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Random thoughts on Aces' Game 2 win, and ECHL playoffs

Doyle Woody,Adn Staff

A few items that didn't make the final-edition game story of the Alaska Aces' 3-1 win over the Las Vegas Wranglers in Game 2 tonight to give Alaska a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 ECHL Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Aces got first-period power-play goals from defensemen Drew MacKenzie -- that's two for Drew in two games -- and John Ramage, an empty-net goal from Ramage, three helpers from captain Nick Mazzolini and 18 saves from Olivier Roy, who played his first game at any level in five weeks.

The second period was scoreless, but there were moments of fun. Aces All-ECHL winger Peter Sivak came from behind the Wranglers' net and, confronted by a defenseman, simply flipped the puck over the D-man's stick, danced around him and collected his pass to himself on the other side.

Not long after that, imaginative winger Evan Trupp tried the "lacrosse move,'' in which a player picks up the puck on his forehand and raises the blade of his stick, trying to stick the puck in the net. No dice for Trupp, but fun stuff.

And Wranglers enforcer Adam Huxley ranged across the ice to deliver a big hit on Alaska's Alex Belzile, who sensed danger and side-stepped the hit, leaving Huxley to smoke himself into the boards and go down. Crowd looovvvveeeed that.

Hey, it's the playoffs, so things do get physical. Even in the crowd, evidently. Extra security was needed in the lower stands on the south side of Sullivan Arena in the third period, when some kind of altercation, or near-altercation, occurred. Wait, the south side's the side you can drink beers on -- surely, that is mere coincidence. We would be shocked -- shocked! -- if alcohol was a factor.

Around the rest of the league, a couple of high seeds are in a spot of bother. The Ontario Reign, seeded second in the Western Conference, are down 2-0 to the Stockton Thunder, who beat them 5-3 tonight. Big bummer for the Reign is that even though they own home-ice advantage, they had to play their first two playoff games on the road because their rink was not available. Games 3 and 4 are in Ontario, a Game 5 would be in Stockton, and if necessary Games 6 and 7 would be in Ontario. Anyhow, the Reign now must win four of five games to advance.

South Carolina, the No. 3 seed out East, likewise trails No. 6 seed Wheeling 2-0 after losing two games at home at North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays, who are coached by former UAA player Spencer Carbery and include former Seawolves defenseman Luka Vidmar, who had a goal tonight, better figure it out quick. Oh, South Carolina goalie Pheonix Copley of North Pole, playing his first pro playoff game tonight, made 36 saves.

That is all. Looks like The Blog is the only media type still in the building -- 'course, some TV crew members may be somewhere in the bowels of the building -- so it's time to throw all his crap in his crap backpack and get home.

Enjoy Easter. That's the one where we get to eat bunnies, right? 


By DOYLE WOODY, adn.com
Anchorage