch against Alberta, and this time the Golden Bears defeated the Axemen in a high scoring game 8-6.

Perhaps most impressive in terms of personal accolades, were the two standout seasons offensively from Acadia forwards which earned them the honor of top players in the Nation. Andrew Clark’s 2011-12 season was a thing of beauty, as he led the AUS in scoring, was named 1st Team All-Canadian, 1st Team AUS all-star, and awarded the Senator Joseph A. Sullivan Trophy as CIS player of the year. The following year in 2012-13, Clark was named a 1st Team AUS All-star, and 2nd team all-Canadian. Two years later, Acadia’s Liam Heelis had an outstanding season, as he too was awarded the Player of the year trophy for the USports (formerly CIS) hockey, was named 1st Team All-Canadian, and 1st Team AUS All-star. (more…)

Acadia sits atop of AUS Standings at the Holiday Break

With 18 games in the books and the first half of the year complete, the Acadia Axemen sit on top of the ultra competitive AUS men’s hockey conference with a 14-4 record. Many a night in the first half, the Axemen roster consisted of 14 or 15 skaters – 9 forwards and 5 defenceman; with two of those forwards often being defenceman playing out of their normal positions.

Despite the Axemen losing a total of 59 man games in the first half of the year, which could have been an easy way to excuse a bad first half, the Axemen refused to use a short bench as an excuse, instead they dug in deeper and rose to the moment every night.

After losing the first game to U de M Aigles Bleus on home ice, 5-2 to open the season, the Axemen then reeled off 9 straight wins. With each win their confidence built, and their strength came in playing as a team, outworking their opponents, capitalizing on chances, and backed by great goaltending. The Axemen then faced some mid first half struggles, dropping 3 of 4 games, before going back on a four-game win streak to close out the 1st half.

In looking back at the first half of the season, Acadia Head Coach Darren Burns was happy with his team’s result saying, “Our staff was very happy with our first half. In knowing we are hosting the nationals planning started close to two years ago, so we knew we were going to experience some growing pains last year in preparation, we feel as a team we have made a lot of progress over the last 18 months. It’s a positive to see the players commitment showing in the first half results.”

Looking at the different aspects of the Axemen game over the first 18 games, their powerplay is vastly improved over last year. At this point last year, the Axemen were desperate for answers as their powerplay struggled mightily, however this year, they have clipped along at a 22.8% conversion, good for 2nd best in the AUS, trailing only UNB’s 30%. (more…)