Las Vegas Sun

January 21, 2018

Currently: 52° — Complete forecast


Wranglers freeze Phoenix for second straight home victory

Sometimes the puck just bounces the right way –- and it did just that for the Las Vegas Wranglers on Tuesday night.

The Wranglers, skating in their fourth game in five days, capitalized on two errant turnovers to drop the Phoenix Roadrunners 2-1 in front of 3,488 fans at the Orleans Arena.

"This was one of those nights where it wasn't as pretty, but we got the points," said Wranglers coach and general manager Glen Gulutzan. "That's what you tell the guys, which is if you can maintain a certain work ethic in practice, with tempo and ethic then you might lose a couple that you should have won, but you can pick up a few stragglers along the way."

After a scoreless first period, the Wranglers (18-17-4) took a 1-0 lead when Phoenix goalie Craig Kowalski's clearing attempt from behind the net bounced off Chris Ferraro's skate for the power play goal.

Although Ferraro did not even know he scored at first, that goal was his seventh point in the last six games.

"We'll take it," Gulutzan said. "We could use a fluke goal here and there."

The Roadrunners (17-18-3) bounced back in the third period, however, as P.J. Fenton squeaked a wrist shot past Las Vegas goalie Kevin Lalande to tie the contest 1-1 with 12:51 remaining in the game.

But just 61 seconds later, Peter Ferraro buried the game-winning goal thanks to a Phoenix turnover caused by Tyler Mosienko. As Mosienko battled with two Phoenix defensemen in the far corner, the puck squirted toward the crease for Ferraro's blistering shot.

Ferraro, who struggled early in the season, has now netted seven goals in seven games.

"I knew it was a race for the puck, so I just had to get it off my stick as quickly as possible," Peter Ferraro said. "The goalie went down and fortunately it hit the area I was aiming for."

Despite a late offensive flurry by the Roadrunners, the Wranglers held on to the 2-1 margin for the victory thanks largely to Lalande's 37-save performance. Lalande is now 6-7-2 on the season.

"I thought (Lalande) was fantastic," Gulutzan said. "He wants that goal back, but he made huge saves, especially in the last three minutes of the game."

Stars of the game: 1. Kevin Lalande (37 saves); 2. Peter Ferraro (one goal); 3. Chris Ferraro (one goal)

Hot seat: There is only one more day left to bid on a chance to sit ice-level in between the benches for Friday's prison uniform tribute to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The Wranglers are auctioning two seats between the benches on eBay that include complimentary concession services and one special prison-style jersey from the game. The auction ends at 7 p.m. Wednesday. As of game time Tuesday night, the rare seating opportunity was up to $396, thanks to 21 bids.

Next up: The Wranglers will face the Bakersfield Condors (13-23-6) in the Rod Blagojevich Prison Uniform Night at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Orleans Arena.

Final word: "I don't know why, but I feel as good as I ever felt," Peter Ferraro said. "I don't know why that is. They always say with age you slow down and things like that. Especially in a league like the ECHL, with the more travel and the grind of it is a lot more difficult than any league I've ever played in. But for some reason I don't feel tired or exhausted or my age, so I'm not going to complain."

Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or [email protected].

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