Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008 | 1:42 a.m.
- Opponent: Idaho Steelheads
- Date: Saturday, Nov. 15 7:30 p.m.
- Where: Orleans Arena
Carrying a four-game home win streak into Friday night's game against the Idaho Steelheads, the Las Vegas Wranglers put up no fight in a 6-1 loss at the Orleans Arena.
Trailing 6-0 in the final period, Las Vegas narrowly avoided the shutout when Chris Ferraro took a shot from mid-ice with 17 seconds remaining in the game. It was the worst loss for the Wrangler's since February of 2006 when they were shutout at home, 5-0 to Utah.
Players weren't available for comment after the loss, but head coach and general manager Glen Gulutzan spoke briefly.
"This team is mentally weak," Gulutzan said. "There are too many guys in that room that have no clue what it takes to be a top team. No clue."
The Steelheads started the scoring early and didn't stop throughout the game. Steve Gainey scored an unassisted goal two minutes into the first period, followed by defender Riley Weselowski's first goal of the season. The Wranglers gave up a three-goal second period, including one from Ben Nelson 47 seconds in. Bryan MacGregor finished off the 6-0 run with a goal in the third before Ferraro's long shot in the final minute.
Offensively, Las Vegas took 15 shots to Idaho's 34. The Wranglers failed to score on a number of power play chances, including a 1:46 long five-on-three advantage after Idaho's Tim Wright was penalized for tripping.
Even though goal keeper Brent Krahn gave up five of the six goals, Gulutzan said he received no help from his teammates. Krahn finished with 24 saves on the night.
"I think Krahn played fine he had some big saves," Gulutzan said. "What are you gonna do when guys are teeing up shots? Actually guys misfiring, getting it back, and then teeing it up."
The Wranglers will need to come up with answers quick as they host the Steelheads again Saturday night. Friday's loss dropped Las Vegas to fourth place in the Pacific Division. It's been a disappointing start to the season, last year the team hadn't lost its sixth game until Dec. 28.
"We got to compete," Gulutzan said. "We'll be better prepared to play tomorrow. Everybody will, coaching staff included."
Roster changes: The Wranglers had a couple AHL call-ups this week, losing defenders P.J. Atherton to Grand Rapids and Brandon Straub to Quad City. Through five games with the Wranglers, Atherton had scored a goal and tallied an assist while Straub was scoreless. The changes on defense may have had something to do with the weak performance Friday night.
Playing his first game since moving down from Quad City to Las Vegas was center Hugo Carpentier. The 20-year old rookie has played in ten AHL games this season, scoring once. The Calgary Flames drafted Carpentier in the fourth round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Wait, who is that fighting?: Wrangler's center Tyler Mosienko got into a mini brawl with Steelhead Adam Welch after the two collided in the second period. It was the first time Mosienko threw down since - maybe ever. The 5'8'', 175-pounder took a second to get going but finished the fight with applaud-worthy right hooks. Nice.
Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.