Submitted by Griffin Herrington, Acadia Athletics Communications
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.
Acadia led 3-1 after a period of play.
After just over 3 and a half minutes of the second period, Acadia added to their lead. Owen MacDonald snagged his second of the night with a redirection on the doorstep of the crease off of a Stephen Harper pass. Garrett McFadden had the other assist.
Stephen Harper would add a fifth to Acadia's total after a Dalhousie turnover resulted in Harper sniping one over the glove of Tiger's goalie Connor Hicks. Cristiano Digiacinto and Owen MacDonald's passing leading up to the goal added to the forward line's successful multi-point night.
The Axemen continued to put the pressure on with Jack Flaman getting on the scoresheet with a goal of his own. Flaman tucked away a Garrett McFadden pass in the roof of the net to conclude a shorthanded 2-on-1 break. The marker came with just under 7 minutes left in the second frame.
The score was 6-1 after two periods.
The Tigers were able to claw one back and bring the score to 6-2 with just over 5 minutes remaining in the game. Chandler Yakimowicz got his first of the night thanks to the help of an Acadia defender, who misplayed a bouncing puck in front of goal into his own net.
"I thought they came out hard. They (Dalhousie) are a pretty hard-working team and they usually bring it right off the bat. I thought we responded well though. We won the first so it's all we can ask after quick one against," noted Dawson Carty following the win.
Though multiple extra-man opportunities for the Tigers in the third frame, they were unable to pounce on any more chances.
The game concluded with a score of 6-2 for the Axemen.
Both teams were unsuccessful on their powerplay opportunities, Dalhousie was 0 for 6, and Acadia was 0 for 1. Acadia had better luck shorthanded scoring one of their goals a man down.
Acadia goaltender Dawson Carty was solid with 33 saves, and Connor Hicks made 33 saves as well for the Tigers.
The Axemen head to Antigonish to take on the feisty StFX X-Men on Friday night, while the Tigers host Saint Mary's on Friday.