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July 25, 2014

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Swept out of playoffs, Wranglers salute fans, bid farewell to Orleans Arena

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STEPHEN SYLVANIE / SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Travis Fullerton shakes hands with Alaska Aces goaltender Olivier Roy after the Aces defeated the Wranglers 4-3 on Friday night at the Orleans Arena. The Aces eliminated the Wranglers in four straight games to end their season.

Wranglers vs. Aces

Wranglers forward Adam Huxley, right, vents his frustration against Alaska Aces defenseman James Martin during a stoppage in play on Friday night. Launch slideshow »

The Alaska Aces completed the sweep of the Las Vegas Wranglers on Friday night in the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs, effectively closing out a 10-year residency at the Orleans Arena.

The Aces — the top seed in the ECHL Western Conference — scored first, with Peter Sivak netting the first of two goals on the night. Four minutes later, Zach McKelvie gave Alaska a 2-0 lead in a period that saw the Aces outshoot Las Vegas by nearly a 3-1 margin.

The Wranglers were rewarded for an intensified effort in the second period with goals by Carlo Finucci and Chris Francis three minutes apart near the game's midpoint.

Sivak netted his second goal for Alaska with less than a minute remaining in the second period on a power play when he found himself alone in front of Wranglers goaltender Travis Fullerton. It would prove to be the game winner, 3-2.

In the third period, both goaltenders stood tall in net and thwarted any scoring attempts, and the Aces held on to eliminate Las Vegas in four straight.

After the traditional handshakes at center ice, the Wranglers saluted the 2,500 fans in attendance, thanking them one last time for 10 years of loyalty at the Orleans Arena. After a contract was not renewed by Boyd Gaming, the Wranglers will be moving to an arena yet to be constructed at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Las Vegas for the 2014-15 season.

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