Best-case scenario for the ECHL-leading Alaska Aces on Tuesday night: They could see two of their three pursuers for the Brabham Cup dismissed from that race and the other pushed to the brink of elimination.
Pretty-good-case scenario: The Aces could eliminate one contender (Elmira), push another (Gwinnett) within a point of dismissal and shove the third (Ontario) within two points of elimination.
Worst-but-not-dire-scenario: Even if the Aces don't gain a single point in Tuesday night's game at Las Vegas, they will still lead the overall standings.
Alaska, the defending Kelly Cup champion, tonight plays at Las Vegas. An Alaska victory would eliminate Elmira from Brabham contention and push Gwinnett within one point of elimination. An Alaska victory and an Ontario regulation loss at Colorado on Tuesday night would snuff's Ontario's bid for the Brabham.
In this final week of the 72-game ECHL regular season, Alaska leads the league with 94 points and has four games, all on the road, remaining. Gwinnett owns 91 points with three games left, Elmira 90 points with three games left and Ontario 90 points with four games left.
The Aces' magic number - any combination of points won by Alaska or lost by its pursuers - is two over Elmira, three over Gwinnett and four over Ontario.
Alaska already owns the tie-breaker - non-shootout wins - over the other three teams in the Brabham hunt.
The Brabham Cup, which the Aces won last season, is coveted because it guarantees the owner home-ice advantage throughout the Kelly Cup playoffs. A Western Conference team that wins the Brabham - of the four teams still in the chase, only Alaska and Ontario play in the West - gets a first-round playoff bye, like the Aces did last season.
The Aces have a game Wednesday night at Bakersfield, and games Friday and Saturday nights at Ontario.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
Alaska Aces (42-16-2) at Las Vegas Wranglers (40-22-7) WHEN: Tuesday night, 6:05 ADT RADIO: LIVE AM-750 KFQD