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September 22, 2014

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HOCKEY:

Wranglers blow out Salmon Kings to snap losing streak

Despite playing what Las Vegas coach Glen Gulutzan called the worst game of the weekend, the Wranglers managed to snap a three-game losing skid by pounding the Victoria Salmon Kings 6-2 in front of 3,593 fans at the Orleans Arena Sunday afternoon.

After dropping two close contests to the Salmon Kings (28-11-4) on Friday and Saturday, the Wranglers (17-17-4) wasted no time pouncing on the road-weary Salmon Kings.

Forward Mike Hamilton started the scoring binge when he netted a power-play goal less than seven minutes into the first period.

Within the next five minutes, brothers Peter and Chris Ferraro each added goals to put the Wranglers on top 3-0 in the first period.

"I thought Friday and Saturday we deserved a better fate, but didn't get it," Gulutzan said. "We played two pretty good games back-to-back, which is encouraging. Today was a sloppy game on both sides and I thought it was our worst game, but we'll take the victory because that is important mentally for us."

The Wranglers' offensive onslaught cooled in the second period, however, as Victoria headed into the final period trailing 3-1 thanks to a power-play goal by Chris St. Jacques.

But after watching Saturday's loss from the stands thanks to a healthy scratch by Gulutzan, Peter Ferraro seemed determined to seal the Wranglers' victory. Less than two minutes into the third period, Peter Ferraro secured the blowout with his second goal of the day to hand the Wranglers a 4-1 lead.

"I expected a big game from Peter," Gulutzan said. "He is one of our top players and he sat out last night because things haven't been going his way and he needs to do the little things right. But coming in I was hoping he would come in fresh and give us a little spark and that is what he did."

Following a power-play goal by Victoria forward Wes Goldie, Hamilton and Kelly Czuy added goals late in the third period.

Stars of the game: 1. Dan Spang (four assists); 2. Peter Ferraro (two goals); 3. Chris Ferraro (one goal, two assists)

Assist machine: Defenseman Dan Spang's four assists Sunday, including one on each of the first three goals, tied a Wranglers franchise record for single-game assists.

Spang has now notched five assists in three games with the Wranglers since the AHL's Quad City Flames reassigned him to Las Vegas on Jan. 20.

"Dan Spang is a great offensive defenseman at this level and a good one at the American League level, too," Gulutzan said. "He is just getting his game in order and I don't think he'll be here long."

In 30 games with the AHL's Quad City Flames, Spang recorded one goal and seven assists.

Give him the dice: Defenseman Steve Makway tied a franchise record with a plus-five rating Sunday. Makway also notched an assist on Chris Ferraro's first-period goal.

Clearly, Makway has a cloud of luck surrounding him right now -– somebody should get him to a craps table as soon as possible.

Going streaking: Center Tyler Mosienko's third-period assist on Peter Ferraro's second goal of the night gave Mosienko his fifth point in six games.

Mosienko has recorded 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in 28 games with the Wranglers this season.

Next up: The Wranglers stay in Las Vegas to battle the Phoenix Roadrunners (16-17-3) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Final word: "It was at the end of my shift and I just wanted to get it off my stick," Peter Ferraro said about narrowly missing an empty-net goal to complete a hat trick. "Maybe I could have gotten my feet under me a bit more, but I gave it a shot and it hit the side of the post. The hat trick didn't matter, as much as the outcome. I'm just happy with the win."

Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or [email protected].

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