WOLFVILLE, N.S – Homecoming weekend got off to a good start for the Axemen faithful on Friday night.
On a night that saw the raising of a banner in honour of former educator, coach and Director of Physical Education and Athletics Fred Kelly, who was an integral member of the Acadia University sports community, the Acadia Axemen (2-1-1) celebrated by defeating the Dalhousie (0-2-1) Tigers 3-2 in an overtime shootout.
Each team scored a power-play goal in the first period, making it 1-1 heading into the second.
Dalhousie scored their first at the 13:38 mark of the opening period, when Johnathan Cyr jammed in a rebound on the right side of the net past Axemen goalie Robert Steeves.
Acadia responded with a messy goal of their own, as forward Stephen Harper knocked the puck into the net past Tigers goalie Corbin Boes, who found himself out of position.
In a weird moment of déjà vu, both teams once again added a power-play marker each to make it 2-2 heading into the third.
Dalhousie added another goal with the man-advantage in the second period, when Colton Heffley scored on a hard wrist shot to beat Steeves high glove side, giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Acadia responded with another power-play marker, with 10 seconds remaining in the second fram. Forward Mark McNulty tipped a point shot by Harper, past Boes, to tie the game 2-2 heading into the third.
Although both teams had solid scoring chances in the third period, neither could capitalize and so the game went to a five-minute three-vs-three overtime period for the second straight home game.
Overtime saw both teams create several chances, but neither scored and so the game was forced into a shootout.
Axemen forward Kyle Farrell scored the only goal in the shootout, firing a rocket to the top left corner, knocking the water bottle off the top of the net and sending the crowd into a frenzy.
In a tight checking game where both teams found it hard to find room on the Olympic ice surface, rookie forward Rodney Southam pointed out that Dalhousie played aggressively.
"Both teams were working hard, so I guess that cancels the more space, when both teams were skating like we were. It's good to get the two points out of that game, but we had a kind of a shaky start for sure, but we came back. Any game you come back and get two points is a good game," said Southam.
Robert Steeves turned aside 29 of 31 shots for the Axemen, while second star of the night Corbin Boes stopped 37 of 39 shots for the Tigers.
The Axemen will take to the ice again in a pair of home games next weekend. On Friday Oct. 20 the Axemen will play the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked UNB Varsity Reds, while on Saturday Oct. 21 they host the UPEI Panthers. Puck drop for both games at 7:00pm.
Submitted by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications