The Acadia Axemen will be looking for a season series sweep of the UNB Varsity Reds men’s hockey team on Friday at the Aitken Centre.
The Varsity Reds lost 4-1 to the Axemen on Saturday night at Acadia. The Axemen have won all three games they’ve played against UNB this season but this was the first match not decided in extra time.
The loss ended the Varsity Reds’ 10-game winning streak and dropped their record to 18-3-2 on the season. The Axemen improved to 18-4-2 as the battle for first place in the Atlantic University Sport standings between UNB and Acadia continues.
UNB had a strong first period on Saturday but struggled to create scoring chances in the second half of the game, registering just six shots in the second and third periods. The Reds opened the scoring with a power play goal from Cam Braes at 5:30 of the first period, firing a wrist shot past Axemen goaltender Brandon Glover.
Acadia tied it up on a power play at 12:01 of the second as Alex Beaton scored from the slot. Less than five minutes later, Brett Thompson fed Zachary Franko on a two-on-one and beat UNB goaltender David Shantz to give Acadia a 2-1 lead. The Axemen had several other good scoring chances in the period — which included hitting two posts — but were unable to connect.
Shantz was solid throughout the game, making several key saves to keep UNB in it. But at 17:02 of the third, the netminder was unable to stop Beaton who, on a long breakaway, made a deke to his backhand to make it 3-1 Acadia. Beaton added an empty netter to complete the hat trick and make it a 4-1 final.
Acadia outshot UNB 29-20 overall. The Varsity Reds went 1-8 on the power play while the Axemen went 1-5.
The weekend wasn’t all bad for the Varsity Reds as they defeated the Dalhousie Tigers 7-2 on Friday night in Halifax. Philippe Maillet had two goals and an assist for UNB while Dana Fraser also had a pair of goals.
The Tigers opened the scoring with a power play goal from Luke Madill just 45 seconds in. The rest of the period would be all V-Reds though as Fraser, Braes and Maillet scored to give UNB a 3-1 lead after one.
In the second, Maillet, Fraser, Alex Wall and Peter Trainor all scored. Dalhousie’s Matt English netted a power play marker in the third to make it a 7-2 final.
Chris Carrozzi made 18 saves in the win. The Tigers’ Corbin Boes was pulled after allowing six goals on 24 shots. Wendell Vye made 21 saves in relief.
The Varsity Reds have five games remaining on their regular season schedule. They will play their next four games on home ice, which includes Wednesday’s game against St. Thomas, Friday’s match against Acadia and Saturday’s contest against Dalhousie. All games start at 7 p.m. at the Aitken Centre.