LAS VEGAS – The Alaska Aces rode two short-handed goals to a 5-1 win over the Las Vegas Wranglers in game number three of their opening round series. The Wranglers now trail the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarter-Finals three games to none, with a pivotal game four set for Friday night at Orleans Arena, 7:05pm.
The Aces would waste no time in striking first, as Peter Sivak (2) put Alaska on top 1-0 just 14 seconds into the game, assisted by Nick Mazzolini (6) and Brendan Connolly (3). Mazzolini (2) would then grab a goal of his own six minutes later, short-handed, assisted by Sivak (3), to put Alaska on top 2-0.
The Wranglers would answer back 6:11 into the second period as Shawn Skelly (3) scored for the third straight game, this time on the power-play, to cut the Aces’ lead to 2-1. Assists on the goal, the first man-advantage score of the postseason for Las Vegas, went to Greg Coburn (1) and Matt Tassone (1). Alaska would answer right back, however, with their second short-handed score of the game, an unassisted goal from Sivak (3), putting the Aces on top 3-1.
Early in the third period it was Alaska’s Drew MacKenzie (3) adding another goal on the power-play, assisted by Connolly (4) and Mazzolini (7), to put the Aces on top 4-1. Brett Findlay (1) would then extend the Alaska advantage to 5-1 with 10:23 to go, assisted by MacKenzie (1) and Jordan Morrisson (1).
With the Wranglers trailing the best-of-seven series 3-0, the two teams will get set for game four in Las Vegas on Friday April 25. If necessary, the pair will collide again in game number five on Saturday, April 26 once again at Orleans Arena. The winner of the series advances to the ECHL’s Western Conference Semi-Finals, for a second round date with either the Colorado Eagles or Idaho Steelheads.