Extending its team record home winning streak to 12 games after sweeping three games from Phoenix, defending Brabham Cup and Kelly Cup champion Alaska leads the ECHL with 72 points and a 35-12-2 record. The Aces are 16-2-0 in their last 18 games and 24-4-2 in the last 30 games to improve to 29-6-2 since beginning the season 6-6-0.
The Aces, who improved to 20-6-1 at home, won 11 consecutive home games from Oct. 30-Dec. 30, 2005 and finished 30-4-2 to tie the ECHL record for most home wins.
If Alaska remains in first place they would become the first team in ECHL history to repeat as the regular season champion. The Aces were 53-12-7 and had the second-highest point total in history with 113 points while tying the record for second-most wins.
Alaska became only the second team in history to win both the regular season point championship and the postseason championship, joining the South Carolina Stingrays who captured the Brabham Cup and the Kelly Cup in 1997. The Aces became the first team to win the postseason by defeating three teams that had 100 points in the regular season and their 113 points is the highest point total to win the postseason championship.
The Aces play at Las Vegas on Tuesday before traveling to Phoenix on Friday and Saturday. Las Vegas swept the first three games of the season series as Alaska lost three consecutive home games for the first time since Jan. 12-15, 2005 and only the second time since joining the ECHL as an expansion team in 2003-04. The Aces are 9-1-0 all-time against the RoadRunners including 3-1-0 at Phoenix.
The five leading plus-minus performers and 10 of the 13 leaders are from Alaska. Matt Shasby leads the league at +34 followed by Vladimir Novak at +24, Kimbi Daniels and rookie leader Julian Talbot at +23 and Florian Iberer, who is tied for fifth at +20 with Chad Starling of Cincinnati.
Derek Gustafson has won his last nine starts at home and is 13-3-1 with four shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.94 and a save percentage of .927 at Sullivan Arena. He has allowed three goals or less 12 times in his last 14 games going 13-1-0 with three shutouts to improve to 19-8-1 while lowering his goals-against average to 2.44 and raising his save percentage to .913. He is tied for second in the league with four shutouts while ranking sixth in goals-against average and wins.
The Aces lead the ECHL in goals-against average with 2.41 and they are second in the league in scoring with 4.02 goals-per game.