Aces get to 20-win mark, first place in Mountain Division
DALY CITY, Calif. - Evan Trupp collected a pair of assists and Olivier Roy made 17 saves, enough for the Alaska Aces to skate by the San Francisco Bulls, 3-2 before a crowd of 1,214 at the Cow Palace on Thursday.
The Aces seized first place in the Mountain Division, earning their 20th win in their 32nd game on the strength of two goals in the second period to break a 1-1 tie (Dustin Molle and Mathew Sisca).
James Martin earned his first goal of the season at 8:03 of the first period when he took a feed at the blueline and fired a wrist shot through traffic that beat Tyler Beskorowany to the blocker side, following two consecutive Aces penalty kills.
Dean Ouellet, getting a piece of a Brett Findlay one-timer, tied the game at 16:51.
The Aces managed a second period where they outshot San Francisco, 14-7 and finally broke the tie when Molle took a rocket pass onto his tape from Evan Trupp at the left circle. Molle, skating at top speed, deked to the backhand and snuck his third goal of the season past Beskorowany's glove with 4:58 left for a 2-1 lead.
Just 2:41 later, after the Aces survived a shift where they were pinned in their own zone for nearly a minute, extended their lead when Brad Richard hammered a lengthy breakaway pass to Sisca, who got behind the Bulls defense and snapped a wrist shot past Beskorowany's blocker for a 3-1 lead.
Steven Tarasuk drew the Bulls to within a goal at 4:37 when he threw a puck at the net which caromed off Drew MacKenzie's skate and past Roy for a 3-2 deficit.
The Aces had several chances to close the game, including a two-man advantage, but Beskorowany made nine saves in the period to keep the Bulls within reach. B.J. Crum was whistled for boarding in the final minute, setting up a 6-on-4 situation with the Bulls pulling Beskorowany.
Roy came up with a huge save on Dale Mitchell with 10 seconds left, and Ross Ring-Jarvi made a diving block on Tarasuk's bid from the right circle as time expired.
Beskorowany made 31 saves and took the loss.
NOTES: The Aces scratched Ben Parker, Sean Curry, Andy Taranto, Corey Syvret, Brad Gorham and Brendan Connolly .... The Aces 20th win, in their 32nd game, came within two wins of the same pace set in 2010-11 (last Aces Kelly Cup victory) ... the Aces improved to 2-1 in the season series and 9-2-1 lifetime against the Bulls ... Peter Sivak, making his first trip to San Francisco since signing with the Aces in the offseason, had a game-high six shots on goal.
The two teams return to play in a rematch tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. (GCI/KFQD). Season ticket and sponsorship packages are currently available through the Aces office at 15th & Gambell. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.
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