The excitement started before the puck even touched the ice Friday at Sullivan Arena. Garet Hunt of the Alaska Aces drew a misconduct penalty for throwing his helmet on the ice before the faceoff had even occurred.
The penalty was an omen of things to come — the Allen Americans beat the Aces 6-2 in the second game of the three-game ECHL series at Sullivan Arena. It was a reversal of Alaska's 5-1 win Wednesday.
"I thought Allen played a lot better game as a team (Friday)," Aces coach Rob Murray said. "What we did really well on Wednesday night was win 1-on-1 battles (and) tonight we didn't do it nearly as good. It reflects on the outcome and it reflects on the score."
Hunt's misconduct penalty kept him out of the game for the first 10 minutes, but didn't result in a power play for the Americans. That came later.
With a little more than five minutes remaining in the period, Aces center Ben Lake flew into Allen goaltender Joel Rumpel as Rumpel was making a save. A scrum resulted and Allen ended up on a power play that culminated in a goal down the middle by Allen's Casey Pierro-Zabotel.
The Americans never surrendered the lead. The Aces went into the locker room down 2-0.
It didn't take long for Allen to add to its lead in the second period. Just 43 seconds after the drop of the puck, Allen's Chris Crane tipped in a shot to get the first goal of his hat trick.
Crane scored again six minutes later, and Murray chose to pull Troy Redmann, who had six saves on 10 shots, for newcomer Jacob DeSerres, who owns a 2-6-1 record in 12 ECHL games this season. The Aces acquired the 25-year-old native of Calgary, Alberta, from the Adirondack Thunder on Thursday for cash considerations.
The Aces scored two goals and allowed two more with DeSerres on the ice. The Aces' goals came from winger Justin Breton and defenseman Felix-Antoine Poulin.
"Given the situation, I thought he did fine," Murray said of DeSerres. "He came in in a tough spot. Especially when once he came in, they had a couple really good opportunities against him and he made some really good saves."
Murray said he plans to go back to Redmann for the final game of the series at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.
"I think that he has something to prove," Murray said. "Right now, that's the way I'm looking at it."
Shuffling the deck
Aces defenseman Daniel Johnston dislocated his shoulder in the second period. Murray said he'll have some medical tests done Monday but he isn't expected to be back soon.
At the first intermission, a group of Aces Hall of Fame inductees were on honored at center ice. The new inductees are winger Paul Williams of Anchorage, winger Barrett Heisten of Anchorage, defenseman Matt Shasby of Anchorage, defenseman Peter Metcalf, former broadcaster Jack Michaels, and fan Ron Tomblinson.
During the latter half of the second period and most of the third period, a large group of children in section 210 could be heard chanting "Here we go Aces," even through stoppages and Allen goals. The chants didn't fade until late in the third period.
Allen 2 3 1 — 6
Aces 0 1 1 — 2
First Period — 1, Allen, Pierro-Zabotel 11 (Costello, Makowski), 15:08 (pp); 2, Allen, Hanson 12 (Costello, Asuchak), 18:45. Penalties — Hunt, Aces misconduct (throwing equipment), 0:00; Makowski, Allen (high-sticking), 10:42; Asuchak, Allen (roughing), 14:24; Lake, Aces (interference on the goalkeeper), 14:24; Lake, Aces served by Traversa (roughing), 14:24.
Second Period — 3, Allen, Crane 14 (Gunn, Costello), 0:43; 4, Allen, Crane 15 (Hanson, Gens), 7:03 (pp); 5, Aces, Breton 16 (Valcourt, Jones), 12:19; 6, Allen, Asuchak 1 (Hanson, Gens), 15:52 (pp). Penalties — Sivak, Aces (hooking), 5:10; Asuchak, Allen (tripping), 7:20; Gens, Allen (holding), 13:21; Hunt, Aces (interference on goalkeepter), 15:17; Makowski, Allen (interference), 18:38.
Third Period — 7, Allen, Crane 16 (Hanson, Asuchak), 14:04; 8, Aces, Poulin 4 (Deluca, Lake), 14:31. Penalties — Frederico, Allen (slashing), 8:37; Wellar, Aces (hooking), 16:42.
Shots on goal — Allen 6-10-4—20. Aces 9-12-12—33.
Power-play Opportunities — Allen 3 of 4. Aces 0 of 5.
Goalies — Allen, Rumpel, (18-8-2) (33 shots-31 saves); Aces, Redmann, (14-18-4) (10-6); DeSerres, enter 7:02 2nd period (10-8).
A — 4,024. T — 2:30.
Referee — Tyler Puddifant. Linesmen ?— Travis Jackson, Steve Glines.