(FREDERICTON, NB) It took a shootout goal to do it, but the Acadia Axemen did what no other team has been able to do so far this season… beat the CIS top-ranked UNB Varsity Reds.
Zach Franko's goal, in the third round of the shootout, was the winner.
"Whenever we see UNB on the schedule, it's a little more incentive to bring our "A" game, " said Franko. "I've had some success, in shootouts, with deking, a little bit, so I think that played a part in it and fortunately, it went in."
The two teams looked to be skating toward a scoreless first period when UNB's Cameron Brace capitalized on a neutral zone turnover. With 58 seconds left in the period, Brace snapped a wrist-shot over the blocker of Axemen netminder Brandon Glover, giving the VReds a 1-0 lead.
Acadia took the lead in the second period, scoring twice.
Travis Randell scored an even-strength goal at 7:55 of the second, before Brett Thompson's power-play marker less than two minutes later.
Then, with just 24 seconds left in the period, Varsity Reds captain Cam Critchlow jumped on a puck lying in the crease, pushing it past Glover to tie the game 2-2.
There were opportunities for both sides in the third, but neither team was able to capitalize.
UNB had a wonderful chance late in the overtime, but came up empty-handed.
Brace, Chris Caissy and Philippe Maillet all failed in their shootout attempts before Franko won it for the Axemen.
UNB outshot Acadia 43-25, little consolation for Critchlow. "I don't think we played very well in the second and third, gave away a lot of power-plays and opportunities." Critchlow feels UNB hasn't played well at home this season. "On the road, we've been really solid this year and at home, not so much." "We've got to be a lot better."
The Varsity Reds return to action Saturday, when they host the Saint Mary's University Huskies. Game time is 7PM.