Another hockey season, another conference finals series for the Alaska Aces.
The defending Kelly Cup champs eliminated the Stockton Thunder tonight in five games with a 4-1 win at Stockton Arena that marked their third straight win there.
And this makes three conference finals in the last four seasons, and six in the club's nine ECHL seasons.
Dan Kissel furnished two goals and a helper, Steve Ward delivered a power-play goal for the second straight night and Garry Nunn added a goal. David Shields, filling in for injured defenseman Brandon Gentile, racked two helpers in his pro playoff debut, and Gerald Coleman was Gerald Coleman -- 30 saves, never a hint of shakiness.
Alaska heads to the Western Conference Finals against, most likely, the potent Las Vegas Wranglers. Las Vegas leads Idaho 3-1 in that best-of-7 entering Game 5 Sunday in Boise.
Oh, for the record, this makes the Aces 17-8 in ECHL playoff games in which they can eliminate an opponent.
No word yet when the conference finals open. Stay tuned. We'll let you know here as soon as we find out.