Stephane Legault had a five-point afternoon and Riley Kieser had two goals and two assists as the Alberta Golden Bears beat the Acadia Axemen 8-6 in the third quarter-final game of the 2018 U SPORTS Cavendish Farms University Cup.
Jason Fram and Cole Sanford each picked up a goal and two assists in the win for Alberta.
The Golden Bears avenge their quarter-final loss against Acadia at last year’s University Cup with the win.
“It was never about redemption,” said Golden Bears head coach Serge Lajoie.
Alberta quickly entered the Acadia zone off the opening faceoff. Kieser converted on a cross-ice, backhand pass from Fram to open the scoring just 13 seconds in.
After some back and forth action, Kieser would score his second goal, redirecting a pass from the corner to put the Bears up by two.
Kyle Farrell responded for Acadia just 16 seconds later with a quick shot from the slot.
“Credit to them, they can really roll four good lines and they are tough to stop,” said Farrell.
Luke Philp scored off a rebound, on the power play to start the second, restoring Alberta’s lead to two, and Sanford fired a shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle 2:14 later to make it 4-1 for Alberta.
After weaving multiple passes in Acadia’s zone, again with the man advantage, Legault crashed the Axemen’s net to score Alberta’s fifth goal.
Remy Giftopolous buried a cross-crease pass from Stephen Harper on a late period powerplay to pull the Axemen within three but Taylor Cox opened the third period with a slapshot goal to widen Alberta’s lead to four.
Jamie Crooks followed two minutes later, burying a loose puck in front for Alberta’s seventh goal and third power play marker.
Fram scored off a precision pass from Keiser to make it 8-2, chasing Robert Steeves from the Acadia net. He was replaced by backup Dawson Carty.
Cristiano Digiacinto scored for Acadia at 11:56 to make it 8-3, as the Axemen’s offence came to life late in game. Chance Braid, Boston Leier and Geoff Schemitsch all scored on shots in close in the final two minutes to pull the Axemen within two.
“I’m just proud of our group all around…scoring a few goals late, never giving up, that’s just been what our group has been all about,” said Farrell.
With the score 8-6 Acadia pulled their goalie, but ran out of time.
“I’m glad we had that lead,” said Lajoie.
Alberta outshot Acadia 38-29. The Golden Bears went 3-5 with the man-advantage while Acadia went 1-4.
Brendan Burke had 23 saves to pick up the win for the Golden Bears, while Steeves made 24 saves and Carty had six in releief for the Axemen.
Alberta will now face the winner of the fourth quarter-final between the Saskatchewan Huskies and the McGill Redmen on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT
Players of the Game
ALBERTA: Riley Kieser
ACADIA: Geoff Schemitsch