Opening the 2012 Kelly Cup Finals on home ice tonight, the Las Vegas Wranglers won 2-1 over the Florida Everblades in front of 5,729 fans. The Wranglers now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.
Wranglers goaltender Joe Fallon and Everblades goaltender John Muse held the game scoreless through the first 13 minutes of the game until Wranglers left wing Pete MacArthur scored the first goal. The Wranglers maintained that 1-0 lead midway into the second, and after surviving a double-minor penalty kill against Florida, Wranglers center Eric Lampe added a power play goal to give Las Vegas a 2-0 advantage at the end of the second.
Fallon’s second shutout of the playoffs loomed throughout the third period when, with exactly two minutes left in regulation, Everblades defenseman Mike Ratchuk tallied a goal to make it a 2-1 game. Florida was unable to score a game-tying goal, and the Wranglers took Game 1 with the 2-1 lead. Fallon, Lampe and MacArthur all received Three Star honors.
After the Clark County Commission declares tomorrow, May 15, “Las Vegas Wranglers Day,” the two teams will meet again for Game 2 at 7:05 p.m. The Wranglers then hit the road to Florida for Games 3,4 and 5 of the series. If necessary, Games 6 and 7 will take place at Orleans Arena on May 25 and 26. Tonight’s full box score can be found here.