Mathematically eliminated Aces close Friday with victory before 5,419 fans
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Chris Francis and Greg Wolfe registered multi point games while Niklas Lundstrom made 33 saves, helping the Alaska Aces defeat the Ontario Reign, 3-1 before a crowd of 5,419 at Sullivan Arena on Friday night.
The Aces, snapping a four-game losing streak, scored all three goals in the second period and cruised to a 3-0 lead en route to the wire-to-wire victory. They were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention by the end of the first period after Utah defeated Colorado, 3-2 in overtime, ending a streak of 11 consecutive seasons qualifying for the postseason.
The win marked the 12th consecutive season the Aces reached the 20-win plateau on home ice.
The Aces close the season tomorrow against the Ontario Reign, the finale of a three-game series at 7:15 p.m. (GCI/KFQD). Tickets are available by visiting www.alaskaaces.com/tickets, phoning (907) 258-2237, visiting the Aces Store (15th & Gambell) or local Fred Meyer locations. All Aces fans in attendance are encouraged to wear blue and invited to stay for the Aces' player jersey auction, immediately following the game.
Lundstrom and counterpart Adam Brown dueled to a scoreless tie through one period, with the best chance coming on Justin Breton's burst of speed to the left circle and shot that hit the post with three minutes left in the period.
Francis opened the scoring with a 55-foot snapshot for his career-high 26th goal that clipped Brown at 1:29 of the second period and Tim Coffman followed by finishing Ryan Walters' centering attempt off the rush, 10:08 into the period for a 2-0 bulge.
Wolfe then stashed his 22nd goal for a 3-0 cushion at 11:35 of the period, finishing a feed by Chris Francis after he walked out from the right boards to the blueline. Judd Blackwater's 35th goal of the season spoiled Lundstrom's shutout bid on a one-timer at the right circle for a 3-1 deficit, but Ontario wouldn't get any closer.
Lundstrom made 11 saves in the third period including successive stops from tight range on Rocco Carzo and Maxim Kitsyn with over 11 minutes to play.
Brown took the loss on 32 saves.
NOTES: The Aces scratched Nilan Nagy, Curt Gogol, Ryan Tesink, Dean Chelios, Landon Oslanski, Justin Johnson and Brad Gorham ... Francis snapped a four-game goal scoring drought ... the Aces have fired 78 shots in the two game series and reached the 30-shot plateau in nine of the last ten games ... tomorrow's game will be the final, all-time between the two teams (Ontario will play next season in the American Hockey League) ... Sullivan Arena and the Aces have drawn over 10,000 fans for the two games in the series ... the Los Angeles Kings and Aces are two of professional hockey's reigning champions to be eliminated from the playoffs this week - defending AHL champion, Texas, has also yet to qualify but needs one point with four games remaining to reach the Calder Cup Playoffs.
For Kelly Cup championship merchandise, 2014-15 season tickets, corporate sponsorship packages, and more information, please call 907-258-ACES. The Aces can also be visited on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey or on Twitter, @AlaskaAces.
1. AK - N. Lundstrom
2. AK - C. Francis
3. ONT - J. Blackwater
• Discuss this story on the ECHL message board...
ECHL Stories from April 11, 2015
- Grizzlies Close Regular Season with 5-2 Win in Colorado - Utah Grizzlies
- Everblades Close Regular Season with 5-4 Victory over Orlando - Florida Everblades
- Warriors Win Fourth Straight in Season Finale - Greenville Swamp Rabbits
- Flath's Two Not Enough in 5-2 Loss to Allen - Wichita Thunder
- Oilers Fall to Mallards in OT, Settle for Fourth Spot in Central Division - Tulsa Oilers
- K-Wings Announce 2014-15 Team Awards during Fan Appreciation Night - Kalamazoo Wings
- K-Wings Hook Walleye - Kalamazoo Wings
- Mallards Win Regular Season Finale 2-1 in Overtime, Will Face Rapid City in Opening Round of Playoff - Quad City Mallards
- K-Wings to Meet Komets in the Playoffs - Kalamazoo Wings
- Stingrays and Royals Clash in the Opening Round of the 2015 Kelly Cup Playoffs - South Carolina Stingrays
- Playoffs Set - Rapid City Rush
- Stingrays Set ECHL Record with Shutout over Evansville - South Carolina Stingrays
- Fuel's Season Ends with 2-1 Shootout Loss to Royals - Indy Fuel
- Cyclones Close Season with 3-2 Shootout Defeat in Fort Wayne - Cincinnati Cyclones
- 2014-15 IceMen Season Screeches to a Stop in South Carolina - Evansville IceMen
- Beast Shutout Mavericks in Overtime Thriller - Brampton Beast
- Mavericks Edged 1-0 by Beast in Overtime - Kansas City Mavericks
- Mallards Win Regular Season Finale, Will Face Rapid City in Opening Round of Playoffs - Quad City Mallards
- Nailers Clinch Playoffs with 5-3 Win in Elmira - Wheeling Nailers
- Toledo Stopped by Kalamazoo 4-1 - Toledo Walleye
- ECHL Announces Fine, Suspension - ECHL
- Countdown to Face-Off: Kalamazoo Wings vs Toledo Walleye - Kalamazoo Wings
- Former Aces Defenseman John Ramage Makes NHL Debut - Alaska Aces
- ECHL Transactions - April 11 - ECHL
- Royals Defenseman Bryant Molle Loaned to Syracuse Crunch - Reading Royals
- Nailers at Jackals Game Day Snap Shot - Wheeling Nailers
- Game Preview - Ontario Reign at Alaska Aces - Ontario Reign
- Thunder Close First Season in ECHL with Fandemonium - Wichita Thunder
- Jackals Hold Fan Appreciation Night to Conclude 2014-15 Season - Elmira Jackals
- Final Thunder Home Game at Stockton Arena at 7:30 p.m. - Stockton Thunder
- Gladiators Game Preview: Gladiators at Road Warriors - Atlanta Gladiators
- Cyclones Game Preview - Cincinnati at Fort Wayne - Cincinnati Cyclones
- Grizzlies Announce First Round Playoff Schedule - Utah Grizzlies
- Carey, O'Donoghue Recalled to Portland - Atlanta Gladiators
- Stingrays Announce Opening-Round Schedule Scenarios - South Carolina Stingrays
- ECHL Today - April 11 - ECHL
- Stingrays Game Preview: Stingrays Close Regular-Season Schedule Tonight - South Carolina Stingrays
- Mathematically eliminated Aces close Friday with victory before 5,419 fans - Alaska Aces
- Reign Drop 3-1 Decision to Aces - Ontario Reign
- 7,017 Cheer on the Condors to 6-2 Rout of Stockton in Home Finale - Bakersfield Condors
- Larocque Scores in Second Straight against Bakersfield but Team Falls - Stockton Thunder
- Thunder Close StoneWolf Casino Cup Series with SO Loss - Wichita Thunder
- Royals Drop Third Straight One-Goal Decision, 3-2 to Indy - Reading Royals
- Grizzlies Clinch Playoffs with 3-2 Overtime Win in Colorado - Utah Grizzlies
- Jackals Fall in Final Road Game, 3-1 - Elmira Jackals
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.