Vegas erupts for win

After losing three of their last four games, the Wranglers resolved to get back in the win column on New Year’s Day.

Team captain Shawn Limpright scored two goals, and goalie Kevin Lalande made 33 saves to lead Las Vegas to a 4-1 victory over Stockton at the Orleans Arena on Tuesday as at least one New Year’s resolution was met.

"This was a big game for us, and I thought the guys came out pretty hard and worked hard. It was good for us to get back on track," Wranglers coach Glen Gulutzan said. "We put together a better 60-minute effort. We’ve been trying to win games playing 40 minutes, and you can’t do that. You have to play a solid 60-minute game."

Las Vegas, which improved to 10-2-2 at home and 22-5-4 overall, scored four consecutive goals to defeat Stockton (13-16-2).

Tom Zanoski buried a rebound in front of the net 9:50 into the ECHL game to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead, but it didn’t take Las Vegas long to answer. Less than two minutes later, Tyler Mosienko picked up a loose puck in front of the Stockton net and lifted a backhander past goalie Glenn Fisher to tie the score.

Limpright gave the Wranglers the lead for good midway through the second period when he banged home a rebound from the slot on a play set up by Tyson Strachan’s shot from the point.

Mike Madill scored his second goal of the season with 18 seconds left in the second period to give Las Vegas a 3-1 lead.

Limpright closed out the scoring midway through the third period when he fired a shot on net from the right circle, then streaked in and poked his own rebound past Fisher, who stopped 36 of 40 shots.

"It was the best game I’ve seen Limper play all season," Gulutzan said. "He needs to get going. He’s a guy who needs to bring energy every night."

Limpright, a left wing who missed 10 games this season with a shoulder injury, has 13 points.

"Offensively, I haven’t done what I’ve really wanted to," Limpright said. "I’ve been trying to work hard. I don’t consider myself that much of an offensive guy."

Peter Ferraro and Strachan finished with three assists apiece for Las Vegas.

Lalande, reassigned to the Wranglers from the American Hockey League’s Quad City Flames on Monday, improved to 5-0-1 for Las Vegas, which waived goalie John Ceci.

Lalande and Daniel Manzato, the Wranglers’ All-Star goalie with a 12-3-1 record, will contend for the starting spot in practice.

"It creates some competition now," Gulutzan said of Lalande’s return. "Both guys will have to work hard in practice to be sharper. That’s what’s going to decide (who starts)."

The Wranglers, who entered third in the league in power-play percentage (23), went 0-for-4 with the man advantage and have converted only two of their last 29 power plays.

"Certainly our power play has hurt us in the last five games. We’ve had chances to bury teams," Gulutzan said. "That’s something we’ve got to get going a little bit."

Las Vegas will host Fresno at 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday as it continues a six-game homestand.

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