The 5,276 announced Alaska Aces fans in attendance Saturday got their money's worth at Sullivan Arena.
Winger David Eddy capped a roller coaster 5-4 win over the defending ECHL champion Allen Americans with his first goal of the season after Tommaso Traversa skated around the back of the net and found Eddy open on the right side for the go-ahead goal midway through the third period.
The goal gave Alaska its first lead since the first period. The Aces went up 2-0 early, surrendered four straight goals through the first and second periods and then came back to seize victory with two goals in the third period.
"It's kind of been the story of our season — it's just been a giant roller-coaster ride," Eddy said. "You can never get off that roller coaster, it's so much fun. So we're always in every game no matter how much we're down or how much we're up."
The roller coaster also encompassed the series as a whole. Wednesday, the Aces flew out to a 5-1 win. Allen won 6-2 on Friday. The teams combined for 23 goals in three games.
Alaska went up 2-0 early, on defenseman Patrick Wellar's first goal of the season at 10:01 and Traversa's goal three minutes later.
On the Traversa's goal, center Ben Lake stole the puck and raced up the right wing before delivering a perfect pass to Traversa.
It looked like the Aces had all the momentum, but the game quickly changed directions. Allen's Justin Courtnall scored an unassisted short-handed goal to crush the Aces' energy, and Chris Crane, Alaska's nemesis, scored four minutes later to forge a 2-2 tie. The goal was the first of two in the game for Crane, who bagged a hat trick Friday.
Allen's onslaught continued with two more goals in the second period. Aces winger Peter Sivak finally halted the Allen assault with a goal late in the second period to close the gap to 4-3. Sivak also furnished two assists.
"We knew once we got back in the game, once we got that third goal, we could feel the momentum," Eddy said of Sivak's goal. "In (some) games you can feel yourself coming back, even when you're losing — you feel like you're winning the whole time."
The roller coaster climbed again in the third period. The Aces tied the game 4-4 with a goal from the left circle by defenseman Felix-Antoine Poulin before taking the lead on Eddy's goal.
Sullivan Arena was rocking until the final buzzer sounded.
"It's pretty remarkable — it's one of those indescribable feelings," Eddy said.
Allen 2 2 0 — 4
Aces 2 1 2 — 5
First Period — 1, Aces, Wellar 1 (Sivak, Perfetto), 10:01; 2, Aces, Traversa 14 (Lake), 12:55; 3, Allen, Courtnall 5, 14:49 (sh); 4, Allen, Crane 17 (Costello, Hanson), 19:23 (pp). Penalties — Steffes, Allen (interference), 6:27; Hunt, Aces (cross-checking), 6:27; Gens, Allen (tripping), 13:07; Arseneau, Allen (slashing), 16:30; Arseneau, Allen (roughing), 16:30; Valcourt, Aces (roughing), 16:30; Hunt, Aces (roughing), 18:33.
Second Period — 5, Allen, Crane 18 (Arseneau, Descoteaux), 5:35; 6, Allen, Gens 6 (King, Hanson), 13:29; 7, Aces, Sivak 12 (Poulin, Haar), 17:02 (pp). Penalties — Steffes, Allen (tripping), 6:03; Sivak, Aces (interference), 7:41; Gunn, Allen (interference), 16:16.
Third Period — 8, Aces, Poulin 5 (Sivak, Valcourt), 5:03; 9, Aces, Eddy 1 (Traversa, Lake), 10:50. Penalties — Allen, game misconduct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00.
Shots on goal — Allen 8-6-7—21. Aces 14-13-8—35.
Power-play Opportunities — Allen 1 of 2. Aces 1 of 4.
Goalies — Allen, Rumpel, (18-9-2) (35 shots-30 saves); Aces, Redmann, (15-18-4) (21-17).
A — 5,276. T — 2:34.
Referee — Tyler Puddifant. Linesmen ?— Scott Sivulich, Chad Colliander.