Wolfville, N.S. – The Acadia Axemen (0-0-1) were unable to complete what would have been an epic comeback in their home opener on Friday night against the StFX X-Men (1-0-0), losing 5-4 in a shootout. The X-Men seem to have Acadia's number, winning 4 of 5 regular season meetings last year as well.
The X-Men dominated the first period, scoring four unanswered goals, with three of them coming on the man-advantage, to take a 4-0 lead.
After taking a hit to draw the first penalty, forward and second star of the night, Kristoff Kontos scored a power-play marker, firing a wrist shot low glove side past Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves.
Near the end of the first, the X-Men added three more goals within two minutes, with power-play markers from Jagger Dirk and Holden Cook, and an even strength goal from Bryson Cianfrone, all of which beat Steeves low glove side.
The Axemen pulled goaltender Robert Steeves at the end of the first and put rookie Dawson Carty in nets to start the second.
Acadia responded with four goals of their own in the second period, including two power-play markers to tie the game heading into the third.
The first Axemen goal came from rookie forward Rodney Southam, who scored the first goal of his U SPORTS career by firing a wrist shot from the slot to beat X-Men goaltender Chase Marchand.
Acadia continued their comeback with another power-play goal, this time from Marc McNulty, along with an even strength marker from forward and First Star of the Night, Kyle Farrell. Farrell's goal ignited the crowd, as he deked to his backhand and slid the puck past Marchand's right pad.
Acadia tied the game with 1:26 left in the period, when the puck was dropped back to defenseman Liam Maaskant who ripped a wrist shot past Marchand.
Despite multiple chances on both sides, neither team was able to capitalize in the third period and the game headed to overtime.
After a five minute overtime four versus four period was unable to resolve the deadlock, it was off to the first shootout on home ice since 2014-15.
X-Men scored twice in the shootout, with Cianfrone and Cook sneaking close wrist shots past Dawson Carty.
Before getting the hook, Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves turned aside 12 of 16 shots, while rookie goalie Dawson Carty stopped all 22 shots he faced prior to the shootout. Their X-Men counterpart, Chase Marchand turned aside 33 of 37 shots, while stopping both shooters in the shootout.
Axemen forward, Stephen Harper was named third star of the night.
Acadia takes to the ice again tomorrow night in Halifax to take on the Dalhousie Tigers, before a rematch with StFX in Truro on Wednesday Oct. 11. The X-Men will host the Saint Mary's Huskies Saturday night at 7:00 pm in their home opener.
Submitted by Joshua Foote, Acadia Athletics Communications Office