LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas Wranglers recognized the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and The Dave Rice Foundation on Friday Night in front of 5,572 fans, but fell 4-3 to the visiting Utah Grizzlies in a shootout. Las Vegas donned specialty “UNLV Rebels” jerseys in the defeat, which was their fourth straight and ninth in their last 12 games.
The Grizzlies struck first at the 9:36 mark of the first period with Phil Mangan’s seventh of the year, assisted by Teigan Zahn (8) and Danick Paquette (15). Down 1-0, Las Vegas would answer back a short three minutes later as Chad Nehring hammered home his sixth of the year right off the draw from Anthony Perdicaro (5). The 1-1 score would hold until the end of the period despite the Grizzlies holding a 13-5 shooting advantage after the first 20 minutes.
The deadlock would hold until midway through the second period when Utah’s Kris Hogg (9) gave the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead, assisted by rookie Brent Gwidt (12) and Jamie MacQueen (10). Utah would add to their lead as Mathieu Aubin (11) broke through on the power-play to give the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead. Assists on the man-advantage goal went to Phil Mangan (10) and Jamie MacQueen, who both grabbed their second points on the night.
Las Vegas would make it a 3-2 game just before the period came to a close though, as John Armstrong scored his ninth of the year on the power-play with 36 seconds left on the clock. The goal was assisted by Adam Hughesman (10) and Charlie Cook (13), who both pushed their individual point streaks to three games.
Wranglers’ forward Chad Nehring continued his strong play early in the third period as he potted his second goal of the night and seventh of the year to tie the game 3-3. For Nehring, it was his seventh point in the last five games and fourth goal in those contests. Perdicaro (6) again assisted on Nehring’s score, his second helper of the night after not appearing in Wednesday night’s loss to Colorado. Neither team was able to break the tie, forcing overtime, Las Vegas’ first extra hockey since Friday Jan. 17 in Anchorage, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Aces.
With no scoring in overtime, both clubs headed for a shootout, where the Grizzlies would take down Las Vegas 3-2 on goals from Aubin, MacQueen and Mangan. For Las Vegas, both Armstrong and Finucci were the lone shootout scorers.