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Hockey Axemen get another shot to secure spot at nationals

Brett Thompson of the Acadia Axemen scores a goal in an earlier play-off game this season.
Brett Thompson of the Acadia Axemen scores a goal in an earlier play-off game this season.

WOLFVILLE, NS - The AUS semifinal series didn’t quite go the way Darren Burns was hoping, but his hockey Axemen still have a shot at securing a spot at nationals.

The hockey Axemen were eliminated after a 5-4 overtime loss to St. FX in Game 3 Feb. 28, but because the U Sports final is being held in the Atlantic region this year, the AUS receives two playoff berths in addition to the host UNB team. Because UNB won its semifinal series, the Axemen have the chance to play Saint Mary’s in a best-of-three playoff to decide the third conference berth. 

Game 1 gets underway March 6 at Acadia, and Burns says his team is ready to go.

“We had a good record against Saint Mary’s, we went 4-1 in the regular season against them, but that’s irrelevant now that we’re in a new series,” Burns said.

He’s feeling confident going into the series.

“Our guys should always feel good against them,” he said. “And they should be confident. There are only eight or 10 teams still playing in the country, and we’re one of them. They’ve worked hard to get here.”

The team, he says, has worked hard all season and he’s been happy with the way the Axemen have been playing.

“Now it’s down to us being confident and playing our game,” he said. “We’ve worked hard, we’ve got a team of great guys. They’re very tight knit. They’re playing for each other, they’re playing for Acadia, they’re playing for the fans and they want to keep pushing forward.”

With about half-a-dozen players set to graduate this season, the team wants to go out on a high note – and they want to play a little more hockey for fans. Acadia has gone to the U Sport final two of the last three years, he said, and the team wants to show off their skills at a national level one more time.

“We didn’t have a great finish last time, but we’ve got a good opportunity here, we just need to win two out of three to get there. We want to get there again, and that may be greedy, but it’s something we’ve been talking about since the start of the season. That’s where we want to be,” he said.

“I’d like to see Acadia experience good things. I don’t think there’s any other sport that gets this kind of fan support that Acadia does here in the Valley. We’re so fortunate to have that kind of support, and I’d love to bring them another couple of weeks of hockey.”

Acadia will host game one March 6, with puck drop at 7 p.m., while game two will be played March 8 at Saint Mary’s, also at 7 p.m. If needed, the third game is set for March 10 at Acadia at 7 p.m.

The hockey Axemen were eliminated after a 5-4 overtime loss to St. FX in Game 3 Feb. 28, but because the U Sports final is being held in the Atlantic region this year, the AUS receives two playoff berths in addition to the host UNB team. Because UNB won its semifinal series, the Axemen have the chance to play Saint Mary’s in a best-of-three playoff to decide the third conference berth. 

Game 1 gets underway March 6 at Acadia, and Burns says his team is ready to go.

“We had a good record against Saint Mary’s, we went 4-1 in the regular season against them, but that’s irrelevant now that we’re in a new series,” Burns said.

He’s feeling confident going into the series.

“Our guys should always feel good against them,” he said. “And they should be confident. There are only eight or 10 teams still playing in the country, and we’re one of them. They’ve worked hard to get here.”

The team, he says, has worked hard all season and he’s been happy with the way the Axemen have been playing.

“Now it’s down to us being confident and playing our game,” he said. “We’ve worked hard, we’ve got a team of great guys. They’re very tight knit. They’re playing for each other, they’re playing for Acadia, they’re playing for the fans and they want to keep pushing forward.”

With about half-a-dozen players set to graduate this season, the team wants to go out on a high note – and they want to play a little more hockey for fans. Acadia has gone to the U Sport final two of the last three years, he said, and the team wants to show off their skills at a national level one more time.

“We didn’t have a great finish last time, but we’ve got a good opportunity here, we just need to win two out of three to get there. We want to get there again, and that may be greedy, but it’s something we’ve been talking about since the start of the season. That’s where we want to be,” he said.

“I’d like to see Acadia experience good things. I don’t think there’s any other sport that gets this kind of fan support that Acadia does here in the Valley. We’re so fortunate to have that kind of support, and I’d love to bring them another couple of weeks of hockey.”

Acadia will host game one March 6, with puck drop at 7 p.m., while game two will be played March 8 at Saint Mary’s, also at 7 p.m. If needed, the third game is set for March 10 at Acadia at 7 p.m.

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