By John DeCoste
The Acadia hockey Axemen started off their AUHC semifinal with the Saint Mary's Huskies on a positive note, scoring a 3-2 overtime win Wednesday evening at the Halifax Forum.
For the second game in a row, first-year forward Mike Cazzola was the overtime hero, scoring the game-winner at 5:19 of the first extra session on assists from Brett Thompson and Andrew Clark.
With the win, Acadia took the home ice advantage from the Huskies, with two of the next three series games scheduled for Acadia Arena.
Brett Thompson, the other half of Acadia's 'rookie connection' with Cazzola, opened the scoring for the Axemen at 8:16 of the first period, with Cazzola and Liam Heelis picking up assists.
Matt Tipoff tied the score for Saint Mary's about five minutes later, at 14:19, with Shawn O'Donnell and Jamie Doornbosch drawing the assists.
Before the opening period ended, though, Spencer Jezegou broke in alone on Huskies' goalie Anthony Peters and made no mistake, burying the breakaway for a 2-1 Axemen lead.
After a scoreless second period, Acadia clung to its 2-1 lead until the combination of Tipoff, O'Donnell and Doornbosch struck again for the Huskies, with Tipoff scoring the tying goal at the 9:00 mark.
The remainder of the third period was scoreless, and overtime was required to decide the contest. Saint Mary's successfully killed off a penalty early in the extra session, but the teams were once again playing five-on-five when Thompson set up Cazzola for the winner.
The Huskies finished with a wide 41-24 edge in shots on goal, with Evan Mosher rock-solid in the Axemen net, making several key saves in earning his third straight post-season win.
Game two goes Thursday evening in Halifax before the series shifts to Wolfville for game three Saturday evening and game four (if necessary) Sunday evening, both 7 p.m. starts at Acadia Arena.
Visit www.kingscountynews.ca for your web exclusive story Thursday evening to find out how the Axemen did in Game two.