Top-ranked Alberta upset by Acadia in U Cup hockey opener

Acadia Axemen lead St. Francis Xavier X-Men in bronze medal game at U Cup

The No. 1-ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears were upset by the eighth-ranked Acadia University Axemen 4-1 Thursday in the opening game of the University Cup hockey championship in Fredericton.

Alberta took a 1-0 lead into the second period on a goal by Taylor Cooper, but the Axemen responded with second-period goals by Kyle Farrell and Boston Leier to take a 2-1 lead into the final 20 minutes.

Stephen Harper's goal at 15:32 of the third period put Acadia up 3-1 before Daniel Pettersson closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:53.

With the victory, Acadia advances to a semifinal game on Saturday against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

Host UNB beats Queen's

The University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds posted a 5-1 victory Thursday night over the Queen's Gaels of Kingston Thursday night in the second quarter-final of the day.

Philippe Maillet completed a hat trick with eight minutes left in the second period to give the Reds a healthy 5-1 lead in front of an Aitken Centre crowd of 3,374 as part of the University Cup hockey championship. There was no scoring in the third period.

Phil Halley and Chris Clapperton also had goals for the Reds after the Gaels scored the first goal of the game.

The Gaels are the fourth seed in the tournament while the host Reds are ranked in the fifth position.

The start time of the second game of the tournament was pushed back an hour to 8 p.m. because of travel difficulties experienced by Queen's en route to New Brunswick because of a snowstorm on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Gael's didn't arrive in Fredericton until just after noon on Thursday.

Dick White, the U-Sports delegate to the tournament, said it doesn't give the Gaels much time to prepare for the game. He said there were discussions about switching the schedule, but given the tight time frame, it wasn't possible.

"Really, to protect the integrity of the whole tournament and all eight teams, as well as the host and the TV contract, our options were very, very limited," said White. "Once we heard the roads were open at 8 p.m. last night we determined we would stick with the schedule we had with the one allowance made that we would start tonight at 8 p.m."

Two other quarter-final games are scheduled for Friday, with the University of Saskatchewan playing York University and McGill University taking on St. Francis Xavier University.

The semifinal games are scheduled for Saturday with the bronze and gold-medal games set for Sunday.