Published Monday, May 12, 2008 | 10:28 p.m.
Updated Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 | 2:14 p.m.
A nine-day layoff didn’t affect the sterling way Las Vegas has been playing in its 5-2 victory over Utah on Monday night.
It was the opener of the best-of-seven National Conference finals, and the Wranglers are a series victory away from playing for their first ECHL Kelly Cup.
Right wing Adam Cracknell and center Curtis Fraser scored to give the Wranglers a 2-0 lead after one period, and they never trailed before 4,299 at the Orleans Arena.
Left wing Shawn Limpright and defenseman Jason Jozsa also scored for Las Vegas, and rookie goalie Kevin Lalande stopped 31 of 33 shots.
Utah keeper Michael Mole stopped 27 of 31 shots.
Wranglers center Tyler Mosienko capped the scoring when, with 18 seconds remaining, he tallied an empty-net goal with Las Vegas at a 4-on-6 disadvantage.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at the Orleans, then Games 3 and 4 shift to Utah on Thursday and Friday night, respectively.