DALY CITY, Calif. – Mark Guggenberger made 21 saves in his Alaska Aces postseason debut, and four different players scored for the Aces who beat the San Francisco Bulls 4-1 in game three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series from the Cow Palace on Thursday night. Alaska now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.
The Aces outshot the Bulls 9-5 in the opening period, but San Francisco had the best scoring chance. In his first game of the series after spending the last three weeks in the AHL, Peter Sivak had a breakaway, but Alaska netminder, Mark Guggenberger, stopped Sivak with his right pad to keep the game scoreless. The Bulls had two power plays in the first period, and Alaska had one.
Alaska got the scoring started in the second period with a pair of early goals. Alex Hudson made it 1-0 Aces with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle at 2:58. Minutes later Steve Ward scored from the slot at 6:38 to extend Alaska’s lead to 2-0. The Aces outshot the Bulls 15-10 in the period.
Nick Mazzolini scored his first goal of the postseason at 6:33 of the third period on a wrist shot from the left circle that made the score 3-0 Alaska. San Francisco got on the board at 8:43 on a delayed penalty when Jordan Morrison scored his first of the postseason. However, the Bulls could not get any closer and Alaska put the game away with a Zach Harrison empty net goal at 19:41.
Mark Guggenberger (1-0) earned the win, making 21 saves on 22 shots. Thomas Heemskerk (1-2) took the loss, making 30 saves on 33 shots. The Aces went 0-1 on the power play, while the Bulls went 0-2. The Aces outshot the Bulls 34-22 in the game.
The series stays in San Francisco for two more games on Friday and Saturday. If necessary, game six would be back at Sullivan Arena on Tuesday, April 16.