Morning skate: Aces optional practice

Doyle Woody,

The morning of Game 2 in the Alaska Aces' playoff series with the San Francisco Bulls -- the Aces won Friday night's opener 5-1 -- brought an optional skate for the Aces.

For what it's worth about, half the team got on the ice at Sullivan Arena and the other half followed the path of noted rink philosopher and former Aces center Kimbi Daniels -- "Once again, I choose to exercise my option.''

Among the guys who skated were five guys who were in the lineup Friday: Defensemen Corey Syvret and Brad Gorham, and forwards Chris Clackson, Alex Hudson and Andy Taranto. Also skating were defensemen B.J. Crum, Dustin Molle and Mike Baran, and forwards Tommy Mele and Spencer Bennett, and goaltender Mark Guggenberger. They were on the ice with assistant coaches Scott Burt and Louis Mass.

Aces coach Rob Murray said he expects to go with the same lineup tonight that he used Friday. One caveat -- winger Garry Nunn, who opened the scoring Friday, apparently suffered an upper-body injury Friday and it wasn't clear at the skate this morning whether he will be in the lineup tonight.

If Nunn's a scratch, Murray said, right wing Taranto will move up to Nick Mazzolini's top line, Hudson will slot in on right wing on Zach Harrison's third line in Taranto's place and Mele will jump into the lineup as the 10th forward.

On a completely unrelated note, The Blog doesn't travel with the team -- in the last several years, the only exception is the Kelly Cup Finals -- so he misses out on learning little things about the team. Example: Aces broadcaster Josh Bogorad mentioned Friday night that Murray often does crossword puzzles on the road.

Murray this morning said he usually does the crossword in the morning because hotels usually provide a free newspaper. He said he also does them between periods on the road, when he's usually the only coach with the club. Said it helps kill seven or eight minutes, after he's made a few notes and then addressed the team, when he's alone in some coaching "office'' set aside for the visiting coach.


Doyle Woody,