"Some guys there legs weren't there, some guys were cramping up," forward Nick Mazzolini said. "Being back in the building felt a little warmer since they had all that stuff in here, the ice might have been softer.
"You can excuse and what-if all night long. We just didn't get it done."
After a scoreless first period, Idaho cracked the scoreboard just 34 seconds into the second when Evan Barlow fired a hard shot in on Billy Sauer -- who was making his first home start in goal for the Aces -- and beat him clean under the left pad.
Mark Delago, who assisted on Barlow's goal, sealed it with an empty-netter with 43 seconds left. Barlow picked up the secondary assist.
"They played really solid defensively.," Mazzolini said. "We just couldn't come back from that one-goal deficit."
Richard Bachman made 25 saves for his fourth and the team's sixth shutout of the season.
"When we did get things going the puck would bounce on us, we couldn't get that one-timer shot, we'd have to handle it first and he'd be square by that point," Mazzolini said.
Sauer, who made 35 saves in a winning debut with the Aces last Friday at Ontario, turned aside 29 of the 30 shots he faced on Tuesday.
Despite the consecutive losses the Aces remain confident.
"We just came off our best road trip of the year," said Mazzolini of Alaska's just-completed 4-1-1 trip to Las Vegas and Ontario. "Our confidence is high, we know this is a good team."
The Aces, if they qualify, will open the postseason next week at the Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla on Monday and Tuesday for Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-5 first round. That will be the schedule regardless of where Alaska finishes in the standings.
Game times will be 7:35 p.m. to allow for the commute out to the Valley. The team is offering a round trip bus ticket from Lot C at Sullivan Arena to the Menard for $5. Fans can sign up at the Aces help desk at Sullivan Arena during the final three home games. The bus will leave at 5:30 p.m.
There were a number of players familiar to fans of Alaska's college hockey programs making their professional debuts in Tuesday's lineup.
Former UAA defenseman Nils Backstrom and former UAF forward Dion Knelsen suited up for the Aces.
Knelsen's brother Brandon, also late of UAF, was on the Idaho bench, as was his old Nanooks teammate Dustin Molle. Ex-Seawolves net minder Jon Olthuis was in uniform as the Steelheads' emergency backup.
Contact Andrew Hinkelman at email@example.com and follow @KTUUSports on Twitter.