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Aces back in familiar position

 

Last season, the Alaska Aces became the first team in ECHL history to win the Brabham Cup in consecutive seasons. After starting this season 5-4-0, the Aces have posted an 11-1-0 mark in their past 12 games to move atop the ECHL standings once again with 32 points, one more than Gwinnett.

 

Alaska concluded its season-long six-game road trip last week with three wins. The week began with a 6-2 win at Stockton on Wednesday. Nate Thompson led the way with three points (2g-1a) while Joey Crabb (0g-2a), Zach Harrison (0g-2a), Kane Lafranchise (0g-2a) and Alexandre Imbeault (1g-1a) each added two points.

 

On Friday, the Aces skated away with a 2-1 win at Bakersfield. Bobby Hughes scored the game-winner early in the second period, and Gerald Coleman preserved the lead, stopping 20 of 21 Condors’ shots.

 

The Aces ended the trip with a 4-3 overtime win at Ontario on Saturday. Tommy Mele forced overtime midway through the third period, and Lafranchise notched the game-winning just over a minute into the extra session. Coleman started his third straight game, and earned the win with 22 saves.

 

Coleman has gone 4-0-0 since rejoining the Aces’ lineup on Nov. 23, and has allowed two goals or less in three of his four appearances.

 

Crabb leads the Aces with 22 points (9g-13a) while Nick Mazzolini paces the squad with 11 goals, while his five game-winning goals are tied for the league lead.


Alaska’s shorthanded play has been a key to its success this season. The Aces are tied for the league lead with six shorthanded goals while their penalty-kill unit leads the league at 90.2 percent (92-for-102). Crabb (3g-1a) and Thompson (1g-3a) are tied for the league lead with four shorthanded points each.

 

The Aces host Utah in a four-game home stand, starting on Wednesday, and continuing on Friday, Saturday and Dec. 10.