Wranglers get serious, surge past Grizzlies

The only similarity to Friday’s three-goal loss to the Utah Grizzlies was the fact the Wranglers scored five goals again Saturday.

The rest of the game was a complete role reversal as Las Vegas started strong and didn’t let up in a dominant 5-1 victory over Utah at the Orleans Arena.

The Wranglers (5-2), who had lost two games in a row after opening the season with four consecutive victories, scored two goals in 32 seconds in the first period and added two more in the second period en route to the rout.

“Once in a while, you have to get stung by some bees to know it’s not easy work to go get honey,” Las Vegas coach Glen Gulutzan said. “Last night we got stung, but today we were a little more cautious, and we played a lot more solid.

“We limited their chances, and that’s what happens when you pay attention to details.”

Rookie goaltender Tim Boron had a rough Wranglers’ debut Friday, when he gave up three goals on five shots, but he bounced back with a solid performance Saturday, stopping 24 of 25 shots in his first ECHL start and taking a shutout into the third period.

“He played solid. He made the saves he needed to make,” Gulutzan said. “He gave us a chance to win, and that’s what you ask from your goaltender.”

Boron and the rest of the Wranglers were determined not to repeat Friday’s dismal performance, which arguably was the worst home loss in franchise history.

“We were all saying this morning that it’s a new day and a new game,” Boron said. “The guys played great in front of me and made it a lot easier on me, but I felt good in there and hopefully we can keep rolling with this.”

Five Wranglers scored, starting with Ryan Donally and Brandon Kaleniecki in the first period.

Donally skated into the right circle and ripped a shot between the legs of Utah goalie Brett Jaeger, who made 28 saves, with 7:08 left in the first for a 1-0 lead.

The Wranglers made the score 2-0 with 6:36 remaining in the period when Kaleniecki banged home a shot from point-blank range off a crisp cross-crease pass from Adam Cracknell on the power play.

Tyler Mosienko scored his second goal in two nights early in the second period to give the Wranglers a 3-0 edge. Marco Peluso set up the power-play goal with a shot that got behind Jaeger. Mosienko then streaked in and pushed the puck across the goal line.

Jason Krischuk scored a power-play goal on a slap shot from the left point, just inside the blue line, to give Las Vegas a 4-0 lead with 1:42 left in the second period.

Cracknell capped the scoring for Las Vegas on a rush to the net with 3:49 remaining.

Las Vegas, which gave up 10 power-play goals in its first six games this season and entered 22nd in the 25-team ECHL in penalty killing (74.4 percent), stepped it up in that area Saturday. The Wranglers killed a 5-on-3 Utah advantage lasting about 1:30 in the second period and held the Grizzlies scoreless on four power plays.

Las Vegas improved on its power play, going 3-for-9 with the man advantage after entering with a 16.7 percentage.

Utah (3-5) fell to 1-5 on the road, where it has been outscored 32-13.

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