Axemen earn AUS quarterfinal bye with OTSO loss to Moncton

WOLFVILLE N.S – The Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus left the Andrew H. McCain Arena with a win 4-3 overtime-shootout win over the home Acadia Axemen. The overtime loss earns the Axemen one point in the standings – clinching the second place in the AUS standings and a quarterfinal bye.

Acadia’s Garrett McFadden was first to find the back of the net 4:21 into the game when his pass aimed for a teammate at the side of the goal hit a UdeM player’s skate and found its way past the foot of goaltender Etienne Montpetit. The powerplay goal was assisted by TJ Fergus and Owen MacDonald.

The powerplay remained hot for the Axemen as Stephen Harper doubled the lead about two minutes later on a 5-on-3 break. After receiving a McFadden pass just below the goal line, he patiently found his way to a shooting angle and fired it to the far side past the blocker of Montpetit. Cristiano Digiacinto also assisted the goal.

Les Aigles Bleus brought the game back within one with 4:55 remaining in the opening period. Maxime St-Cyr’s one-time slapshot hit an Acadia penalty killer before finding its way past Logan Flodell. The 5-on-3 powerplay goal was assisted by Vincent Lanoue and Samuel Guilbault.

Moncton was not done there. The same three players combined to tie the game within 30 seconds of the last goal. This time it was Samuel Guilbault who found the net, tapping in a pass through the five-hole of Flodell for yet another powerplay goal.

Numerous penalties for both sides saw the teams tied 2-2 after the first 20 minutes of play, with all goals scored on the man-advantage.

The second period scoring was opened with 10:20 remaining in the period. Danick Crete scored on a point shot to give Moncton their first lead of the game. Yet another powerplay goal; this time assisted by Francis Thibeault and Justin Guenette.

The balance of the frame remained deadlocked, with both Flodell and Montpetit holding strong between the pipes. The second period ended with a 3-2 Moncton lead and a 27-25 shots on goal advantage for the Axemen.

With just under two minutes left in the game, the Axemen struck to draw the game even. Jordy Stallard grabbed his tenth of the season after Garrett McFadden weaved his way through a group of Moncton players into the offensive end before feeding Stallard, who was driving the net for a tap-in to cap off a brilliant rush. Maurizio Colella had the other assist.

The teams headed to overtime tied at 3.

The extra period was not enough to bring the game to a conclusion, as both Montpetit and Flodell stood their ground. Off to a shootout.  

Joey Richard shot first for the Aigles Bleus but was unable to solve Flodell, while Stephen Harper went first for the Axemen, and similar to Richard, couldn’t find the back of the net.

Maxime St-Cyr looked to give Moncton the lead next but was unable to score and Garrett McFadden had the second chance for the Axemen but was unsuccessful in his attempt.

Vincent Deslauriers scored for Moncton with a quick wrister to the high blocker, leaving it all up to Jordy Stallard to keep the Axemen in the game. Stallard’s attempt could not save the Axemen, as Montpetit closed out the game in favour of the Aigles Bleus.

“Logan has strung together a pretty good month… it’s too bad we haven’t supported him more and gotten some more wins for him, but the way he is feeling and kicking them out right now, we’re obviously confident in him and it definitely helps going in to every game that you have him back there,” commented Garrett McFadden about Logan Flodell’s game and season.

The Axemen return to the ice for the last weekend of the AUS regular season on Friday for their final home game against the Dalhousie Tigers and then close the season on the road at StFX on Saturday

The Aigles Bleus trail third place Saint Mary’s by two points. A win on Wednesday night at UPEI could tie them with the Huskies. The Huskies are at StFX on Friday.

Provided by Griffin Herrington, Acadia Athletics Communications