WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The short-staffed Acadia Axemen (10-17-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped on Friday night in Wolfville in a 2-1 loss to the Moncton Aigles Bleus (14-11-4). While Acadia led the game in shots, the Aigles Bleus found the back of the net with 1:44 remaining in the third period, on a goal from the third star of the night, Vincent Lanoue.
It was a goaltender's game, as Moncton's goalie Etienne Montpetit was named Subway First Star of the Night, while Acadia goalie Logan Flodell was named the second star.
While play was even between the two teams for most of the first period, the Aigles Bleus were the only team to score in the opening frame.
Moncton scored with exactly 1:00 left in the opening period, on a goal from forward Thierry Comtois.
Comtois took a drop-pass in front of the net and wired a wrist shot into the bottom right corner of the net to make it 1-0.
By the end of the first period, the shots were 11-10 for Moncton.
The Axemen responded with a power-play marker from Stephen Harper early in the second period.
Harper took a one-timer from the top of the right face-off circle and ripped the puck by the glove of the Moncton's Etienne to tie the game at 1-1.
Although the Axemen had an abundance of chances in the second period, including two more power-play opportunities after the one that Harper scored on, the game remained tied 1-1 at the end of the second.
By the end of the second period, the shots were 30-19 for the Axemen.
Acadia came close to scoring in the third, when forward Kyle Farrell got a shorthanded breakaway, while Moncton had a series of solid chances later in the same power-play.
However, Moncton finally broke the tie with 1:44 left in the period, as forward Vincent Lanouse took a pass in the slot and fired a snap shot into the top left corner of the net to score the go-ahead goal and eventual game winner.
"Give him credit, he's probably up for a bid as an MVP candidate this year. He kept them in the game. It's the third game in a row he's tough to beat. Give him credit it was a good game by him," noted Stephen Harper when asked about the great goaltending by Etienne Montpetit.
The Axemen have struggled with the powerplay this season but the Axemen have picked up three powerplay goals in the last three games.
"It comes down to confidence. When you are scoring goals, everyone is feeling better. Whether it's regular strenght or the powerplay, we're happy where we are going, but we still got a lot of work before playoff time because it's going to be tighter hockey," said Harper
Axemen goaltender Logan Flodell turned aside 29 of 31 shots, while his Moncton counterpart Etienne Montpetit stopped 45 of 46 shots.
This is the last regular season game on home ice for the Axemen and the date and opponent of their first quarterfinal playoff game will be determined Saturday evening. The Axemen will either face the StFX X-Men or Moncton Aigles Bleus based on the outcomes of the final games of the AUS regular season, to be played Saturday night.
Submitted by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office