BOISE, Idaho — The Alaska Aces punctuated a 4-0 series sweep of the Idaho Steelheads with a 4-0 win in Friday's fourth game of the Western Conference Semifinals at Qwest Arena in Boise. The series win qualifies Alaska for the conference finals for the fifth time in their eight-year ECHL history.
Idaho came out determined to avoid a sweep, and outshot Alaska 10-8 in a scoreless first period. The Aces opened the scoring 1:13 into the second on a goal by Scott Howes, his second of the series. The Aces controlled play through most of that period, and took a 2-0 lead on Curtis Fraser's rebound strike with 57 seconds left until intermission.
The game stayed 2-0 until the final two minutes, when Howes and Tyler Ruegsegger buried empty net goals for the final margin.
For the series, the Aces outscored the Steelheads 11-2 and blanked the ECHL's top-ranked power play on 13 chances. Aces goaltender Gerald Coleman turned away all 28 Idaho shots in game 4, and finished the series allowing only 2 goals over 240 minutes.