LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Las Vegas Wranglers defeated the Colorado Eagles, 5-1, scoring five unanswered goals and getting great work from goaltender Joe Fallon. Fallon stopped 32 of 33 shots, netting his league-leading 19th win of the season, and improving Las Vegas’ record at home to 16-3-2.
The teams combined for three goals in the first period, each of them coming via power plays. Colorado failed to score on its first man-advantage opportunity, but opened the scoring on their second midway through the frame.
Chad Costello & Michael Forney executed a give-and-go out of the left corner of the offensive zone, resulting in a rebound put home by Jason Beatty who was crashing the crease. The goal was his fifth of the season, setting a new career high through just 32 games for the blueliner.
The Wranglers countered by going 2-for-2 on their power play chances in the second half of the period. The tying tally came at 10:59 when Jeff May’s shot from the point was deflected past Kyle Jones. The second came just over five minutes later when Chris Francis’ centering attempt banked off of a defender’s skate and into the net.
The teams skated to a scoreless second stanza despite plenty of quality chances, thanks in large part to some good work by both Jones & Fallon. The Wranglers failed to convert on two power plays, while the Eagles went 0-for-1.
The Wranglers added three even strength goals in the final frame to put the game out of reach. May made it 3-1 at 3:18 with a one-timer from atop the left circle on a rush. Less than three minutes later, Eric Lampe found Adam Miller with a back-door feed to make it 4-1. And eight and a half minutes after that, Miller returned the favor as they worked another rush to perfection.
With 25 seconds left in the contest, things between the teams heated up at the Las Vegas bench and several players were escorted early to their respective locker rooms, setting up some possible bad blood when the teams return to the Budweiser Events Center for three games next week.