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Aces knock off Wranglers 2-0

Doyle Woody

The Alaska Aces and Mark Guggenberger won another goaltending duel on the road Friday night.

With Guggenberger coming off a shutout of the Las Vegas Wranglers on Wednesday, the Aces' masked man stopped 30 shots Friday to backstop a 2-1 victory at Orleans Arena in Sin City.

In the opening two games of the Aces' five-game road trip, a pair of losses at Stockton, Guggenberger was strafed for 10 goals on 50 shots -- and he was pulled from the trip opener, a 7-4 setback.

But he has since regained his groove. He stopped 26 shots in Wednesday's 1-0 win and his work Friday gives him 56 saves on 57 shots through two games of the three-game series in Las Vegas, which wraps Saturday night.

Las Vegas' Joe Fallon was no slouch -- he made 35 saves.

Alaska (7-4-0) killed all five of Las Vegas' power plays, which continued the Aces' exceptional penalty killing and also continued the Wranglers' terrible power play in the early season. Alaska has permitted five power-play goals in its opponents' 65 chances for 92.3-percent efficiency. Las Vegas has converted twice on 48 power plays for 4.2-percent efficiency.

Center Nick Mazzolini took care off the scoring for the Aces, striking on the power play in the first period and at even strength in the second period.

Mazzolini's man-advantage goal gave the Aces a 1-0 lead and Las Vegas sniper Eric Lampe, the ECHL's leading goal scorer last season, forged a 1-1 tie with his second-period goal.

But Mazzolini's even-strength goal shortly after a Las Vegas power play expired in the middle period regained Alaska the lead at 2-1.

The Aces are 6-0-0 when they score the first goal of the game.

Las Vegas (3-5-1), which last season beat the Aces in the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Florida Everblades in the Kelly Cup Finals, has lost four straight games.

 

Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.

 

Aces 1 1 0 -- 2

Las Vegas 0 1 0 -- 1

First Period -- 1, Aces, Mazzolini 4 (Nunn, Lafranchise), 8:56 (pp). Penalties -- Campbell, Las Vegas (hooking), 5:08; Wiles, Las Vegas (slashing), 7:16; Syvret, Aces (slashing), 14:17.

Second Period -- 2, Las Vegas, Lampe 3 (Huxley, Paukovich), 9:00; 3, Aces, Mazzolini 5 (Syvret, Wrenn), 16:57. Penalties -- Crabb, Aces (roughing), 2:52; Imbeault, Aces (hooking), 6:10; Francis, Las Vegas (high-sticking), 10:26.

Third Period -- None. Penalties -- Las Vegas bench minor, served by Huxley (too many men), 9:36; Las Vegas bench minor, served by Francis (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:36; Thompson, Aces (tripping), 12:19.

Shots on goal -- Aces 15-11-11--37. Las Vegas 8-8-15--31.

Power-play Opportunities -- Aces 1 of 5. Las Vegas 0 of 5.

Goalies -- Aces, Guggenberger, 6-3-0 (31 shots-30 saves). Las Vegas, Fallon, 3-3-1 (37-35).

A -- 4,344 (7,773). T -- 2:31.

Referee -- Joe Sullivan. Linesmen - Zach Thornton, Wally Lacroix.

 

 

Woody on Hockey
By DOYLE WOODY
dwoody@adn.com