The Las Vegas Wranglers won 3-2 over the Utah Grizzlies tonight, sweeping the Grizzlies in the first two games in the best-of-five playoff series.
Wranglers center Judd Blackwater tallied an early goal in the first to give Las Vegas a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Utah tied the game up six minutes later on a power play goal from left wing Kory Falite, but a power play goal from Wranglers center Chris Francis in the last 42 seconds of the period put Las Vegas back on top, 2-1. Between 11 combined penalties given out in the first, the Grizzlies outshot the Wranglers 19-13.
On another goal in the first four minutes of the period, Wranglers defenseman Michael Busto scored at 3:44 in the second to give Las Vegas the 3-1 lead. Wranglers goaltender Mitch O’Keefe held the Grizzlies scoreless through the rest of the period until 12:48 in the third, when defenseman Josh Burrows cut the Wranglers’ lead to one goal. Utah couldn’t make up the difference, though, and the Wranglers collected their second win in a row over the Grizzlies with a final score of 3-2. O’Keefe, in net for both playoff game wins, earned the top Three Star honor, and Wranglers center Eric Lampe collected one as well with three assists in the game. Wranglers left wing Adam Miller registered three assists as well.
Las Vegas now leads the series 2-0 over Utah, and the best-of-five round continues at home on Thursday, April 5, at 7:05 p.m. at Orleans Arena. If necessary, games four and five will take place Friday, April 6, and Monday, April 9. Tonight’s full box score can be found here.