Monday, April 23, 2012 | 9:02 a.m.
Wranglers center Eric Lampe scored a goal midway through overtime Sunday night to defeat the Idaho Steelheads 2-1 and advance Las Vegas to the Western Conference finals with a 4-1 series victory.
After a scoreless opening period, the Steelheads took the initial lead of the game on a Ron Meyers goal at the 10:11 mark of the second period. Forward Derek LeBlanc and defenseman Steven Tarasuk aided Meyers with assists on the goal.
The Wranglers evened the score with less than three minutes remaining in the second period as left wing Adam Miller used a Lampe pass to beat Idaho netminder Jerry Kuhn for his third goal of the playoffs.
After a scoreless third period sent the game into overtime, the Wranglers put the series away with a Lampe blast at the 10:46 mark of overtime. Miller and Judd Blackwater were credited with assists on the series-clinching goal.
Las Vegas goaltender Joe Fallon stopped 34 of the 35 shots he faced, including all six in the extra frame. Kuhn, meanwhile, finished with 51 saves, including 43 in regulation.
In a cleanly played game, each team failed to capitalize on either of their two power-play opportunities.
Stars of the game: 1. Eric Lampe (1 goal, 1 assist); 2. Adam Miller (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. Joe Fallon (34 saves).
Next up: The Wranglers will face the top-seeded Alaska Aces in the Western Conference finals best-of-seven series. Alaska won the final three games of its series against Stockton to defeat the Thunder in five games in the conference semifinals round. The Wranglers were 5-4 against the Aces during the regular season, going 3-1 at home and 2-3 on the road. The schedule for the conference finals has yet to be released, but Las Vegas will open up on the road in Anchorage at Sullivan Arena.