Pe­ri­ods packed with penal­ties

Ax­e­men split home games in fi­nal week­end of 2018

Annapolis Valley Register - - SPORTS - BY JOSHUA FOOTE WOLFVILLE, N.S.

The Aca­dia Ax­e­men snapped a three-game los­ing skid, and the three-game win­ning streak of the UPEI Pan­thers at the same time with a 5-2 win last Fri­day night in Wolfville.

Aca­dia won a gritty game that saw the teams com­bine for 102 penalty min­utes.

De­spite chances on both sides, it was not un­til late in the first pe­riod when Aca­dia opened the scor­ing on a goal from for­ward, and Sub­way First Star of the Night, Jack­son Houck.

Houck picked off a pass from a de­fender in the UPEI zone and deked out the goalie be­fore slid­ing it into the net to make it 1-0.

Trail­ing Aca­dia 12-7 in shots on net af­ter one pe­riod, the Pan­thers re­sponded early in the sec­ond with a marker from for­ward Brent An­drews, who buried a cross-ice pass into the wideopen net to make it 1-1.

Aca­dia re­sponded quickly with a power-play marker from for­ward Kyle Far­rell, who took a pass from Houck and lifted the puck over the blocker of the Pan­thers goal­tender in tight to make it 2-1.

With a 24-15 shots on goal ad­van­tage for the Ax­e­men af­ter two pe­ri­ods, Aca­dia added to their lead just 18 sec­onds into the third frame, when for­ward Ryan Foss passed cross- crease to a wide-open Stephen Harper, who buried the puck to make it 3-1.

How­ever, the Pan­thers an­swered with a goal of their own a few min­utes later from Filip Ryd­storm, who flipped the puck over the sprawl­ing Lo­gan Flodell to make it 3-2.

Aca­dia added an in­sur­ance marker late in the pe­riod, with a wrap-around from de­fense­man Gar­rett McFad­den to make it 4-2.

A full line brawl broke out fol­low­ing the goal, which re­sulted in 50 min­utes in penal­ties, three game mis­con­ducts and three more 10- minute mis­con­ducts be­tween the two teams.

Aca­dia capped off the game with an empty-net goal from for­ward Marc McNulty to make it 5-2.

Flodell turned aside 23 of 25 shots, while his UPEI coun­ter­part Si­mon Hofley stopped 25 of 30 shots.

Fol­low­ing the game, Houck pointed out the Ax­e­men knew they needed to score first.

“It was im­por­tant for us to score the first goal. We did a great job with that and we came out with some jump. We out­shot them 12-5 or some­thing like that halfway dur­ing the first pe­riod. I was for­tu­nate enough to get a break and we started go­ing from there,” said Houck in a postgame in­ter­view.

The sec­ond and third stars of the night were UPEI de­fense­man Olivier Arse­neau and Ax­e­men for­ward Harper, re­spec­tively.

The next evening, the Ax­e­men closed out the first half the AUS men’s hockey sea­son on a sour note with a loss to the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked and con­fer­ence best UNB Reds who won by a de­ci­sive 5-1 score.

“I thought we played pretty good ex­cept for that stretch (three goals in the open­ing four min­utes of the sec­ond pe­riod) of time and we made a few er­rors com­pounded by the fact that we only had 18 skaters. But, we should have been ex­e­cut­ing bet­ter than that and we’ve been through it enough but some­times you just make mis­takes,” noted as­sis­tant coach Mike Al­coe fol­low­ing the game.

UNB opened the scor­ing early in the first, on a goal from for­ward Matthew Boucher.

The clos­est Aca­dia came to scor­ing oc­curred near the end of the open­ing pe­riod when the puck ap­peared to go in dur­ing a mad scram­ble in front of the net, but the ref­er­ees were adamant that the puck did not cross the line.

With a shots on goal ad­van­tage of 9-7 for UNB, the Reds added to their lead early in the sec­ond, with two goals from Chris Clap­per­ton and Sub­way First Star of the Night, Alexan­dre Goulet.

Aca­dia pulled goal­tender Flodell and re­placed him with Daw­son Carty af­ter the two quick goals that opened the sec­ond frame.

UNB did not let up, as for­ward Kris Ben­nett added a short­handed goal to make it 4-0.

Aca­dia fi­nally an­swered back be­fore the mid­way point of the sec­ond, on a goal from rookie de­fense­man Loch Mor­ri­son.

With a 22-14 shots on goal lead af­ter two pe­ri­ods, UNB fin­ished off the Ax­e­men with a sec­ond goal from Goulet to make it 5-1 in the fi­nal pe­riod.

The Ax­e­men stopped all of the Reds’ pow­er­play op­por­tu­ni­ties and Al­coe was pleased with that as­pect of the game.

“We killed their three pow­er­plays tonight but we have three empty nets and we don’t score. It’s hard for us if we don’t score when we have an empty net. We are snake-bit­ten around the net a bit but hope­fully, if we keep cre­at­ing those chances in the sec­ond half we’ll get a bet­ter re­sult when we have those chances.”

Ax­e­men goal­tender Flodell turned aside 9 of 12 shots be­fore be­ing pulled and his re­place­ment Carty stopped 19 of 21 shots. Mean­while, the UNB goalie Rylan Par­enteau stopped 20 of 21 shots.

The sec­ond and third stars of the night were Ax­e­men for­ward Jack Fla­man and UNB for­ward Matthew Boucher, re­spec­tively.

Game ac­tion will pick back up af­ter the hol­i­day break for the Ax­e­men, with two away games ver­sus UPEI and UNB again, be­fore play­ing at home on Fri. Jan. 11 against the Monc­ton Aigles Bleus. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

PETER OLESKEVICH PHOTO

Kyle Far­rell scores the Ax­e­men’s sec­ond goal of the game ver­sus UPEI.

Jack­son Houck and Stephen Harper look for a re­bound from UNB goal­tender Rylan Par­enteau.

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