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July 31, 2014

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Wranglers don’t let this lead slip away, take Game 3 against Stockton

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STEPHEN SYLVANIE / SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A scrum of shoving players erupts in front of the Las Vegas net as the Wranglers hosted the Thunder for game 3 of their best-of-seven ECHL Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series on Monday night.

Wranglers Playoffs

Geoff Paukovich, right,  reacts after Carlo Finucci scored a third period goal against Stockton Thunder goalie Olivier Roy on Monday night during game 3 of an ECHL Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff game at the Orleans Arena on Monday night. Launch slideshow »

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The Las Vegas Wranglers weren’t going to let this lead slip away.

The Wranglers beat the Stockton Thunder 3-0 Monday at the Orleans Arena in the first round of the ECHL playoffs, trimming its deficit in the best-of-seven-game series to 2-1.

Las Vegas could have very easily won all three games in the series. Last Friday and Saturday in the first two games in Stockton, Calif., the Wranglers lost both games in overtime despite holding a lead at the beginning of the third period.

That wasn’t the case Monday.

Las Vegas led 1-0 entering the third period, adding to its advantage with a pair of goals to seal the crucial win. Judd Blackwater found the back of the net for the Wranglers for the initial goal of the third period on the power play, scoring on an assist from defensemen Mike Madill and Matt Campanale. Carlo Finucci added an insurance goal late for the Wranglers, which return to the ice at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday against Stockton for Game 4.

After a scoreless first period, Las Vegas took the lead for good in the second on a short-handed goal from Scott Pitt. Madill was credited with the assist.

Netminder Joe Fallon stopped all 28 shots he faced to earn the shutout.

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