Acadia Bounced by Winnipeg

The impressive season of the Golden Bears came to a disappointing end in the SICHL Canadian Conference final at the talons of the Winnipeg Falcons.
by Marcel Cormier | June 15, 2014, 3:42 AM ET

Unable to find a way to beat Henrik Lunqvist, the Acadia Golden Bears were eliminated from playoff action on home ice as the Winnipeg Falcons scored at will to advance to the SICHL Finals.

The series ended much as it began; in Saint John with the visitors handing the Bears a lopsided loss. Winnipeg scored 6 times in Game 1 and upped that to 7 goals in the series clinching fifth game. By comparison, Acadia only managed to score 7 times in the entire series.

"It's hard to explain," said head coach Dave Hakstol, "That's a very strong team that we came up against but at the same time, we swept them in the regular season so it's not like we hadn't beaten them enough times. We just couldn't find the back of the net."

Acadia made an assortment of trades over the course of the season and the tinkering seemed to work until this series. The late additions of James Neal and Martin St. Louis played well and both finished in the top of playoff scoring for the team.

But there were definitely underachievers on the team and the internal examination of the club's performance over the summer will be interesting to say the least.

Jordan Eberle, who had 27 goals and 58 points during the year, managed just 2 goals and an assist through 14 playoff games. Tomas Kopecky, acquired at the deadline, chipped in just 2 points after a 55-point campaign with three different clubs. Even forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Dustin Byfuglien struggled to equal their regular season production.

"We had the guys in the room... we definitely had the talent and the ability to get it done," said forward Troy Browuer, "we just didn't."

"You have to credit Winnipeg for the way they played, it wasn't that we were playing poorly but rather that they were doing a great job of limiting our chances," explained Claude Giroux, "There wasn't a lot of room out there, they took away any space and didn't give us time to execute."

No doubt the Falcons are an impressive team lead by veterans loaded with past playoff experiences and it showed. 

"It's going to make for a long summer," said GM Guy Flaming, "Of course there will be changes but I know that with the returning players we have and the young guys that are on the way up, we'll be in the hunt once again next year."

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