Axemen looking to end regular season on winning note

Jason Malloy
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Acadia’s Andrew Clark, right, chases a puck inside the UPEI zone during university hockey action Saturday in Wolfville. Playing the second game in as many nights, the Axemen lost 6-1.

By Jason Malloy

The Acadia Axemen hockey team looks to snap a four-game losing streak at home Friday night.

The injury-riddled squad will host Dalhousie before closing out the regular season Saturday in Halifax against Saint Mary’s. Both games start at 7 p.m.

“You want to be going into the playoffs on a good run and be competitive and playing well,” coach Darren Burns said Monday.

At the start of the week the Axemen (15-9-2) were in fifth place. They still had a mathematical shot at finishing second, as five points separated first from fifth.

Acadia is coming off a pair of losses on home ice last weekend, 3-2 Friday to first-place UNB and 6-1 Saturday to third-place UPEI.

“I thought we played outstanding Friday night,” Burns said.

“I think some of the mistakes we made (Saturday) were just mental errors out of fatigue.”

The coach said he is proud of how his team has battled through adversity all season.

Due to injuries, the team has been missing between five and eight players since the fourth game of the season. It continued Saturday when Travis Gibbons was hurt midway through the contest. The team played the remainder of the game with four defencemen.

Burns said he is “absolutely astonished” the team has played so well this season. It has exceeded the expectations of many pundits around the league.

Burns wants the strong team play to continue as it pushes for the playoffs.

“We can’t use (injuries) as a crutch, we have to get ready this week to get back at it,” he said.

Geographic location: Halifax, Saint Mary, Acadia

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