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How the Aces, Condors reached the Western Conference finals

The Alaska Aces have advanced to the ECHL's conference finals for the seventh time in their 11 seasons in the league. Their opponent, the Bakersfield Condors, are in the third round of the playoffs for the first time in club history.

Here's how each team reached the best-of-7 Western Conference finals that open Friday night at Sullivan Arena and will decide which team advances to the Kelly Cup Finals:

Alaska Aces (8-1 in playoffs)

Western Conference semifinals, best-of-7

Defeated Idaho Steelheads, 4-1

Turning point: Leading the series 2-1, the Aces took a 4-2 win in Game 4 at Boise by unloading 21 shots and four goals in the first period to chase Steelheads goaltender Josh Robinson, who shut them out in Game 1.

Western Conference quarterfinals, best-of-7

Defeated Las Vegas Wranglers, 4-0

Turning point: Referee Stephen Reneau dropped the puck on Game 1 at 7:16 p.m. ADT on April 18. The series matched the Aces, the league's Brabham Cup champs as regular-season rulers, against the Wranglers, who finished last among 21 teams.

Bakersfield Condors (8-2 in playoffs)

Western Conference semifinals, best-of-7

Defeated Stockton Thunder, 4-1

Turning point: Leading the series 2-1 but trailing 1-0 in the third period of Game 4 at Stockton, Jordan Knackstadt delivered a game-tying, power-play goal with less than eight minutes remaining and Joel Broda furnished the game-winning strike with just 99 seconds left in a 2-1 Condors victory.

Western Conference quarterfinals, best-of-7

Defeated Utah Grizzlies, 4-1

Turning point: With a 2-2 series deadlock looming in Game 4 at Bakersfield, Collin Bowman delivered the game-tying goal with a mere one second left in regulation and Andrew Carroll authored the game-winning overtime goal to earn the Condors a 3-1 series lead.

-- By DOYLE WOODY