Periods packed with penalties
Axemen split home games in final weekend of 2018
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.
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.