Woody on Hockey

Alaska is hockey heaven -- the Alaska Aces are perennial ECHL contenders, the UAA Seawolves play in the nation's premier college league and NHL star Scott Gomez headlines a contingent of pros. Join the conversation about the Aces and Alaska hockey with Doyle Woody, who has covered the game here at all levels for 29 years.

Contact: dwoody@adn.com

Here's a historically encouraging way of looking at UAA's WCHA series in Grand Forks - 10/25/2012 3:43 pm

Aces: Ambroz released (Plus, Courchaine note) - 10/25/2012 1:26 pm

Aces: Gee, those are some decent linemates Imbeault just got; plus, numbers changes - 10/25/2012 10:45 am

Aces add a defenseman in fourth-year pro Alain Goulet - 10/25/2012 9:59 am

A bunch of Alaska connections play in the Austrian League where Alexandre Imbeault began the season - 10/24/2012 5:41 pm

Man, UAA's Early Schedule Is Odd - 10/24/2012 5:07 pm

Former Aces Center Imbeault Is Now Current Aces Center Imbeault (UPDATED) - 10/24/2012 1:16 pm

North Pole's Copley Is WCHA Rookie Of The Week - 10/23/2012 12:19 pm

Exhibition Hockey: Aces 3, Las Vegas 2

We'll be quick about this tonight -- the Alaska Aces racked a 3-2 exhibition victory over the Las Vegas Wranglers on the pink ice at Sullivan Arena.

Returner Danny Markowitz and newcomer Tommy Mele each furnished one goal and one assist, and new goaltender Mark Guggenberger debuted with 26 saves. Returning center Zach Harrison was very good -- an assist and excellent penalty killing.

A couple of newcomers weren't bad either. Brandon Dubinsky and Joey Crabb of Anchorage skated on a line with veteran left wing Matt Robinson and probably secured roster spots -- joking, kids, we know Dubinsky and Crabb, NHLer's currently with the Aces because of the NHL lockout, will be significant additions.

Dubinsky delivered an assist on Robinson's game-tying, power-play goal in the second period and Crabb was solid throughout, though he said he was pretty tired. NHLer Nate Thompson of Anchorage is scheduled to play in Tuesday night's series finale.

The game, part of the Aces' annual two-game preseason series to benefit breast cancer awareness and treatment -- hence the "Paint the Rink Pink'' promotion -- drew an announced crowd of 4,706. Having NHL fellas didn't hurt attendance, for sure, but it's probably a safe bet that the 500 or so tickets sold at the Aces' offices on Monday were probably more because folks were finally sure there were going to be games at Sullivan. Remember, problems with the ice-making capabilities at the rink only allowed ice to start being made Friday.

Ideally, teams can get a few skates in on the ice before a game -- helps them, and several resurfacings usually help the ice. Alas, the Aces and Wranglers both practiced Monday morning at Boeke, so no team had taken the ice at Sullivan until pregame warm-ups.

But the ice appeared to be good -- at least from The Blog's perch -- and there were no indications -- bouncing pucks or players falling down repeatedly -- that is was less than its usual condition, which is hard and good. Aces equipment manager Mike Burkhead said he didn't hear any complaints from players -- that's a good sign.

The story of the game in Tuesday's dead-trees edition of the ADN will be about Dubinsky and Crabb, and the nerves they felt playing their first game for their hometown team in their hometown rink. You'll also get a few notes and the game summary.

OK, that wasn't that quick. So let's call it a wrap until Tuesday, when the two-game series calls it a wrap.

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