Back & Forth Game Ends in Wranglers’ Favor
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Las Vegas Wranglers topped the Colorado Eagles, 6-4, in a game that saw three separate spurts of three unanswered goals. Colorado built a 3-0 lead, only to see Las Vegas’ potent offense tie the game. Then after taking the lead back heading into the third period, the Eagles watched the Wranglers net another trio of tallies in the final frame.
The Eagles dominated play in the first frame, out-shooting the home team 15-11, and out-scoring them 2-0. The first goal came five minutes in when Alex Penner left the puck for Joey Sides skating through the slot where he snapped it past Mitch O’Keefe. And six minutes later, Steve Haddon intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and found Aaron Slattengren in the slot for the second goal from the same spot.
Colorado stretched their lead to 3-0 four minutes into the second period when Haddon’s centering feed on a power play deflected off a defender’s stake and into the net. But the Wranglers’ high-octane offense got them right back in the game with three unanswered goals, tying the contest eight minutes later.
Just half a minute after Haddon’s goal, Las Vegas notched their first score of the game when All-ECHL 1st-Team forward Eric Lampe won a draw in the left circle, took the puck to the net and had his rebound put home by Judd Blackwater from the doorstep. The goal was the first allowed by Damien Ketlo in his professional career — coming off a shutout in his debut — and ended his shutout streak at 84 minutes and 33 seconds.
It took just one minute for the second puck to find its way past Ketlo following a faceoff in the right circle when defenseman Jeff May’s shot from the point made its way through a screen and into the back of the net. Then at 13:12, Las Vegas tied the game with a power-play goal when Blackwater sent a cross-slot feed to Adam Miller for a wide open one-timer from the left circle.
But the Eagles battled back to take a 4-3 lead into the second intermission when Jordan Baker picked up his first professional goal by redirecting a Liam Huculak pass behind O’Keefe as Colorado worked a 3-on-2 rush at 17:22. Ironically, it marked the first time that the Eagles’ high-scoring offense had hit the four-goal mark since March 6.
The Wranglers scored three more unanswered goals in the third period to complete their come from behind win. Lampe continued to torment the Eagles as he added to his league leading goal total six minutes into the final frame by snapping a shot past Ketlo’s glove from the right circle.
Midway through the third, Sean Wiles was awarded a penalty shot, and he converted on it for what turned out to be the game-winner. The Wranglers then added an empty-net goal in the final minute of play to account for the final score.
The teams will close out the 2011-12 regular season tomorrow night with a rematch.