Aces: Goalie Guggenberger set to return

Doyle Woody,Adn Staff

The Alaska Aces are getting their goaltending tandem back for another season.

The ECHL club this morning announced it has re-signed Mark Guggenberger, the All-ECHL second-team goalie last season, after last week announcing the signing of Gerald Coleman.

That means the return of the tandem that last season led the Aces to an unprecedented third straight Brabham Cup title as ECHL regular-season champs.

All Guggenberger, 24, did last season was go 25-8-5 with a 2.23 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and three shutouts. That placed him tied for fourth on the circuit in wins, third in goals-against average, fourth in save percentage and tied for fourth in shutouts. He proved the read deal in his first ECHL season, which came after he was the Central Hockey League's Goaltender of the Year and Rookie of the Year two seasons ago.

When Coleman was recovering from offseason hip surgery a year ago and goalie James Reid suffered an ankle injury early in the season, Guggenberger made 13 consecutive starts -- he went 10-3-0 in that stretch -- and helped the Aces get off to a strong start.

There's a decent chance the Aces will get a goalie assigned to them by their NHL affiliate, the Calgary Flames, so Guggenberger and a masked man to be named could be the club's tandem in the early season as Coleman continues rehab from another offseason hip surgery.

In any event, doesn't look like goaltending is anything the Aces have to be concerned about. Guggenberger and Coleman last season furnished them a stellar tandem. Remember, the Aces finished second in the league in goals allowed last season, trailing South Carolina by just .01 goals per game.

By the way, the announcement of Guggenberger's re-signing means the Aces have announced the signings (to a standard ECHL one-year deal or a PTO -- professional tryout agreement) of 15 players for the upcoming season. The breakdown: seven forwards, six defensemen, two goalies. And 12 of those players are returners.