Aces Emerge On Top in
First Place Battle In West

Overcoming a 3-0 deficit to beat Long Beach 6-3 on Sunday, Alaska sits atop the West Division of the National Conference at 36-15-7 and 79 points. The Aces are two points ahead of Bakersfield and three points ahead of Long Beach. Fresno is 32-18-7 and holds onto the fourth playoff berth with 71 points, seven points ahead of defending Kelly Cup Champion Idaho and San Diego.

Alaska, which is 10-0-3 in the last 13 games, will play at Bakersfield on Friday, at Long Beach on Saturday and at San Diego on Sunday. The Aces have won their last four road games and are 9-0-1 in their last 10 road games and 16-7-2 overall on the road. Alaska is 0-1-0 at Bakersfield and 2-2-0 overall against the Condors and 1-1-0 at Long Beach and 3-1-1 overall against the Ice Dogs. The Aces are 1-2-1 at San Diego and 4-4-1 overall against the Gulls.
Bakersfield, which is 5-0-1 in the last six games, will host Alaska on Friday and travel to Fresno on Saturday. The Condors are 1-0-0 at home and 2-1-1 overall against Alaska and 0-0-3 at Fresno and 3-1-3 overall against Fresno. Yutaka Fukufuji is 4-0-0 with a goals-against average of 2.25 in his last four games while Mathieu Brunelle has two game-winning goals and seven points (6g-1a) in his first four games with Bakersfield.

Long Beach, which is winless in its last two home games and 1-3-1 in its last five games, hosts San Diego on Friday, Alaska on Saturday and Las Vegas on Sunday. The Ice Dogs are 1-1-0 at home and 1-2-1 overall against San Diego, 1-1-0 at home and 2-2-1 overall against Alaska and 2-0-1 at home and 6-0-1 overall against Las Vegas.

Fresno, which is 7-1-2 in its last 10 games and 20-5-4 since January 1, travels to Las Vegas on Friday and hosts Bakersfield on Saturday and Sunday. The Falcons have won the last five meetings with the Wranglers to improve to 5-1-0, including a perfect 2-0-0 at Las Vegas, and are 3-0-0 at home and 4-3-0 overall against Bakersfield. Shaun Sutter has nine points (4g-5a) in his last nine games to become the team leader with 23 goals and to move into a tie with All-Star starter Dan Tessier, who has missed the last four games with an injury, for the team scoring lead with 50 points. Sutter continues to lead the league in power-play goals with 14.

Going 9-1-1 in its last 11 games, defending champion Idaho travels to Victoria for games on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Steelheads have won the last five games to improve to 5-1-0 against the Salmon Kings, including 2-0-0 at Victoria. Frank Doyle, who was the Most Valuable Player in the ECHL All-Star Game, is 6-1-0 with a goals-against average of 1.94 in his last seven games.

San Diego, which has gone 6-6-1 in the last 13 games, plays at Long Beach on Friday and at Las Vegas on Saturday before hosting Alaska on Sunday. The Gulls have won the last three meetings the Ice Dogs, improving to 3-1-0 overall and 1-1-0 at Long Beach, and have won the last three meetings with the ranglers, improving to 2-1-0 at Las Vegas and 4-1-0 overall.