Alaska's Point Streak Ends in 4-1 Defeat to Las Vegas
Mitch O'Keefe made 33 saves and the Las Vegas Wranglers got two goals each from Sean Wiles and Judd Blackwater as the Wranglers beat the Alaska Aces 4-1, snapping the Aces 12-game point streak on Saturday night. Alaska suffered their first regulation loss since January 25, and their first regulation loss to Las Vegas all season. The Aces fell to 39-12-6 on the year, but remained three points ahead of the Ontario Reign, who won on Saturday, for the most points in the ECHL. The Aces and Wranglers conclude their three-game weekend with a Sunday afternoon rubber match at 3:05pm AKT. Tickets are available at the Aces office, Sullivan Arena Box Office, Fred Meyer locations or online at www.ticketmaster.com. All Aces games can be heard on NewsTalk 103.7FM and 750AM KFQD. For more information, please contact the Aces office at 907.258.ACES, or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.
The Aces tested Las Vegas backup goaltender Mitch O'Keefe early and often in the opening period, but O'Keefe stood strong and stopped all of Alaska's 14 shots. The Wranglers finally broke the scoreless tie late in the frame when Wiles scored at 16:11 to give Las Vegas a 1-0 lead at first intermission.
The Aces again peppered the Vegas net in the second period, and again O'Keefe stood tall. The Wranglers added to their lead at 14:11 when the former Aces forward, Blackwater converted a rebound to make it 2-0 Las Vegas. Alaska, however, responded and finally broke through on O'Keefe. While leaning to his right, Nick Mazzolini put a pass back to his left through the slot, and right on the stick of Shawn Skelly. Skelly fired it into the net past a helpless O'Keefe at 17:25 for his seventh goal in fourteen games since joining the Aces. Five of those goals have come against Las Vegas. The Aces outshot the Wranglers 13-7 in the period, but still trailed 2-1 heading into the third period.
The Wranglers put the game away with a pair of third period goals. At 8:48 Wiles finished off a great play by Andrew Sarauer, following an Aces defensive zone turnover to make it 3-1 Wranglers. Blackwater then sealed the win with an empty net goal from center ice at 19:18. O'Keefe added seven more third period saves to cap off his terrific night.
Mark Guggenberger (21-7-5) made 16 saves on 19 shots suffering the loss. Mitch O'Keefe (4-4-0) made 33 saves on 34 shots in the win. The Aces went 0-5 on the power play and the Wranglers were 0-1. Alaska outshot Las Vegas 34-20 in the game.
The Aces and Wranglers continue their three-game weekend on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are available at the Aces office, Sullivan Arena Box Office, Fred Meyer locations or online at www.ticketmaster.com. All Aces games can be heard on NewsTalk 103.7FM and 750AM KFQD. For more information, please contact the Aces office at 907.258.ACES, or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.
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