WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen (4-1-1) got off to a strong start for the double-header, defeating the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked UNB Varsity Reds (4-1-1) 3-2 in OT . The game marked the third straight home game for the Axemen that went past regulation time.
UNB dominated play in the first period, but failed to capitalize on their chances due to the stellar play of Axemen goaltender and Subway First Star of the Night Robert Steeves.
Steeves was outstanding in the opening period, making two exceptional saves during an early UNB power-play and he continued to dominate the rest of the period, turning aside all 19 shots.
Axeman captain Liam Maaskant, when asked what was said following the one-sided opening period, he indicated that the team remained calm.
"We just kind of said, 'you know what, that's the first period, we want to build off it'. It wasn't great but it could have also been worst, so we came back in and we were calm and said a few things and came back into the second ready to go", said Maaskant.
Acadia opened the scoring 5:36 into the second period with a well-placed wrist shot from Axemen forward Stephen Harper on the power-play. It was Harper's third goal of the season.
UNB responded late in the second period with a power-play marker of their own to tie the game heading into the second.
Varsity Reds forward and second star of the night, Chris Clapperton, danced through the offensive zone and fed a cross-ice pass to an open Tyler Boland who fired the puck into the open cage as Steeves failed to get across in time.
UNB struck early in the third when Clapperton took a one-timer from his knee at the side of the net and fired the puck between Steeves' legs to make it 2-1.
Acadia tied the game at 9:21 in the third, when forward Kris Hodge scooped up a rebound in front and fired the puck into the open net to ignite the home crowd.
Despite chances on both sides, neither team broke the tie in regulation, so the game forced into overtime.
Axemen defenseman and third star of the night, Liam Maaskant broke the tie at 2:08 into the extra 3-on-3 period with a hard slap shot that beat the UNB goaltender Alex Dubeau and sent the home crowd into an absolute frenzy, with a 3-2 overtime win.
Steeves turned aside 42 of 44 shots in a stellar performance, while Dubeau was tested several times and turned aside 23 of 26 shots.
The Axemen play at home tomorrow night against the UPEI Panthers before heading on the road for a pair of games next weekend in rematches against UNB and UPEI on Fri Oct. 27 and Sat. Oct. 28, respectively.
Submitted by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office