The Alaska Aces have a slump on their hands.
The Bakersfield Condors beat the Aces 4-3 Friday night to mark their second straight win over the Aces, who have lost four of their last five ECHL games.
Aces defenseman Bryan Miller scored in the waning seconds to pull Alaska within one goal, but that was after Bakersfield's Chad Painchaud scored an empty-net goal to wrap his two-goal, two-assist night. Also, Brett Pilkington added one goal and one assist in his Condors debut.
The Aces got the jump on the Condors before a sellout crowd of 6,251 on Military Appreciation Night when winger Cam Keith finished a 2-on-1 off a pass from linemate Luke Erickson midway through the first period.
But the Condors countered with Kevin Truelson's power-play goal later in the period and Pilkington's goal 68 seconds into the second period for a 2-1 Bakersfield lead.
Painchaud's power-play goal 37 seconds into the third period, on a play in which three different Aces couldn't clear the puck from their zone, staked Bakersfield to a 3-1 advantage.
Keith countered less than five minutes later by backhanding in his own rebound. After being held scoreless in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Condors, which snapped Keith's league-best 14-game point streak, he was back to his prolific ways Friday.
Alaska slipped to 13-7-1 after starting the season 12-3-1. Bakersfield improved to 8-9-3 and is 6-3-2 on the road.
Colin Hemingway's assist on Miller's goal extended his point streak to nine games. Miller has points in each of the last six games.
The Aces lost another defenseman for the season when Lee Green, the former UAA captain, decided to have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder. Rookie blueliner Mike Gauthier already is scheduled for season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.
Additionally, defensemen Corbin Schmidt (ankle) and Ed Hill (knee are out). Schmidt may be able to return in a week, when the Aces open a home series against Idaho. Hill is likely out until January.
Alaska did get some help on the blue line when it signed second-year pro B.J. Crum, who arrived in town in time to play Friday night. Crum previously played for the Augusta Lynx, who folded earlier this week.
More help is on the way today. Center Alexandre Imbeault, who spent six games with Peoria of the American Hockey League, has been sent back to the Aces.
Also still out for the Aces are wingers Bo Cheesman (back surgery) and Brett Hemingway (ankle surgery).
The Aces and Condors close their three-game series tonight.
Anchorage Daily News