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October 21, 2014

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HOCKEY:

Stellar goaltending extends Wranglers’ hot streak

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Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Las Vegas Sun

Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Glenn Fisher sprawls to make a save while being pressured by Phoenix winger Chase Trull during the third period of a game at the Orleans Arena on Tuesday night. Fisher became the first goalie in franchise history to post two consecutive shutouts in the Wranglers’ 1-0 victory Tuesday.

Fisher lifts Wranglers past Roadrunners

Las Vegas Wranglers goaltender Glenn Fisher closely watches a faceoff in his zone during the first period of play against the Phoenix Roadrunners at the Orleans Arena on Tuesday night. Fisher became the first Wranglers netminder to post back-to-back shutouts in franchise history with a 1-0 victory over the Roadrunners. Launch slideshow »

Although goaltender Glenn Fisher has only worn a Wranglers jersey for seven weeks, he has already earned himself a place in Las Vegas hockey lore.

Fisher set two franchise records Tuesday night by stopping 36 shots for his second consecutive shutout as the Wranglers edged the Phoenix Roadrunners 1-0 in front of 3,344 fans at the Orleans Arena.

The Wranglers (30-26-8) have now won three straight at home and solidified their playoff chances with only nine games remaining in the season.

"We are just playing unreal right now as a team and it reflects well on me," said Fisher, who has allowed just one goal in his last three games. "The boys are just making my life easy right now."

With Tuesday's shutout, Fisher became the first goalie in franchise history to record back-to-back shutouts -- not bad for a goalie that spent the first half of the season riding the bench with the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League.

Fisher also now holds the all-time scoreless time streak with 167 minutes and 18 seconds without allowing a goal. Former Las Vegas goalie Kevin Lalande held the previous scoreless streak at 112:43.

"(Fisher) is calm and he's quick," Wranglers coach Glen Gulutzan said. "He's got size and I think he's been in pressure situations before so I mean down the stretch he is playing great for us… He's exceeded my expectations to be honest with you."

Since joining the Wranglers in late January, Fisher has posted an 8-5-1 record with a 1.86 goals against average.

As Fisher set team records Tuesday, defenseman Steve Makway reached a personal milestone not only by scoring the game's only goal, but also by netting his first goal with the Wranglers.

After two scoreless periods, Makway buried the eventual game-winner just 2:04 seconds into the third period. While on the power play, Sean Owens managed to kick loose the puck from underneath a Phoenix player toward Adam Miller. Miller then sent a pass from behind the net to Makway who ripped a one-timer from the left faceoff circle past Phoenix goalie Kyle Jones.

"We were battling pretty good and we just couldn't find it then (Miller) gave me a good pass and I put it in finally," Makway said. "… We are finally playing with a full bench and we are coming together at the right time."

Stars of the game: 1. Glenn Fisher (36 saves); 2. Steve Makway (1 goal); 3. Adam Miller (1 assist)

Roster report: Gulutzan confirmed that goalie John DeCaro as well as forwards Mick Lawrence and Shawn Limpright should return to the lineup for this weekend's home stand against Ontario and Alaska.

Heavy hitter: Mike Madill (5-foot-11, 195 pounds) hit Phoenix forward Mitch Carefoot (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) so hard in the first period that Carefoot's helmet popped off. Las Vegas has been missing an 'Iron Mike' for quite some time.

Walleye in the sky: ECHL Hall-of-Famer Nick Vitucci watched Tuesday's game from media row to scout talent for the Toledo Walleye. Vitucci will be the head coach of the Walleye when they join the ECHL next season in the newly built Lucas County Arena.

Next up: The Wranglers stay home to host the Pacific Division leading Ontario Reign (35-24-5) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Final word: "Phoenix is in last place and we needed to get some distance between us and them and then let the teams below us battle for a playoff spot," Gulutzan said. "We are going to have play well down the stretch here, but this certainly helped us out."

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

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