Leading 2-0 in a best-of-7 ECHL playoff series, the Alaska Aces historically have made short work of their opponent, and they'll seek the same result as the Western Conference quarterfinals series shifts to Las Vegas.
The Aces, Brabham Cup winners as the circuit's regular-season champions, got off to a strong postseason start last weekend with 5-1 and 3-1 home-ice victories over the Wranglers, who finished last in the league.
The series continues with Game 3 on Wednesday at Orleans Arena and Game 4 there Friday. If necessary, Game 5 would be Saturday in Sin City.
Alaska has seized a 2-0 lead in a best-of-7 series 11 previous times. In six of those series, the Aces completed a sweep. In the other five, they sent their opponent packing in five games.
Half the ECHL's eight opening-round series in these playoffs -- all are best-of-7 -- feature teams with a 2-0 lead. Alaska, Stockton, Wheeling and Cincinnati all own the advantage.
For what it's worth, nine of the 15 Kelly Cup playoff series last season -- again, all were best-of-7 -- began with one team grabbing a 2-0 lead.
The teams that owned those cushions won all 15 series. Two series featured sweeps, five were finished in five games, one was extended to six games and one stretched to a decisive Game 7. In that latter series, the Stockton Thunder, backstopped by current Aces goaltender Olivier Roy beat the Las Vegas Wranglers in Games 1 and 2 of the opening round, then lost three straight before winning Games 6 and 7.
The Thunder eliminated the Aces in six games in the second round and eventually advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals, where they fell in five games to the Reading Royals.
Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.
Sizzling starts equal short series
Entering Game 3 Wednesday night in Nevada, the Alaska Aces own a 2-0 lead on the Las Vegas Wranglers in their best-of-7, ECHL Western Conference quarterfinal series, and in franchise history they’ve used similar advantages to make short work of opponents. The Aces previously have owned 2-0 leads in a best-of-7 series 11 times. They’ve swept six of those series and in five others eliminated their opponent in five games.
2013San Francisco BullsWestern Conference QuarterfinalsAces in 5 games
2011Kalamazoo WingsKelly Cup FinalsAces in 5 games
2011Victoria Salmon KingsWestern Conference FinalsAces in 4 games
2011Idaho SteelheadsWestern Conference SemifinalsAces in 4 games
2009Las Vegas WranglersWestern Conference FinalsAces in 4 games
2009Victoria Salmon KingsWest Division FinalsAces in 5 games
2009Utah GrizzliesWest Division SemifinalsAces in 5 games
2008Idaho SteelheadsNational Conference QuarterfinalsAces in 4 games
2007Bakersfield CondorsNational Conference SemifinalsAces in 4 games
2006Gwinnett GladiatorsKelly Cup FinalsAces in 5 games
2006Utah GrizzliesNational Conference QuarterfinalsAces in 4 games
By DOYLE WOODY