Axemen down Tommies 9-5 in Fredericton

Photo by Shawn Murphy
Photo by Shawn Murphy

(FREDERICTON, N.B.) - The St. Thomas Tommies fell 9-5 to the Acadia University Axemen in AUS men's hockey action Saturday night at the Grant-Harvey Centre in front of 552 fans.

Boston Leier, Mike Cazzola, and Sam Fioretti each had three points in the win.

Kody Orr, Felix Poulin, Matt MacLeod, and Sawyer Hannay had two for the Tommies in a losing cause.

"I don't think our guys quit," Tommies head coach Pat Powers said after the game. "We got down 7-2, or something like that, and we continued to try and battle."

The Axemen jumped to an early 3-0 lead thanks to Cazzola, Leier, and Fioretti, who all found the back of the net within the first six minutes of play.

The Tommies regained their composure and eventually capitalized when Connor Sanvido tipped one past Axemen goaltender Robert Steeves.

The Tommies' momentum was short lived however. Leier buried a rebound for his second goal of the game at 8:18, and Remy Giftopoulos beat Tyson Teichmann five hole less than two minutes later to put the Axemen up 5-1.

"We knew they liked making the four-man rush, the five-man rush, and the pretty passing plays and we just didn't tie up sticks. We were on our heels," Powers said.

Luke Lee-Knight took over the job between the pipes for the Tommies' after the Axemen's fifth goal, and turned away the rest of their shots in the frame.

Steven Janes finished a tic-tac-toe play from  Poulin and MacLeod late in the frame to bring the Tommies within three of the Axemen after 20 minutes.

The Axemen kept the pressure on in the second and Cazzola profited, netting his second goal of the night just 1:58 into the frame. Dylan Anderson added to Acadia's lead, finishing a dish from Fioretti to put the Axemen up 7-2.

Liam Heelis beat Lee-Knight low at 8:57 and ended his night as Teichmann came back in net for the Tommies.

"In the game I thought that's what was best for our team. That's all it was," Powers said of the decision to put Teichmann back in the game.

"I've said from the start Tyson's a kid that's going to battle until the end of the horn. That's the attitude you want in your goaltender."

Poulin brought some life to the Tommies' offense when he buried a rebound for STU's third goal of the game. Orr kept the momentum going, tipping in a shot from behind the faceoff circle to close the gap to 8-4 heading into the third.

"I thought we had a couple lines tonight that actually tried to play in Acadia's face a bit and they had some success," Powers said.

The Axemen started the final frame on a power play—the Tommies were given a bench minor late in the second—and took advantage when Daniel Poliziani scored off a shot from the slot.

Orr responded for the Tommies, finding the back of the net for the second time to bring STU within four.

The Tommies pressured in the final minutes but couldn't close the gap, falling to 1-10-3 on the season. The Axemen improve to 11-3-0 with the win.

Both teams are back in action Wednesday. The Tommies will host the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds and the Axemen will host the Dalhousie Tigers. 

Source: St. Thomas Sports Information

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