Things did not go well for higher seeded teams playing on home ice tonight in the ECHL's Western Conference playoffs -- visiting and No. 7-seeded Idaho won 5-3 at No. 2-seeded Ontario, and No. 5-seeded Stockton won 4-2 at No. 4-seeded Colorado to sweep the Eagles in three games.
The Aces now know their opponent -- they play Stockton in a best-of-7 series that opens Friday, April 13, at Sullivan Arena.
Idaho owns a 2-1 edge on Ontario in that best-of-5 entering Game 4 on Saturday.
Idaho's Aaron Lewicki and Jacob Cepis scored power-play goals 2:16 apart early in the third period for a 4-2 lead. That helped wipe out a 2-2 Ontario forged with a couple of second-period, power-play goals after Idaho's Ron Meyer, the former UAF Nanook, received a match penalty for an illegal check to the head -- that's an automatic one-game suspension and $100 fine under ECHL rules. A match penalty means the referee (J.M. McNulty) judged Meyers tried to injure his opponent. UPDATE: Clearly, the officials botched the call on Meyers. Saturday, the league suspended Idaho's Matt Case, apparently the actual culprit, for three games. Ontario's Benn Olson, the former Ace, received a one-game suspension.
More fireworks at the buzzer -- two fights, and Idaho's Kory Scoran and Ontario's Geoff Irwin were tagged with the "continuing a secondary altercation'' penalty, and thus received game misconducts. (For their game misconducts, each gentleman will be writing a $40 check to the league).
Idaho goalie Jerry Kuhn stopped 30 shots, so he made up for a big mistake in Game 2, when, according to a story in the Idaho Statesman, he felt he cost his team the game when he took a major clipping penalty and game misconduct for his second-period snap show on Ontario's C.J. Stretch.
A big shots on goal advantage meant nothing in either of these games tonight -- Ontario outshot Idaho 33-18 and Colorado outshot Stockton 30-18.