Aces update: Doing the Abbotsford goalie shuffle

Posted by DOYLE WOODY, adn.com on October 14, 2013 

The Alaska Aces' have a different kind of goalie rotation flowing -- a couple of guys going back and forth between Anchorage and Abbotsford.

Rookie Laurent Brossoit, who has been in training camp with the Aces and played an exhibition game last week, is headed back to the Aces' AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. Headed here from Abbotsford is Joni Ortio of Finland -- you can check out his resume here -- who hasn't played in any of Abbotsford's four games. (The starts have all gone to Reto Berra, the Swiss goaltender). Brossoit, a Canadian, and Ortio are both sixth-round picks of the parent Calgary Flames. Berra was a fourth-round pick by St. Louis.

Thus it appears the Aces will open the ECHL season with the goaltending tandem of returner Mark Guggenberger, an All-ECHL second-team selection last season, and Ortio. (Remember, Gerald Coleman will start the season on IR after offseason hip surgery).

"I think the theory with Abbotsford and Calgary is they want Berra to play the load of games and you might see Brossoit and Ortio flipping in and out of here all year,'' said Aces coach Rob Murray.

Meanwhile, Aces rookie center Eli Zuck didn't practice this morning. He's having a lower-body injury evaluated, Murray said, but the injury is not considered serious, so Zuck's absence shouldn't be long-term. Given that, and because he thinks Jordan Kremyr has potential at center after primarily playing wing for the Aces in the past, Murray has slotted Kremyr into the pivot on the third line.

With Coleman to start the season on IR and ECHL teams allowed to carry 23 players for the first month of the season, the Aces probably only need to make one more cut from training camp (they are currently at 25 players). Of the 23 players teams can carry in the first month, only 21 can be active at any time.

The Aces drop the puck on the season Friday at 7:15 p.m. when they entertain the San Francisco Bulls.

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