For the second straight season, the Alaska Aces have sewn up the regular season crown in the ECHL's Western Conference and a first round bye in the Kelly Cup playoffs.
James Reid won his fifth consecutive start, and Alaska received goals from Matt Ambroz, Nick Mazzolini, and Blair Yaworski in a 3-2 victory over the Bakersfield Condors to clinch the Western Conference top seed. With two games to play, Alaska owns a record of 43-17-10, good for 96 points. Ontario, which lost 3-1 in Colorado on Wednesday, has 90 points and cannot catch Alaska even though the teams meet head to head in the final regular season series.
The only team within striking distance of the Aces for the ECHL's overall points title is the Gwinnett Gladiators. Gwinnett won, 2-0 at Florida on Wednesday to reach 93 points. The Aces can wrap up the Brabham Cup ( the prize for earning the overall points title ) and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs with victories in either of their last two games. Gwinnett would also have to win both of its last two to pass the Aces.