Anatomy of Aces' goals tonight do not reflect well on Wranglers

Posted by DOYLE WOODY, adn.com on January 18, 2014 

No need for a run-down of the Alaska Aces goals tonight in the game story that will soon appear at adn.com and will land in Sunday's dead-trees edition. Hey, they beat Las Vegas 6-0 so The Blog tried to look at the bigger picture in the game story, which has been filed.

But before we pack up the 'ol backpack here at Sullivan Arena and call it a weekend, let's look at the Aces' strikes goal-by goal, which will allow you to review the evidence that the Wranglers' team defense did not do their goaltenders any favors tonight.

Goal 1 -- First period, Aces winger Peter Sivak's blistered a one-timer from the right circle, off James Martin's wheelhouse feed, just inside the right post. Las Vegas problem: Wranglers defenseman Jeff May appeared to screen his own goalie, Travis Fullerton.

Goal 2 -- Second period, Aces defenseman Zach Davies, at the right point, threw a seemingly harmless wrist shot toward the net. The shot looked like it was going well high of the net. But Las Vegas defenseman Greg Coburn reached up and tried to glove the shot. Las Vegas problem: Coburn deflected the puck past Fullerton and into his own net.

Goal 3 -- Second period, Davies cashed in again, sneaking down the left side on the power play and taking a point-blank backdoor tap-in off Brendan Connolly's slick pass from along the goal line on right wing. Las Vegas problem: Got cCught napping on the penalty kill, allowed a pass through the top of the crease and left Fullerton no hope.

Goal 4 -- Second period, Mathew Sisca received, you guessed it, a backdoor tap-in at the left post of yet another Connolly (career-high four helpers) feed. Las Vegas problem: Total no-hoper for Fullerton. At that point, Las Vegas coach Mike Madill yanked Fullerton for Mitch O'Keefe because, well, presumably you can't yank all your defensemen.

Goal 5 -- Second period, Shawn Skelly was allowed to walk out from behind the net, totally unchecked and feed a pass to captain Nick Mazzolini, who was stationed at the hashmarks between the circles and similarly unchecked. Las Vegas problem: "Hey, there's a guy in the slot unmarked winding up to unleash a 20-foot bomb -- best 'o luck, Mitch!''

Goal 6 -- Third period, O'Keefe let Drew MacKenzie's wraparound at the right post leak through him and the puck trickled nearly to his goal line before Eli Zuck nudged it in. Las Vegas problem: OK, on this one, some of it's on O'Keefe -- a goalie can't let a wraparound get through him, especially when he is in position to eat it, poke-check MacKenzie or push the rebound away from his net. Also, defenseman Nolan Julseth-White allowed Zuck to get inside position on him, and that's always dangerous for a defenseman.

In Las Vegas' defense, we here on press row always have the benefit of replays and second-guessing. In our defense -- the fundamental mistakes Las Vegas made on nearly every one of these goals were a staggering indictment of a last-place team.

 

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