WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The U SPORTS No. 7 ranked Acadia Axemen (11-5-2) ended the first half of their season on a sour note, losing 3-2 in OT to the No. 2 UNB Varsity Reds (15-0-3).
Acadia held the lead twice in the game, but the league's best V-Reds answered back each time.
The Axemen head into the holiday break with fourth place in the AUS standings.
The first period was dominated by the Axemen, as they outshot UNB 12-7 and took a 1-0 lead into the second frame.
Axemen forward Boston Leier scored at 6:07 in the opening period when he picked up the puck off the back boards and fired it past UNB's goalie Alex Dubeau to ignite the home crowd.
Near the end of the first, a fight broke out in front of the UNB net and saw Dubeau receive a rare roughing penalty.
UNB responded with a strong second period, where they dominated most of the play and outscored the Axemen 2-1 in the period to tie the game 2-2 heading into the final frame.
The Varsity Reds tied the game a little over three minutes into the second period, when UNB forward Stephen Anderson scored on a wrist shot in tight of the Axemen net.
Acadia regained the lead 10 seconds later when Axemen forward Kyle Farrell scored high blocker on a breakaway.
UNB tied the game again late in the period, with a power-play marker from defenseman Olivier LeBlanc.
Although both teams had their chances in the third, neither were able to break the tie and so the game headed to OT.
UNB defenseman and Subway First Star of the Game, Matt Murphy scored 16 seconds into OT to end the game.
Murphy broke in over the blue line and snapped a low wrist shot past the Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves' glove for the game-winner.
A dejected Axemen squad was well represented by captain Liam Maaskant's thoughts following the game.
"In the first period, we just wanted to get shots on net. I think we had a great first period, we came out hard. The second period is when they got their chances and took advantage. In the third period, we definitely battled back and we had twenty guys in the room who bought in for the third period. We played them hard and just a couple of bounces didn't go our way and as a result, we just got one point," said Maaskant.
Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves stopped 29 of 32 shots on the night, while his UNB counterpart Dubeau turned aside 21 of 23.
The Second and Third Star honours went to Axemen defenseman Liam Maaskant and UNB forward Chris Clapperton, respectively.
Acadia was unable to make use of their power-play, going 0-for-6 on the night, while the Varsity Reds were not much better at 1-for-6.
The Axemen will take to the ice in 2018 in Wolfville on Friday, Jan. 5 as they host the Moncton Aigles Bleus, while the Varsity Reds host Dalhousie on the same night. Puck drop for both games is 7:00 p.m.
Contributed by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office