Stephen R. Sylvanie
Saturday, March 31, 2012 | 12:03 a.m.
Six Wranglers players scored a goal Friday night as Las Vegas overcame a three-goal deficit to rally back and defeat Colorado 6-4 at the Orleans Arena.
After scoring two goals in the opening period, the Eagles opened up a 3-0 advantage on a power-play goal from Steve Haddon at the 4:11 mark of the second period.
Less than 30 seconds later, Las Vegas responded with a Judd Blackwater goal off the rebound of an Eric Lampe shot.
Seconds later, Wranglers defenseman Jeff May launched a rocket from the blue line past Colorado goaltender Damien Ketlo to give Las Vegas two goals in less than a minute of action.
Las Vegas tied the game at the 13:12 mark of the second period as Adam Miller received a cross ice pass from Blackwater and found the back of the net from the left wing for a power-play goal.
Colorado responded with a Jordan Baker rebound goal from in front of the Wranglers’ net to retake the lead. It was Baker’s first goal of the season in his fifth game of action at the ECHL level.
Las Vegas tied the game at four goals apiece early in the third period on a Lampe top-shelf goal over the pad of Ketlo.
“It was a big goal for the team,” Lampe said. “We battled back all game. It shows the character of the team. We never gave up. That’s the mentality we need going into playoffs.”
With the goal, Lampe broke the single-season franchise record for most goals scored with 37.
“I’m ecstatic that he broke it,” Wranglers head coach Ryan Mougenel said. “I think it’s an awesome accomplishment. I think it looks great on our program. I’m glad that Eric’s name will be there because he’s a special kid. He gets rewarded for having an awesome season.
“He’s played with some pretty awesome line mates that have got him the puck. Eric’s speed is key. He’s got NHL speed. He skates like an NHL player. He really has a knack for the net.”
The Wranglers took the lead for good on a Sean Wiles penalty shot goal midway through the third period. Wiles got Ketlo out of position and beat him for the game-winning goal.
Las Vegas sealed the victory with an Ash Goldie empty net goal in the final minute of action. Goldie scored for a second consecutive game after coming off the injured reserve Tuesday.
Stars of the game: 1. Eric Lampe (one goal, one assist); 2. Jeff May (one goal, two assists); 3. Judd Blackwater (one goal, two assists).
Battle for Pacific Division crown: With the Wranglers’ come-from-behind victory over Colorado and the Reign defeating Alaska in overtime, Ontario remains a point ahead of Las Vegas in the Pacific Division with one game remaining for each team.
ECHL honors: The Wranglers announced today that three Wranglers players have been named to the All-ECHL First and Second teams. Lampe has been named a First Team forward, Miller has been named a Second Team forward, and Joe Fallon has been named Second Team goalie.
Next up: The Wranglers return to the ice Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. for their final game of the regular season. Las Vegas will host “Fan Appreciation Night,” where fans can win a variety of prizes and meet the team after the game for autographs and photos.
Final word: “They’re a very good team when they play the right way,” Mougenel said. “For us to win in the playoffs, we have to play the right way all the time. We need to dig in defensively and win battles and complete all the time.”