Source: Eric Cederberg, Acadia Sports Info / Photo credit Acadia Athletics
WOLFVILLE, N.S. - After an 8-2 loss to the Varsity Reds in game one in Fredericton, Acadia had hope to pull off a home rink win to tie the best of three series at one game apiece.
Facing elimination, the CIS No. 3 ranked Acadia Axemen fell short in pushing the series to a third and final game, losing 4-2 to the eventual AUS champions and CIS No. 2 ranked UNB Varsity Reds.
In front of a capacity crowd of 2100 at the Andrew H. McCain arena, the Axemen struck first on an even handed goal at 3:53 by second year Axeman Taylor Makin (Lethbridge, Alta.). On a giveaway by a UNB defenseman, Makin capitalized on the opportunity.
The Varsity Reds tied the game at one just under seven minutes later when Rob Mignardi (Richmond Hill, Ont.) pushed in the puck on a scramble in front of Acadia's Brandon Glover.
With under two minutes remaining in the opening period, first year AUS All-Rookie Remy Giftopoulos (Ancaster, Ont.) scored on the man-advantage to give Acadia a 2-1 lead after one period. Giftopoulos netted his fifth goal of the playoffs before a UNB hooking penalty expired. After receiving a pass from Brett Thompson (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.), Giftopolous cut to the net beating UNB netminder David Shantz (Hamilton, Ont.) high on the glove hand side.
V-Red Chris Caissy (Campbellton, N.B.) tied the game for a second time at the 10:16 mark of the second period when he grabbed a Glover rebound that found its home in the top corner of the net. The tie would hold at two for the remainder of the second frame.
Philippe Halley (Quebec, Que.) would score the eventual game winner with 1:48 remaining in the contest.
Dylan Willick (Prince George, B.C.) scored the empty netter with 16 seconds remaining in the game to guarantee the win and the two game sweep of the best of 3 AUS championship series.
Acadia’s Brandon Glover (Victoria, B.C.) stopped 38 of UNB’s 41 shots, while David Shantz stood tall and made 28 saves.
With UNB’s win, both the Varsity Reds along with the Axemen will head to Halifax next week to take part in the CIS University Cup. Six other teams from across Canada will also join them, including the host St.FX X-Men.
Denied a second straight AUS title, the Acadia Axemen will await seeding for the CIS National championship tournament next weekend in Halifax. The CIS No. 2 ranked UNB Varsity Reds will most likely stick at the number two position in the CIS Championship tournament seeding.