WOLFVILLE N.S. – The Acadia Axemen were led by a Cristiano Digiacinto's hat-trick to cap off a successful week of hockey with a 3-1 win against the UPEI Panthers Saturday night in Wolfville.
In what was a fast and physical first period, neither team was able to get the upper hand on the opposition. Thanks to some stellar goaltending from both UPEI's Simon Hofley and Acadia's Dawson Carty, who had 18 and 13 saves respectively, the game remained deadlocked as the teams headed to their dressing rooms.
UPEI's Owen Headrick opened the scoring with a wicked top corner one-timer set up by Kyle Maksimovich on a 5 on 3 powerplay. The goal came at 6:59 of the second period and was also assisted by Darian Pilon. The rest of the period saw no more goals, but lots of chances at both ends of the rink.
The Panthers lead 1-0 after two.
Acadia was quick to tie up the game in the third. Just 4:34 into the frame Cristiano Digiacinto found some real estate in the slot and buried a quick Mason McCarty pass into the bottom right corner. Tate Olsen had the second assist on the goal.
Just over a minute later Digiacinto doubled his goal total on the night and gave the Axemen the lead shorthanded. He received a breakaway pass from Eric Henderson before faking to the backhand and sliding it in past the outstretched Panther goalie.
Digiacinto was named the Subway Player of the Game and was complimentary of his team and their focus.
"We knew we were winning this game the moment the puck dropped even in between periods, so kudos to my team," said Digiacinto.
"It was just sticking to our systems. Burnsey came in, especially between the periods and said to stick to what we were doing and it was working. The shots were there, it was just a matter of time before something went in," added Digiacinto.
The game ended with the Axemen on top 3-1.
Simon Hofley had 44 saves for the Panthers and Dawson Carty had 27 of his own. The Panthers were 1 for 7 on the powerplay, Acadia was 1 for 7.
The Panthers play next against the St. FX X-Men in Antigonish next Friday night, where they will be aiming to get back in the win column.
The Axemen play host to the UNB Reds next Friday in Wolfville looking to keep this win streak alive against one of the nation's top teams.