WOLFVILLE – The short-staffed Acadia Axemen (10-17-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped on Friday night in Wolfville in a 2-1 loss to the Moncton Aigles Bleus (14-11-4).
While Acadia led the game in shots, the Aigles Bleus found the back of the net with 1:44 remaining in the third period, on a goal from the third star of the night, Vincent Lanoue.
It was a goaltender’s game, as Moncton’s goalie Etienne Montpetit was named Subway First Star of the Night, while Acadia goalie Logan Flodell was named the second star.
Moncton scored with exactly 1:00 left in the opening period, on a goal from forward Thierry Comtois to take the lead into the first intermission.
The Axemen responded with a power-play marker from Acadia’s leading scorer Stephen Harper early in the second period.
By the end of the second period, the shots were 30-19 for the Axemen and the game tied at one.
Moncton finally broke the tie with 1:44 left in the period, as forward Vincent Lanouse took a pass in the slot and fired a snap shot into the top left corner of the net to score the go-ahead goal and eventual game winner.
"Give him credit, he's probably up for a bid as an MVP candidate this year. He kept them in the game. It's the third game in a row he's tough to beat," said Stephen Harper when asked about the great goaltending by Etienne Montpetit.
The Axemen have struggled with the power play this season but Acadia picked up three power-play goals in the last three games.
"It comes down to confidence. When you are scoring goals, everyone is feeling better. Whether it's regular strength or the power play, we're happy where we are going, but we still got a lot of work before playoff time because it's going to be tighter hockey," said Harper.
Axemen goaltender Flodell turned aside 29 of 31 shots, while his Moncton counterpart stopped 45 of 46 shots.
The Axemen finished the regular season in sixth place and take on the St F.X. X-Men in the quarterfinal rounds starting Feb. 13. Acadia hosts the X-Men Feb. 15 in the second of the three game quarterfinal series. UPEI and Moncton are in the other AUS quarter-final series. If a third game is needed, Acadia will travel to St. F.X. Feb. 17. Game times are at 7 p.m. for all quarter-final series games.
Submitted by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office