WOLFVILLE, N.S – The Acadia Axemen (5-10-2) closed out the first half of their season on a sour note with a loss to the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked and conference best UNB Reds (15-0-3) who won by a decisive 5-1 score.
"I thought we played pretty good except for that stretch (three goals in the opening 4 minutes of the second period) of time and we made a few errors compounded by the fact that we only had 18 skaters. But, we should have been executing better than that and we've been through it enough but sometimes you just make mistakes," noted assistant coach Mike Alcoe following the game.
UNB opened the scoring early in the first, on a goal from forward Matthew Boucher.
Boucher took a pass in front of the net and fired the puck five-hole to make it 1-0.
The closest Acadia came to scoring occurred near the end of the opening period when the puck appeared to go in during a mad scramble in front of the net, but the referees were adamant that the puck did not cross the line.
With a shots on goal advantage of 9-7 for UNB, the Reds added to their lead early in the second, with two goals from Chris Clapperton and Subway First Star of the Night, Alexandre Goulet.
Clapperton scored on a wrist shot in tight to make it 2-0, while Goulet scored less than a minute later when he rifled a backhand into the top left corner of the net to make it 3-0.
UNB did not let up, as forward Kris Bennett added a short-handed goal to make it 4-0.
Acadia finally answered back before the midway point of the second, on a goal from rookie defenseman Loch Morrison.
Morrison scored the first goal of his U SPORTS career by picking the puck up off the faceoff in the UNB zone and firing the puck five-hole from one knee to make it 4-1.
By the end of the second period, the shots were 22-14 for UNB.
With a 22-14 shots on goal lead after two periods, UNB finished off the Axemen with a second goal from Goulet to make it 5-1 in the final period.
The Axemen stopped all of the Reds' powerplay opportunities and Alcoe was pleased with that aspect of the game.
"We killed their three powerplays tonight but we have three empty nets and we don't score. It's hard for us if we don't score when we have an empty net. We are snake-bitten around the net a bit but hopefully, if we keep creating those chances in the second half we'll get a better result when we have those chances."
Axemen goaltender Logan Flodell turned aside 9 of 12 shots before being pulled and his replacement Dawson Carty stopped 19 of 21 shots. Meanwhile, the UNB goalie Rylan Parenteau stopped 20 of 21 shots.
The second and third stars of the night were Axemen forward Jack Flaman and UNB forward Matthew Boucher, respectively.
Game action will pick back up after the Holiday Break for the Axemen, with two away games versus UPEI and UNB again, before playing at home on Fri. Jan. 11 against the Moncton Aigles Bleus. Puck drop is at 7:00 pm.