Thursday, October 22, 2009

Aces forward continues Las Vegas dominance

By Anthony Fenech

Oct. 23, 2009 |

Thousands of miles from Anchorage, Colin Hemingway and the Alaska Aces have made themselves at home in Las Vegas.

That much is evident after Thursday night's 5-2 win over the Wranglers, in a game that saw both Hemingway and the Aces continue their past dominance at the Orleans Arena.

"Anytime we come to Vegas, I'm just jolting with energy," Hemingway said. "I don't know if it's the poker room or the blackjack tables, but I just love coming here."

The right-winger struck for two goals in the opener of a three-game set, helping the Aces build an early three-goal lead that would prove to be insurmountable for the Wranglers.

Both goals came of the special teams variety.

He first scored while the Aces were shorthanded in the first period when John Lammers found Hemingway bearing down on goaltender Joel Gistedt. Lammers fed Hemingway the puck between the circles and Hemingway beat Gistedt glove side for the score.

He scored his second midway through the second period with the Aces on a power play when his wrist shot from the point found its way through traffic and into the back of the net.

"Anytime you come in off of a travel day, it's nice to get out there and get an early lead and that's what we did," Hemingway said.

The two goals have added to an impressive run at Orleans Arena in which he's connected on nine points in his past six games.

His play on the ice, however, has suggested he's jolted with energy any time he faces off with the Wranglers, regardless of venue, totaling 19 points in the past 14 games against the Wranglers.

"It's nice to get out of Alaska for a while and come here. It's kind of like a mini-vacation," he said.

The last time he set foot in Orleans Arena was on May 14 in Game 4 of the ECHL National Conference Finals, when his two points in a 5-1 victory helped signal an early summer vacation for the Wranglers.

Hemingway's two points Thursday night helped lift Alaska to a franchise record tying best start of 4-0.

"I get up for any game, but especially for Vegas," said Hemingway.

The 27-year-old Regina, Saskatchewan native now has six points in four games to open the season and is drawing the praise of first-year Aces head coach Brent Thompson.

"I can't rave about him enough," Thompson said. "He's been an unbelievable player for us since the start of training camp. He's a true leader, he hits, skates and shoots and now he's getting rewarded."

Hemingway plays alongside his brother, Brett, who assisted on the Aces first goal of the game, and loves every minute of it.

"I really enjoyed it," he said. "We come to the rink, have a great time and we read off each other on the ice."

For Hemingway and the Aces, it's one game down and two to go in Las Vegas, a place that based on their success, they might not want to leave anytime soon.

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