Aces fall to Eagles on the road

Doyle Woody

A power-play outage Friday night short-circuited both the Alaska Aces' streak of four straight hockey games without a loss in regulation and its streak of six straight wins against the Colorado Eagles this season.

The Aces failed to score on seven power-play opportunities and lost 3-1 at the sold-out Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

That power-play futility was a new Aces shortcoming against the Eagles -- Alaska had clicked with the man advantage eight times in 30 attempts (26.7-percent efficiency) in those six previous wins against the Eagles.

The loss prevented the Aces from increasing their lead atop the ECHL standings in the quest for the Brabham Cup as regular-season champions on the 20-team circuit.

Alaska (40-16-9) leads the league with 89 points in 65 games, with seven games left, including tonight's series finale in Colorado. Gwinnett lost Friday, so it held tight at 85 points in 66 games, but Ontario won at Idaho to give it 84 points in 64 games.

Meanwhile, Las Vegas lost in Stockton so it is stuck on 83 points in 64 games. Greenville won to increase its bounty to 83 points in 65 games. And Elmira lost to stay stuck on 80 points in 64 games.

Aces veteran winger Wes Goldie, who is tied for the league's all-time goal record with 368 -- he's tied with Rod Taylor -- was held in check for the second straight game in his quest for the record-breaker. He fired two shots on goal and also hit the crossbar.

The Aces jumped to a 1-0 lead on defenseman Bryan Miller's 10th goal of the season, five minutes into the game before a crowd of 5,289 that represented the Eagles' 344th straight sellout.

But Colorado captain Riley Nelson answered five minutes later, Liam Huculak scored two minutes into the second period and defenseman Aaron Schneekloth, the league's leading scorer among blueliners, scored his 19th just 96 seconds into the third period.

Kyle Jones made 28 saves for the Eagles (33-24-6), who snapped their franchise record-tying, four-game losing streak. Shane Owen made 14 saves for the Aces, who won 4-1 in the series opener on Wednesday.

Former Colorado College forward Tim Hall made his pro debut for the Aces and drew two of Colorado's seven penalties.

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Aces 1 0 0 -- 1

Colorado 1 1 1 -- 3

First Period -- 1, Aces, Miller 10 (Harrison, Marsh), 4:56; 2, Colorado, Nelson 25 (Marto, Chiarot), 10:19. Penalties -- Vidmar, Colorado (holding), 2:54; Huculak, Colorado (goaltender interference), 15:17; Anderson, Aces (goaltender interference), 16:58.

Second Period -- 3, Colorado, Huculak 3 (Cey, Haddon), 2:18. Penalties -- Sides, Colorado (elbowing), 4:03; Al. Penner, Colorado (boarding), 8:11; Slattengren, Colorado (slashing), 12:26; Marsh, Aces (tripping), 17:42.

Third Period -- 4, Colorado, Schneekloth 19 (Ulanski, Nelson), 1:36. Penalties - Haddon, Colorado (slashing), 10:01; Smeltzer, Colorado (hooking), 14:59.

Shots on goal -- Aces 7-9-13--29. Colorado 6-5-6--17.

Power-play Opportunities -- Aces 0 of 7. Colorado 0 of 2.

Goalies -- Aces, Owen, 7-9-2 (17 shots-14 saves). Colorado, Jones, 28-13-4 (29-28).

A -- 5,289 (5,289). T -- 2:15.

Referee -- T.J. Luxmore. Linesmen -- Butch Mousseaux, Chris Wilson.

Blog: Woody on Hockey
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