By John DeCoste
The Acadia hockey Axemen are alone in first place in the Atlantic Universities Hockey Conference following a weekend sweep on home ice.
After edging St. Thomas 3-2 Nov. 2, the Axemen, sixth in last week’s national rankings, blanked the CIS #3-ranked Moncton Aigles Bleus 4-0 Nov. 3 at Acadia Arena.
Acadia took a 2-0 lead after one period Nov. 3 on goals by Michael Ward and Dylan Anderson, dominating play both offensively and defensively and outshooting Moncton 16-4.
The second period was scoreless, and though the Axemen weren’t quite as dominant, they still outshot the Aigles Bleus 14-6 for a 30-10 edge after 40 minutes.
In the third period, Liam Heelis, who had missed a pair of scoring opportunities earlier in the game, scored twice, at 7:19 and again at 8:46, to round out the scoring.
Peter Di Salvo made 22 saves for the shutout, while Adrien Lemay stopped 39 of 43 in the Moncton net.
On Nov. 2, after a scoreless opening period, the Axemen struck twice in the second on goals by Joe Gaynor after just 52 seconds and Brett Thompson at 11:58. Acadia then made it 3-0 on Mike Cazzola’s goal at 2:19 of the third.
St. Thomas, which had been outshot 39-8 over the first two periods, replied with two goals in the third, by Felix Poulin at 8:38 and Jonathan Bonneau at 11:42, but the Axemen were able to prevent any further scoring and held on for the win.
The final shots on goal were 49-17 in Acadia’s favour.
The standings following weekend play had Acadia first at 6-2 for 12 points, Moncton second at 5-2-1 for 11, and Saint Mary’s and UNB tied for third at 5-3 for 10 points.
St. F.X. and UPEI were tied for fifth at 4-3-1 for nine points, Dalhousie was at 3-4-1 for seven and St. Thomas was still winless after eight games.
The Axemen take to the road this weekend for games Nov. 9 at Saint Mary’s and Nov. 10 at St. F.X.