The defending champions scored four unanswered second period goals en route to a 7-4 victory over the Grunthal Red Wings in game one of the Carillon Senior Hockey League's best-of-seven final Wednesday night in Ste. Anne.
Aces forward Miguel Rondeau opened the scoring 59 seconds into the series opener and then added a shorthanded marker at 6:09 of the middle frame.
"It was kind of all over the place to be honest," answered Rondeau when asked to describe game one. "Pretty tight first period. Second period we managed to get a jump on them and open up a lead which was good. We didn't finish too strong. We had a bit of a lead and coasted a little bit which wasn't great. Overall I think it was a pretty good effort and when we had our game - we were playing really well and we controlled the play."
Steph Pattyn and Keith Grondin also scored twice for the home team who extended their lead to 7-1 by the six minute mark of the third period.
Goals by Remi Laurencelle, Joel Schreyer and Derek Gingera with his second of the night gave the Red Wings something to build on for the weekend.
As for the visitors tough second period.
"We lost battles, myself included," said Laurencelle. "Tried to skate the puck up, turned it over and they came down and scored. Can't have that. It's being smart with the puck and getting them deep rather than trying to do too much."
Russell Trudeau had the other Ste. Anne goal.
Aces netminder Guy St. Vincent made 33 saves while Red Wings netminder Matthew Krahn faced 51 shots.
Game two goes Saturday (7:30 p.m.) in Grunthal and Steph Pattyn is expecting much of the same from the Wings.
"They're a fast team and they're skilled," said the Aces captain. "They have a lot of offensive firepower. They have a good backend with guys that move the puck very quickly and very well and they obviously got a good goalie. We've got to stick to our game. If we do that there's not much teams can do to shut us down."
Game three will be back in Ste. Anne on Sunday.