LAS VEGAS – – A four-goal third period couldn’t save the Las Vegas Wranglers tonight, falling 6-5 to the Ontario Reign in the first of a two-game series.
The first period belonged to Reign forward Kyle Kraemer as he posted two goals for his team in the first 10:28 of play, including one on the power play. The 2-0 lead carried over midway through the second until Wranglers center John Armstrong tallied his own power play goal to put Las Vegas on the board. Kraemer was quick to respond, posting two more power play goals in the next eight minutes. Finishing off the second, Reign defenseman Matt Register beat Wranglers goalie Travis Fullerton to give Ontario the 5-1 lead.
A Vegas comeback attempt began 8:41 into the third as Wranglers defenseman Jeff May posted a power play goal from the blue line to make it a 5-2 game. Wranglers forward Geoff Irwin scored four minutes later, and a second goal from May narrowed the Reign’s lead to 5-4. For his fifth and final goal of the game, Kraemer collected an empty net goal in the last minute of play. Wranglers center Chris Francis recorded his eighth goal of the season with 2.8 seconds left in the game, but the Reign skated with the 6-5 victory.
The Wranglers and Reign rematch tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. After this weekend, the team heads on the road until Jan. 31, playing games against the Utah Grizzlies, Bakersfield Condors, and Alaska Aces.