1968-69 Men’s Hockey Team

 …serious challengers of the Atlantic Conference title.

The Don Wells -coached hockey Axemen of ’68-’69 were serious contenders for the Atlantic Conference Intercollegiate title. In fact, the Axemen, who had not won a tri-province championship in two decades, missed a trip to the Nationals by the narrowest of margins, ultimately dropping an overtime decision to Saint Mary’s Huskies.

The ’68-’69 Axemen, directed by former Conference luminary Wells, were strong in all departments. All-star custodian Bob Ring, backed up again by Don Pamenter and Brian Murray, each of whom had the skills to be a regular with any other Conference team, provided the Axemen with the league’s best goal tending.

Spearheading the blueline brigade was Montreal native Ken Brown, an outstanding rearguard the previous season with the Halifax Junior Canadians. This powerful skater with the blistering shot who was destined for all-star rating that season was paired with Halifax native John Burkart, who a year before had captained the Kings College School’s team. Lunenburg native Chris Anderson, who had won the prestigious Cox Cup for excellence in athletics and scholarship in April of ’68, provided further defensive heroics in the company of team captain Ralph Middleton, Harley Lockhart, Pete Drummond, Terry Atherton, and Lester Appleby.

Offensively, the Axemen were led by Hants County rookie Bill Boyd, a swift-moving left winger who was runner-up for the loop’s scoring title. Other outstanding goal-production efforts were provided by Roger Creasor, the previous seasons top Axeman scorer, Peter Sheppard, Bart MacDonald, Ian MacKinnon, Ric Williamson, Gary Forsythe, Bob Teale and Peter Lynch. Tom Kenney, returning from a season’s layoff, Don Anderson, the team’s most improved player in ’67-’68, Peter Goucher, an accomplished baseball player who played for the Axemen in his senior year, and Gregory Dinney were other fine contributors to the success of the ’68-’69 Hockey Axemen.

In an early season 10-6 win over the Windsor Royals, Bill Boyd and Ric Williamson each notched a trio of markers, while Sheppard, Middleton, MacKinnon and Brown shot singles. The Axemen subsequently defeated Memorial Beothuks 4-2, as Williamson shot a brace and Teale and Lynch singles. In a 2-all tie with the same team, Williamson and Forsythe were the goal scorers. In 9-4 and 4-1 triumphs over the same club, Ken Brown, Ric Williamson, Gary Forsytlle, Chris Anderson, Peter Lynch, John Burkart and Bill Boyd shone. In polishing off St. Dunstan’s, 6-3, Windsor native Boyd exploded for a couple of late-game tallies. Boyd again scored twice in a 4-1 victory over U.N.B., while Roger Creasor and Williamson went on scoring rampages in a victory over S.M.U.

Overall in regular season play that winter, the Axemen finished the regular schedule with an impressive thirteen wins and a tie against but four losses. Highlighting these contests was a 5-4 victory over St. F.X. representing the Axemen’s first victory in a decade over their arch rivals. In exhibition play, the Wells coached squad, with the able support from managers Ian White and John Carter, posted an 8-5 Winter Carnival triumph over Sir George Williams, the latter the C.I.A.U. champs that year.

In playoff action at the St. Mary’s rink, the Axemen dropped a 6-4 overtime heart breaker to the host Huskies. Subsequently, the Halifax-based team defeated St. Thomas, 4-2, thus qualifying for a trip to the Nationals.

It is an honour to welcome back for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame members of the ’68-’69 hockey Axemen, an exciting team that made a valiant and dramatic attempt to capture the Conference Championship.