Don Wells Tournament opens AUS hockey season in NS
19/09/2012 2:08 pm
Wells Tournament honours one of the greats of Acadia Athletics
WOLFVILLE, NS - This season marks the return of the annual Don Wells Memorial Univeristy Hockey Tournament after one year of absence. Last season's tournament was presented as the Don Wells Challenge with the Axemen hosting the University of Calgary Dinos. The Don Wells Tournament marks the first exhibition games of the AUS men's hockey season this weekend in Nova Scotia.
Named in honour of past Athletic Director and Hockey Coach Don Wells who passed away five years ago, Don built a hockey program that gained respect as one of the top university programs in the country following two National Championships in the nineties and numerous Atlantic University Hockey Conference championships over the last twenty years.
A graduate of UNB, Don arrived on the Acadia campus as an accomplished university all-star hockey player and joined the Axemen hockey squad for the 1965 season. A year later, Wells became Acadia’s new head coach for 19 seasons. Along with his duties as head coach of the men’s hockey program, Don also guided the Department of Varsity Athletics and Recreation for 13 years beginning in 1984 as its Director. Retiring in 1998, Don was inducted into the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame for his 30 plus years of service to the Acadia and local community.
This year’s tournament features the StFX X-men, the Saint Mary’s Huskies, and the Carleton Ravens of the Ontario University Athletics hockey conference, along with Acadia. The tournament is the first scheduled exhibition play of the AUS hockey season and plays an important role for the participating teams.
"The tournament offers us along with StFX and Saint Mary's, an opportunity to get a feel for what lies ahead in the AUS" points out head coach Darren Burns, who heads into his 12th season directing the Acadia Axemen.
Burns, who played for the Axemen when Don Wells was Director of the Acadia Athletics Department, is honoured to host the tournament over the last 10 years. "We are very excited to open play this weekend. Ever since I set foot on the Acadia Campus in 1990, Major Fred Kelly and Don Wells were to two individuals I heard so much about because of their dedication to their players and Acadia Athletics. Its a priviledge to play in a tournament named after Mr Wells and our players will be well educated on its importance".
Acadia's Director of Athletics, Kevin Dickie, was hired by Don Wells as the Axemen's hockey coach in 1997. "I think there is no other better way to start the hockey season off than honouring a person like Mr. Wells, who had such a significant influence on University hockey".
The tournament kicks off this weekend with two games scheduled on Saturday, September 22 starting at 1:00pm as StFX squares off with Saint Mary's followed by a 7:00 pm featuring Acadia against the visiting Carleton Ravens.
Sunday's games will include a 6:00 pm that includes Acadia and the winner or loser of Saturday's 1:00 pm game, depending on the result of Acadia's game on Saturday night. Sunday's 1:00 pm game will feature the winners or losers (dependent on Acadia's win or loss on Saturday night) of Saturday's games.
Tickets are available at the Acadia Box Office at 902-542-5500 or 1-800-542-8425