ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The defending ECHL champion Alaska Aces shutout the Colorado Eagles, 4-0, as Adam Courchaine stopped just 19 shots in the victory. It marked the Eagles first shutout in the ECHL, and their first since March 5. The 19 shots represented a season low for Colorado, after they registered just 20 in Wednesday night’s Alaskan affair.
The Eagles had a strong early effort in the first five minutes of the opening frame before the Aces grabbed control of the period’s play. The shots on goal reflected such, as Alaska out-shot Colorado 16-4. But Andrew Penner was stellar, stopping all 16, and Colorado’s penalty-killers went 2-for-2 in helping the visitors weather the storm and take a 0-0 tie into the first break.
Penner continued his phenomenal play in the second period, with the only blemish coming when Bryan Miller registered the game’s opening tally with a power-play goal from the point at 7:26. Colorado, however, controlled much of the action in the second half of the stanza, enabling them to finish the period tied with Alaska at 10 shots apiece.
Garry Nunn made it 2-0 at 2:31 of the third period when he picked up a turnover at the offensive blue line and used Luka Vidmar as a screen in the left circle as he tucked a shot inside the far post. The game got away from Colorado after that as they spent nearly the entire second half of the final frame killing Alaska power plays — many of them the 5-on-3 variety.
Steve Ward found Dan Kissel with a diagonal pass into the right circle at 13:22 to make it 3-0. And with under three minutes left in the game, Nick Mazzolini picked up a loose puck in the low slot and beat Penner to account for the final score.
The two teams will meet again Saturday night.