Playoff updates (ECHL, NAHL, AHL)

Posted by Doyle Woody, dwoody@adn.com on May 5, 2013 

Some pretty intriguing stuff going on in various playoffs these days, so let's begin with the ECHL and the Stockton Thunder, the club that knocked the Alaska Aces out of the playoffs.

The Thunder won 4-3 in overtime today on Andrew Clark's decisive strike, and that road defeat of the Idaho Steelheads continued an amazing streak for Stockton -- the Thunder have won 11 consecutive overtime games under coach Matt Thomas, and five of those have come this postseason. The Thunder lead 2-0 in the best-of-7 series that now heads to Stockton.

Also in the ECHL, former Aces center Ethan Cox racked two assists for Reading, which beat Cincinnati 3-2 in OT to take a 2-0 lead in that best-of-7. The winner of Stockton-Idaho meets the winner of Reading-Cincy in the Kelly Cup Finals. Oh, Reading, which also includes former UAF and Aces defenseman Bryant Molle of Anchorage, is 4-0 in the postseason in OT.

In the NAHL, the Fairbanks Ice Dogs used goals 61 seconds apart Saturday night to stave off elimination with a 3-2 win over visiting Wenatchee that evened the best-of-5 West Division Finals (and the right to go to the Robertson Cup) at two games apiece. Fairbanks' two third-period strikes came from a couple of homeboys -- Colton Wolter and UAF-bound Taylor Munson.

Here's what is amazing about Fairbanks' playoff run -- the Ice Dogs have played nine games and, essentially, all have been one-goal games. Seven of those games were truly decided by one goal, two others were decided by two goals but included empty-net goals. Anyhow, Game 5 is Tuesday in Wenatchee, Wash.

And in the AHL, former NHLer and Aces winger Joey Crabb racked two goals for Hershey, but the Bears fell 5-4 to visiting Providence to tie that opening-round best-of-5 series at 2-2. Crabb's four goals in four games ranks him third in the league. Game 5 is Wednesday at Providence -- note that the visiting team has won all four games in the series. Hershey also includes former Aces defenseman Patrick Wellar.

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