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Aces Wrap Up #3 Seed

April 3, 2010 - ECHL (ECHL) - Alaska Aces News Release

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Curtis Fraser opened the scoring 35 seconds into the game and Alaska utilized the energy from the crowd of 5,263 at Sullivan Arena to extract a 3-2 verdict from Stockton and clinch the #3 seed in the upcoming National Conference playoffs.

The Aces (35-28-8) play host to the first two games of their opening round series at the Menard Center in Wasilla Monday and Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. AT. Alaska will be seeded behind only Brabham Cup champion Idaho and Pacific Division winner Bakersfield. If form holds in the first round, the Aces would meet the Condors in the best-of-seven conference semifinals, while the Steelheads await the winner of the #4-#5 match-up.

All seven playoff spots have been sealed with Victoria's 9-2 rout of Utah Friday, but seeding remains a question mark heading into tomorrow night, when Alaska concludes its regular season with a rematch against Stockton at 7:15 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on KFQD 750 AM, with Peanut Farm Pre-Game Show coverage getting underway at the top of the hour.

Former Ace Matt Robinson answered Fraser's goal 22 seconds later with his 31st of the year, and sixth in seven games against his old club. Tied at 1-1 after one minute of play, the Thunder took the lead when Jason Pitton deflected Steve Vanoosten's shot over Alaska goalie Billy Sauer with 5:06 left in the first period. A hustling Nick Mazzolini tied the game when he took advantage of a Stockton turnover, beat two defenders to a loose puck, and flicked home the equalizer (his third goal in as many games and 27th of the year) at 7:44 of the second period.

The game remained in a 2-2 deadlock despite a 19-6 shots on goal advantage over the final 20 minutes and overtime for the Aces, who for the second straight game, limited their opponent to just 17 shots. In the shootout, Sauer turned aside all three Thunder attempts while Jarrett Konkle, Brock McBride, and Mazzolini scored in succession against Stockton goalie Andrew Perugini, who had stopped 32 shots in 65 minutes.

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