WOLFVILLE, N.S – The Acadia Axemen (7-15-3) had their two-game winning streak snapped by the U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Saint Mary's Huskies (18-7-1) in a nail-biting 2-1 OT loss.
Huskies forward and Subway First Star of the Night, Calder Brooks, scored the game-winner with 1.3 seconds left in the OT frame. Acadia failed to capitalize on their power-play, going 0-for-7 on the night.
The win is the Huskies' eighth of the nine overtime games played this season.
Acadia opened the scoring with 11:02 left in the first on a goal from forward Ryan Foss.
Foss redirected a pass in front of the net from forward Jackson Houck to make it 1-0.
Saint Mary's responded over a minute later, on a goal from Aaron Berisha
Like Foss, Berisha redirected a pass in front of the net to score. Berisha lifted the puck under the crossbar on his tip to tie the game at 1-1.
By the end of the first period, the shots were 14-8 for the Axemen.
Despite chances by both teams, including a nearly 6-minute long power-play for the Axemen, neither team found the back of the net in the second period.
The Axemen were inches away from scoring in the second period when defenceman Garrett McFadden deked out two Huskies defenders and ripped a shot off the post.
Saint Mary's also had a series of good chances on a power-play early in the period, but Axemen goalie Logan Flodell made a number of impressive saves to keep the game tied.
By the end of the second period, the shots were tied 25-25.
Axemen forward Kyle Farrell had an opportunity to score when he ripped a shot off the inside of the right post, while Huskies forward Hunter Garlent nearly scored after being left in front the Axemen net late in the period
At the end of the third period, the shots were 40-35 for the Huskies. Neither team could break the tie in the third period, despite a litany of great opportunities, forcing the game into overtime.
Although Acadia started the OT period on the power-play and dominated play for most of the frame, they were unable to find the back of the net.
Saint Mary's forward Calder Brooks scored after stripping the puck from the Axemen in their own zone and firing a wrist shot into the top left corner of the net with 1.3 seconds left on the clock.
Axemen goaltender Logan Flodell turned aside 39 of 41 shots, while his Saint Mary's counterpart Eric Brassard stopped 40 of 41 shots.
"The guys battled well in front of me. Not much more you can ask for. It's a playoff type of game we are playing right now to just get into the playoffs. It's not what we wanted but we have to get ready for tomorrow", said Flodell after the game.
The second and third stars of the night were Huskies forward Stephen Johnson and Axemen forward Jackson Houck, respectively
The Axemen take to the ice again at home on Wednesday, Jan. 30 against the Dalhousie Tigers, but before then they head to Moncton for a Saturday 7:00 pm puck drop. The Axemen sit five points ahead of the Dalhousie Tigers in sixth place in the AUS standings – the last playoff position.
The second place Huskies, who come off two overtime wins in a row will have the remainder of the weekend off and head to Antigonish on Friday, February 1st to take on the host StFX X-Men.
Submitted by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Staff
Photo by Peter Oleskevich