The Alaska Aces, the Blues' ECHL affiliate, won their second ever Kelly Cup Championship with a 5-3 win over the Kalamazoo Wings on Saturday. Scott Howes was named the Most Valuable Player of the ECHL Playoffs.
The game (Game 5) began with an evenly played opening period. The Aces outshot the K-Wings 11-10 in the period, but Kalamazoo hit two posts in the frame. The game went to the second period scoreless.
The offense broke through in the second. Kalamazoo got on the board first when Brian McGuirk scored on a deflection at 2:58. The Aces responded immediately. 32 seconds after the goal, Steve Ward's sharp-angle shot caromed off of Sam Ftorek's skate and into the net to make it 1-1. Alaska then took their first lead on a power play. Chris Langkow scored on a rebound at 13:54. The K-Wings then answered when A.J. Thelen scored off an offensive zone faceoff at 15:51. The Aces took the lead before the intermission when Chad Anderson scored at 18:53. The Aces outshot the K-Wings 13-8 in the frame.
The third period was a game of cat and mouse with the Aces pulling away and the K-Wings inching back. Goals from Langkow and Curtis Fraser were enough to propel Alaska to victory.
Gerald Coleman (11-1) earned the win, making 27 saves on 30 shots. Ryan Nie (12-6) suffered the loss, and made 29 saves on 34 shots. The Aces went 1-3 on the power play, while the K-Wings went 0-2. The Aces outshot the Wings 34-30 in the game.
#1 Alaska Aces vs. #3 Kalamazoo Wings
Game 1 - Alaska, 5 Kalamazoo, 0 Game 2 - Alaska, 3 Kalamazoo, 2 (OT) Game 3 - Kalamazoo, 4 Alaska, 1 Game 4 - Alaska, 7 Kalamazoo, 5 Game 5 - Alaska, 5 Kalamazoo, 3