The Las Vegas Wranglers blanked the Stockton Thunder 3-0 tonight, capitalizing on special teams’ goals to take Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals (Wranglers center Geoff Paukovich celebrates center Carlo Finucci’s unassisted goal – Photo credit: John Bosworth).
The Wranglers dominated offensively in the first period, setting up numerous scoring opportunities while outshooting the Thunder 10-6. Midway through the second, on Stockton’s second power play of the night, Wranglers forward Scott Pitt broke out and drifted a shorthanded shot past Thunder goaltender Olivier Roy, giving Las Vegas the 1-0 lead.
Las Vegas picked up five minutes of power play time late in the second on a major penalty assessed to Thunder left wing Andrew Clark, and the home team opened the third with 3:40 left on the man advantage. Wranglers center Judd Blackwater posted a power play goal two minutes into the period, and with 4:45 left in the game, Wranglers center Carlo Finucci tallied an unassisted goal to secure the 3-0 victory over Stockton. With the win, the Wranglers now trail the Thunder 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, and a Game 5 in Las Vegas will be necessary.
The two teams meet again for Games 4 and 5 on Tuesday, April 9, and Wednesday, April 10, with both games starting at 7:05 p.m. The series then wraps up in California on April 12 and 14, with the winner of the series meeting either the Alaska Aces or the San Francisco Bulls in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Tonight’s full box score can be found here.
Celebrating 10 seasons of Wranglers hockey this year, playoff and group ticket packages are on sale now, including pre-game ice skating parties, private luxury suites, and rink-side catered party boxes. Adult tickets start at $21, and youth tickets are $8. Take advantage of the best deals by calling the Wranglers front office at (702) 471-PUCK. The Wranglers play all 36 regular season home games at Orleans Arena, located next to the Orleans Hotel and Casino at 4500 W. Tropicana Ave. For more information, www.lasvegaswranglers.com.