By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
For a while, it appeared as if the Alaska Aces were going from an annual ECHL powerhouse to a middle-of-the-pack squad.
We should have known better.
After battling through a stretch of call-ups and injuries — a concussion forced captain Barrett Heisten to retire in January — the Aces have won 14 of their last 16 games and have pulled within two points of the Victoria Salmon Kings and Idaho Steelheads in the West Division. Victoria and Idaho have 77 points apiece.
“On the 21st of December in Victoria, we dressed eight forwards and four defensemen,” Aces coach Keith McCambridge told NHL.com. “Only three defensemen could play. One was playing when he shouldn’t have been playing. Every team has to go through those kinds of hurdles, but when you overcome those hurdles, you learn a lot about yourself as a team. We’ve learned a lot about everyone in that dressing room.”