Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 | 7:36 p.m.
Las Vegas defenseman Jeff May scored two goals and added an assist to help the Wranglers recover from an early first-period deficit and defeat the Colorado Eagles 5-1 Monday afternoon at the Orleans Arena.
“As a leader, he plays the game the right way all the time,” Wranglers coach Ryan Mougenel said. “He’s physical. He’s got an offensive upside. He moves the puck extremely well. It’s definitely a bonus having him here.”
After the Eagles scored a power-play goal by Jason Beatty to take the lead at the 9:11 mark of the opening period, May responded with a power-play goal less than two minutes later to tie the game.
The Wranglers picked up their second power-play goal of the period when forward Chris Francis scored an assisted goal from Ned Lukacevic and Josh Lunden with just under four minutes to play in the opening frame to take the lead for good.
After a scoreless second period, May tacked on his second goal of the game early in the third period to extend the lead to 3-1 on a slap shot from near the blue line. Prior to the game, May had one goal on the year.
“Our third periods have been real consistent, which is a good thing,” Mougenel said. “I think our third periods have been great. The conditioning has been excellent. From a staff standpoint, I think we’ve done a great job of keeping the guys in a peak cardio level to have great third periods.”
Las Vegas forward Adam Miller got into the scoring mix in the third period as he recorded a goal and an assist in the final 15 minutes of play.
Miller scored his 19th goal of the season on a feed from Eric Lampe near the crease to give the Wranglers a 4-1 lead.
Miller returned the favor later in the period as he assisted Lampe on a goal near the cage to cap five unanswered goals for the Wranglers. It was Lampe’s ECHL-leading 28th goal of the season. (Note: Lampe’s goal from Saturday was overturned and credited to Pete MacArthur.)
Stars of the game: 1. Jeff May (2 goals, 1 assist); 2. Adam Miller (1 goal, 1 assist); 3. Eric Lampe (1 goal, 1 assist); 4. Ned Lukacevic (2 assists); 5. Joe Fallon (31 saves).
Late-game fight: After the game was well out of hand with 29 seconds remaining in regulation, a skirmish broke out between the two squads. Beatty and Liam Huculak were cited for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct for Colorado. Geoff Paukovich got a roughing infraction, and Lukacevic picked up slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for the Wranglers.
Home ice advantage: The Wranglers continued their dominance at the Orleans Arena with Monday’s victory over Colorado. Dating back to Dec. 3, the Wranglers are an impressive 11-1 at home with the only loss coming to Colorado on Dec. 20.
Next up: After concluding a three-game home stand, the Wranglers travel for a six-game road trip starting on Friday against Stockton. The Wranglers have consecutive three-game series against Stockton and Colorado before returning home to face the Alaska Aces on Feb. 2.
Final word: “I feel like we came to play,” Fallon said. “We wanted to go out there in the first period and get a good start. Once we got a good start, we kept rolling from there. When you start to get hot, you can really push it for three games straight.”
The Orleans Arena, a Boyd Gaming facility located just west of the Las Vegas Strip, is one of the nation’s leading mid-sized arenas, and was recently ranked No. 1 in the United States and No. 5 internationally among venues of similar size by Venues Today Magazine.
The Arena hosts more than 200 events each year, including concerts by top names like Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Van Halen, Brooks & Dunn, Black Eyed Peas, Akon and Rihanna; family favorites like The Harlem Globetrotters and Circus Spectacular; and a wide variety of sporting events, including NCAA basketball tournaments, the West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference Basketball Championships, mixed martial arts with Superior Cage Combat, and major motorsports events.
The arena serves as home to the Las Vegas Wranglers professional ECHL hockey team, the Las Vegas Legends professional indoor soccer team, and the Lingerie Football League’s Las Vegas Sin. Stay connected to the Orleans Arena on Facebook (www.facebook.com/orleansarena) and on Twitter (@orleansarena).