LOVELAND, Colo. – The Las Vegas Wranglers blanked the Colorado Eagles, 5-0, handing them their first home shutout in the ECHL & just their second at home in team history. Joe Fallon stopped 26 shots, netting his league-leading 22nd win in the process, as the 2nd-place Wranglers (27-13-4, 58 pts.) were too much for a depleted Eagles lineup (just 14 skaters) in the second game of this week’s three-game set between the squads.
The teams played an even first frame in terms of chances & shots (nine each), but it was Las Vegas that took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission, partly because the Eagles couldn’t take advantage of several Wranglers turnovers in the offensive zone.
Scott Campbell got the game’s first goal at 4:44 by stuffing a power-play chance home from the crease. That lead grew to two at the 14 minute mark when Chris Francis took a shot from just inside the blue line as the Wranglers entered the offensive zone and the puck squeaked under the pads of Andrew Penner.
The Wranglers pulled further away in the second period, out-shooting the Eagles 13-6, and out-scoring them 3-0 to take a 5-0 lead into the second intermission. Peter MacArthur made it 3-0 with Las Vegas’ second power-play goal of the night at 3:31 when he put home a rebound with Penner flat on his back in his own net after being knocked down.
Seven minutes later, Francis was denied on a breakaway, but Eric Lampe was able to find the rebound and slip it home, adding to his league leading goal total. Then at 15:21, Mike Madill made it 5-0 following a bunch-up deep in the Eagles’ zone that saw the puck kicked right to his open stick in the left circle. That goal chased Penner from Colorado’s cage with 14 saves on 19 shots in 35 minutes and 21 seconds of ice time.
Colorado put up its best effort of the night in the final frame, but it was too little, too late as they still were unable to get a puck past the Wranglers’ netminder. Kyle Jones continued his steadying play in the Eagles’ net, stopping all seven of Las Vegas’ shots in the third period to finish the game with 10.
The teams will meet for the third time in four days Saturday night.