Wranglers Overpower Reign, 2-1
Las Vegas, NV - The Las Vegas Wranglers(r) (34-29-8, 76 Points) defeated the Ontario Reign (30-31-10, 70 Points) 2-1 in front of 4,209 fans Friday night at the Orleans Arena.
In a game dominated by the play of both defenses, the Wranglers earned their 34th victory of the season, equaling the regular season total of the 2008-09 squad. Barry Goers provided the game winning goal, his second of the season, late in the first period. Joel Gistedt stopped 25 Ontario shots to earn his seventh victory of the year. Michael Pelech scored the lone goal for the Reign as Curtis Darling took the loss, stopping 32 of 34 Wranglers shots. With the loss the Reign were eliminated from contention for a Kelly Cup Playoff berth. The field in the National Conference is now set, with final seeding and schedules to be determined.
The Las Vegas Wranglers dominated the play in the first period. Ryan Weston got the home team on the board first as his slap shot from the right circle beat Ontario goaltender Curtis Darling to give the Wranglers a 1-0 lead just 1:50 into the contest. With under two minutes remaining in the opening stanza, Barry Goers pushed home a rebound to give the Wranglers a 2-0 lead. For the period, the Wranglers dominated the shot clock 14-3.
In an uneventful second period, each team received a power play opportunity but neither team capitalized and the teams skated to the locker room with the Wranglers still holding a 2-0 lead. The Wranglers continued to dominate in shots with a 23-10 advantage through two periods.
With their season on the line, the Reign came out firing in the third period. Midway through, Michael Pelech cut the deficit in half as his pass from behind the net deflected off a Wranglers defender and past goalie Joel Gistedt. That was as close as the Reign would get. Despite the Reign outshooting Las Vegas 16-11 in the final frame, the Wranglers held on for a 2-1 victory.
The Wranglers return tomorrow to face the Ontario Reign in the regular season finale. The puck drops at 7:05 PM. It is Fan Appreciation Night with lucky seat giveaways all night long and a full team autograph session immediately following the game.
The Las Vegas Wranglers(r) are the ECHL affiliate to the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes and the American Hockey League's San Antonio Rampage. Follow the Wranglers on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WranglersLV.
Group rates for all remaining Wranglers home games are available by calling (702) 471-PUCK. The Wranglers play all 36 regular season home games at the Orleans Arena, located at the Orleans Hotel and Casino at 4500 W. Tropicana Avenue. Individual game tickets are on sale now at (702) 284-7777.
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