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Axemen unable to comeback from 1st period deficit vs X

Axemen unable to comeback from 1st period deficit vs X

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The StFX X-Men (14-9-2) pulled within two points of the Acadia Axemen (15-8-2), after winning 5-2 in Wolfville on Wednesday night. After scoring three in the first, the X-Men held onto their lead for the rest of the game, although Acadia did come close to tying the game early in the third.

Despite staying scoreless for the first 10 minutes, StFX dominated the first period, scoring three unanswered goals to put the X-Men up big.

Second star of the game, Remy Giftopoulos, pointed out that the opening period was a tough way to start the game.

"Yah you know what, that first period was a back breaker for us and we know we have to come up stronger if you want to compete against a solid team like StFX", pointed out Giftopolous.

"I thought we played pretty well in the second and third period but it comes back to that start but sometimes it's too little and too late", said Giftopoulos.

The first goal came from X-Men forward Mark Tremaine (Dartmouth, N.S.), with a wrist shot at the left side of the Acadia net, which momentarily fooled the players and the crowd.

For their second of the period, third year forward Eric Locke (Toronto, Ont.), one-timed a beautiful, cross-ice pass from Holden Cook (Oshawa, Ont.), to give StFX a 2-0 lead.

Just over one minute later, the StFX struck again with a wrist shot from the blueline by Nathan Pancel (Ottawa, Ont.), which fooled Acadia goalie Robert Steeves (Moncton, N.B.).

Trailing the X-Men 14-5 in shots on goal and down 3-0 heading into the second period, Acadia fell into penalty trouble when forward Tyler Makin (Lethbridge, Alta.), was ejected from the game for a hit to the head and given a 5-minute major. Boston Leier (Saskatoon, Sask.) was handed a 2-minute minor and 10-minute misconduct for a hit from behind.

After killing off both penalties, Acadia came into their own 5-on-3 following a timeout from Acadia. Acadia defenseman Matthew Pufahl (Saskatoon, Sask.) scored on a wrist shot from the point, to cut the lead to two for StFX.

Down 3-1 after two periods and trailing only 18-16 in shots on goal, Acadia came out strong in the third, when Axemen team points leader, Boston Leier (Saskatoon, Sask.), fired a wrist shot, high glove on X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand (Halifax, N.S.) to put the Axemen within one.

StFX responded at around the half way point of the third, with a marker from defenseman Max Iafrate (Livonia, Michigan), who tipped one past Acadia's Devin Williams (Detroit, Michigan), who replaced Steeves after allowing 3 goals on 8 shots in the first period. Williams turned aside 11 of 12 on the night. StFX's Chase Marchand turned aside 29 of 31 shots.

Despite pulling their goalie with two minutes left to play, Acadia was unable to capitalize, accidentally scoring on their own net to give StFX a 5-2 lead.

Subway First Star of the Night went to StFX defenseman Jagger Dirk (Penticton, B.C.), while second and third stars of the night went to Acadia forward Remy Giftopoulos (Ancaster, Ont.) and Chase Marchand, respectively.

The Axemen have now fallen short four times against the X-Men this season. Acadia wraps up the regular season at home February 11 against StFX for the fifth and final meeting.

"We havent faired to well against StFX this year but I dont think the guys in that room are too worried about it. We know we can compete with them and we aren't scared and we are going to try and beat them in the last game of the season and clinch that second spot", noted Giftopoulos.

The Axemen and X-Men next hit the ice on Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. with home games against the Dalhousie Tigers and Saint Mary's Huskies, respectively. 

Source: Josh Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office