Lamoureux Silences Steelheads, Aces Win 3-0
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Jean-Philippe Lamoureux stopped all 33 shots he faced and Erik Fabian scored his first two goals of the season to lift Alaska to a 3-0 win over Idaho before 4,162 Friday night at Sullivan Arena.
The victory capped what had been an interesting week for Aces goaltenders. Chris Holt, who shut out Bakersfield last Saturday in Alaska's previous outing, was re-assigned to Peoria by St. Louis on Tuesday, and has since won twice for the Rivermen, including Friday night's 17-save whitewash of Rochester. Marek Schwarz, who had led the Aces to a first round sweep of the Steelheads in the 2008 playoffs, was re-assigned to Alaska and was supposed to start on Friday, but an injury to St. Louis goalie Manny Legacy left the reins to Lamoureux, with Jeff Barney backing him up on an emergency basis.
The first period rolled by with nary a quality scoring chance and a combined seven shots on goal. Both teams had extended five-on-three power play opportunities in the second period, but failed to break through, as Rejean Beauchemin kept the Aces at bay while Lamoureux made 22 saves in the period, including 10 on the Idaho two-man advantage.
Fabian finally broke the deadlock with 9.8 seconds left in the middle frame, sliding a rebound of a Vladimir Novak shot past Beauchemin. His second goal came with just 2:12 left in regulation and after a perfect centering pass from Novak off the rush. Novak polished off Idaho with an empty-netter at 19:24 to keep Alaska unbeaten in its previous 11 games (10-0-1) against the Steelheads, including the playoff sweep last April.
Lamoureux owns a 0.73 goals against average and a .977 save percentage in four starts against Idaho this year heading into tomorrow's rematch at 7:15 p.m. He also is tied for the league lead with 12 wins and three shutouts this season.
The Aces (15-7-1 overall) remain a point behind Victoria in the West Division standings, but have played three fewer games than the Salmon Kings. The Steelheads (13-9-2) lost for just the second time in eight games. Sunday's series finale between the two clubs will start at 5:05 p.m. and feature a post-game "Skate with the Aces," presented by Fred Meyer. Peanut Farm Pre-Game Show coverage on KFQD AM 750 begins 15 minutes prior to the opening face-off this weekend.
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