With the Western Conference best-of-7 semifinal series between the Alaska Aces and Stockton Thunder knotted 1-1, pivotal Game 3 drops Thursday night at Stockton Arena.
Game 3 is a huge swing game -- if the Aces win, Stockton knows, at best, it is headed back to Alaska for a Game 6; if Stockton wins, the Aces know they need to get it in gear in Game 4 Friday, or face an elimination match in Game 5 on Sunday.
Ain't the playoffs a blast?
Stockton roared back from a 2-1 deficit after two periods in Saturday's Game 2 to rack a 5-3 series-evening win. That was the first time since the start of the 2010-11 regular season the Aces took a lead into a third period and lost in regulation. Prior to Saturday, they were 116-0-7 in such circumstances the past three seasons, and 13-0 in playoff games under those circumstances.
One stumble in three years seems permissible.
But, hey, Cowbell Crew, just what do you expect from Game 3? Remember, Stockton under coach Matt Thomas has a strong history of storming hard early in home games. The Aces, under Rob Murray, racked the league's best road record in the regular season and won all three road games in their first-round elimination of San Francisco.
Do weigh in.