The East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) is a mid-level professional hockey league that is one tier beneath the American Hockey League (AHL). The playoff champions of ECHL are awarded the coveted Kelly Cup. The Alaska Aces hockey team has won the Kelly Cup twice before, in 2006 and in 2011. The first two games of the best of seven Western Conference Finals were played between the Alaska Aces and the Bakersfield Condors on Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17.
May 16, 2014
The Alaska Aces opened the Western Conference Finals against the Bakersfield Condors as the Aces continue their quest for the Kelly Cup. Defeating the Condors proved to be no easy task in game 1 of the seven game series. The Condors took the lead 1-0, with a goal scored by Bakersfield’s Chris Collins at minute 14:45 of the second period.
The Condors carried their 1-0 lead forward into the third period. However, the Aces quickly tied the game with a goal scored within the first minute of the third period, with a goal scored by Alaska’s Evan Trupp. Alaska’s Jordan Morrison scored the game-winning goal for the Aces at minute 17:31 of the third period.
Alaska’s come-from-behind victory in game 1 of the seven game series, gave the Aces the lead in the Western Conference Finals by 1-0.
May 17, 2014
The Alaska Aces leading the best of seven series in the Conference Finals 1-0 against the Bakersfield Condors, found themselves in a tough battle for a second win, on Saturday. The Condors took the lead with a pair of goals in the second period scored by Jordan Knackstedt and Chris Collins.
Evan Trupp scored off a deflection for the Aces in minute 5:28 of the third period, to cut Bakersfield’s lead to 2-1. Brendan Connolly of Alaska, had a bouncing puck land at his skate, which he then kicked to his stick, and scored from the right edge of the paint to tie the game with 6:23 left in regulation.
The Condor’s Gary Steffes scored the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime giving Bakersfield the victory over Alaska and tying the series at one win apiece in the Conference Finals. The series will now shift to Bakersfield for the next three games and then if needed the teams will return to Alaska for the final two games of the series.