ECHL West recap for February 18 Good news in Vegas and Ontario remains on top


Las Vegas forward Shawn Skelly scored a goal in his first period as a Wrangler and added an assist to finish with two points in the 3-0 win – Photo Credit to IIA Photography

The biggest news this week was the announcement that the Las Vegas Wranglers have found a new home for the 2014-2015 Season! Their new home will be Downtown at The Plaza. They’ll have a new property built on the site leased for five years beginning next season with an option to stay an additional five years. The structure will be a fabric shell on a metal frame, according to the Las Vegas Sun, designed by the same firm who constructed the Olympic Training Facility in Chula Vista, CA.

The good news didn’t stop with finding a new home for the Wranglers this week. They also broke a long losing streak by beating the Colorado Eagles 3-0 just after claiming Shawn Skelly off waivers from the Alaska Aces. Skelly had two points from one goal and an assist.

Ontario still remains far ahead in points of the rest of the ECHL. The split a two-game series with Alaska, losing the first game 6-4, but then came back and won the second 4-2. Tyler Gron scored twice for the Reign, Chris Crane grabbed a goal and Maxin Kitsyn had another.

Stockton finally won one game out of the five they played against the Aces in Alaska, Thursday, February 13th. The final score was 4-3 to Thursday’s match.

Even after traveling all the way back from the Frozen North, the Stockton Thunder arrived home to California to win a nail-biter over the Utah Grizzlies 1-0 on Saturday night. This is just a pitstop for the Thunder; they go back on the road next week and play a long series against the Eagles in Colorado. They sit just three points above Bakersfield, so the next road trip is one of the most important of the year for Stockton.

The Idaho Steelheads won both of a two game series against Bakersfield Saturday and Sunday, and then beat Utah in an afternoon game on Presidents’ Day, quietly keeping their third spot in the Western Conference. Steelheads goaltender Pat Nagle continues to mystify the opposition, this time with 33 saves, making Idaho’s record 27-17-5.

Utah won two games against Colorado over the weekend in Loveland, CO and was looking to extend their all-time home game winning streak record of 11, but the Steelheads spoiled their party. 9,862 fans packed the Maverick Center to see Monday’s game and it was quite an exciting one. The Stealheads won 3-2.

Things are heating up in the West as the teams move closer to playoff time. Each game becomes more and more important as the teams move closer to April.

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