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Axemen sweep best of three QF series with 4-1 win over X

Axemen sweep best of three QF series with 4-1 win over X

WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Look out AUS semi-finals, here come the Acadia Axemen. The Axemen swept STFX in the best-of-three quarter-finals on Friday night with a 4-1 win.

It was an upset victory, as Acadia finished beneath STFX in the regular season standings. 

Subway First Star of the Night Conor McCollum (Pickering, Ont.) put in an outstanding effort for Acadia, turning aside 28 of 29 shots on the night. 

Penalty-killing was huge for Acadia, as STFX went 1-for-8 on the man advantage for the night. 

Acadia got off to a strong start in the opening frame with a pair of goals. 

Corson Hopwo (Duncan, B.C.) struck first for Acadia with a beautiful solo effort at the 6:19 mark of the period. He took the puck from Liam Kidney (Enfield, N.S.) after he broke into the offensive zone. 

After taking the puck from Kidney, Hopwo curled at the top of the right face-off circle and made a line for the net.

Hopwo cut in for the STFX net and slid a backhand past the goalie to make it 1-0. 

Keegan Stevenson (Aweres Township, Ont.) doubled the lead for Acadia at the 11:21 mark of the first on a play similar to Hopwo. 

Stevenson took the puck from Cole Nagy (Saskatoon, Sask.) and drove the net before faking a shot on the backhand and turning his stick over to lift a shot on his forehand past the sliding goalie. 

STFX had two power-play opportunities in the first after going down 2-0, but failed to capitalize on either of them. 

At the end of the period, the shots were 10-7 for Acadia. 

The teams traded goals in a chippy second period. 

STFX used another power-play opportunity to make it 2-1 late in the second period. 

The second star of the night Adam Holwell (St. John's, Nfld.) scored his power-play marker with 5:17 left to play in the frame and it looked like the spark needed to get STFX back in the game. 

However, captain Jack Flaman (Vibank, Sask.) stepped up for Acadia and responded with a goal shortly after taking the penalty that granted STFX the power play that got them on the scoreboard. 

Flaman scored on a tight wraparound goal with 3:43 left in the period to make it 3-1. 

A large scrum broke out at the end of the second, as STFX players tried to dig the puck out from under an injured Peyton Hoy t(Fredericton, N.B.) in the dying seconds of the period. 

Heading into the final frame, Acadia held a 21-16 lead in shots. 

STFX had multiple 5-on-3 power-plays in the first half of the final frame, but they were unable to capitalize on these opportunities. 

They threw everything they had at Acadia's Conor McCollum, but STFX could not score in the third. 

The third star of the night Liam Kidney added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds left in the game to seal the victory for Acadia and send his team to the semi-finals. 

STFX goalie Joseph Raaymakers (Chatham, Ont.) turned aside 30 of 33 shots on the night. 

Acadia will return to play in the AUS semi-finals once the outcome of the second quarterfinal series between Moncton and UPEI is determined. Game two of that series was postponed tonight due to inclement weather. Moncton leads the series 1-0.

If Moncton wins their QF series, Moncton will take on UNB and Acadia will play against Saint Mary's. If Moncton loses the series, the Axemen will play UNB in a best-of-five semifinal series.