Aca­dia headed to semi­fi­nals

Two-game sweep over Dal en­sures hockey Ax­e­men move for­ward

Annapolis Valley Register - - SPORTS - ACA­DIA ATH­LET­ICS

The Ax­e­men hockey team swept a best-of-three quar­ter-fi­nal se­ries in two games against Dal­housie. The se­ries was the first time in 20 years both teams have met in the AUS play­offs.

The Ax­e­men dom­i­nated play for the ma­jor­ity of the se­ries’ open­ing game, in­clud­ing a strong per­for­mance from goal­tender Robert Steeves and two goals from Bos­ton Leier.

Al­though the Tigers struck first, the Ax­e­men scored two unan­swered goals to take a 2-1 lead head­ing into the sec­ond.

Dal­housie opened the scor­ing, with 5:27 re­main­ing in the first pe­riod, when de­fence­man Colton Hef­fley redi­rected a shot in front over the glove of the Ax­e­men goal­tender.

Leier tied the game roughly three min­utes later for Aca­dia.

The Ax­e­men grabbed a 2-1 lead with 1:38 left in the first frame when Kyle Fer­rell cor­ralled the puck in the slot, waited out the goalie and fired low to the right side to make it 2-1 head­ing into the first in­ter­mis­sion.

Aca­dia be­gan to pull away from the Tigers in the sec­ond pe­riod as Leier scored his sec­ond of the night on a power-play goal early in the sec­ond pe­riod and Cris­tiano Di­giac­into took a pass from Chance Braid in front of the net and fired it into the open goal mouth for a 4-1 lead.

A power-play goal from Dal­housie’s Mike Eve­lyn in the clos­ing minute fol­lowed Ax­e­men for­ward Remy Giftopou­los’ empty-net goal Chris­tiano Di­gioac­into brings the puck to the net for Aca­dia. The Ax­e­men won the best-of-three se­ries against Dal­housie in two games.

that put the game out of reach.

Ax­e­men goal­tender Steeves turned aside 21 of 23 shots on the night, while his Tigers coun­ter­part Corbin Boes stopped 32 of 36.

Aca­dia’s lead­ing scorer for the reg­u­lar sea­son, Stephen Harper, did not play in the third pe­riod of the game. Harper took an awk­ward spill into the end boards late in the sec­ond pe­riod, af­ter com­ing into the cor­ner of the Dal­housie zone with speed, where he took a hip-check from a Tigers de­fence­man.

The Ax­e­men wrapped up the se­ries in Hal­i­fax with a 4-2 win over the Tigers Feb. 16. In a hard

hit­ting, phys­i­cal start to the game, the Ax­e­men tested Boes with lots of shots early, but no threat­en­ing chances.

With five min­utes re­main­ing in the open­ing pe­riod, Tigers got their first power play op­por­tu­nity and made it count, tak­ing a 1-0 Tigers lead on a Alex Pawel­czyk goal.

Spe­cial teams were prov­ing to be key for the Tigers, find­ing an­other goal on their sec­ond power play chance when Chan­dler Yaki­mow­icz scored on the man-ad­van­tage, giv­ing the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

Aca­dia threat­ened with at­tack­ing pres­sure on the power

play early in the third, com­ing out of the in­ter­mis­sion with en­ergy. They found their open­ing goal when a high shot from Ge­of­frey Schemitsch bounced off the shoul­der of Boes and dropped dead in the crease for Cris­tiano Di­giac­into, who was at the right place at the right time to tap in the loose puck.

Just over six min­utes later, Ax­e­man Ryan Foss tied the game at 2-2 in the third frame.

In trou­ble late in the third pe­riod af­ter tak­ing their ninth penalty of the game, the Tigers de­fence was scram­bling to get the puck out of their own zone when Matthew Pu­fahl fired a shot that was

de­flected in front by Schemitsch to put the Ax­e­men in front with less than two min­utes left.

The Tigers pulled their goalie for an ex­tra at­tacker and were able to get a few good chances, but the Ax­e­men were able to clear the zone and Leier put the empty net­ter home to seal the game at 4-2.

With the win, the Ax­e­men move on to the semi-fi­nals against the STFX X-men with games one and two set for Antigo­nish on Feb. 22 and 23. The Ax­e­men host STFX for game three on Feb. 24 and, if needed, on Feb. 26 for the best-of­five se­ries. Game five, if needed, will be at STFX on March 1.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.