Wranglers handed first home shutout of season

When he’s not playing in the NHL and the American Hockey League, Alaska goalie Chris Beckford-Tseu stays sharp in the ECHL, where he has a 33-3-2 record the last three years for the Aces.

The Wranglers dealt Beckford-Tseu one of those losses Tuesday, but he gave them no chance Thursday. He stopped 29 shots to hand Las Vegas its first home shutout of the season in Alaska’s convincing 3-0 victory at the Orleans Arena.

As good as Beckford-Tseu is, though, he didn’t have to work especially hard to earn his first shutout for Alaska this season.

“We didn’t win a battle all night. I don’t think his pads are wet,” Wranglers coach Glen Gulutzan said of Beckford-Tseu. “We got outbattled and outskilled. You’re not going to win too many games when that happens.

“They outworked us in the tough areas, in puck battles, and we were stale and frustrated all night.”

Las Vegas, which had won four straight, dropped to 41-12-12 overall, 21-5-6 at home. The Wranglers, who edged the Aces 3-2 on Tuesday, fell to 1-1-3 against them this season. The previous four meetings were all decided by one goal.

Alaska (38-22-5) has won 17 of its last 20 games, largely because of Beckford-Tseu (10-2). He made his NHL debut for the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 21, playing 27 mop-up minutes and allowing one goal in a 5-1 loss to Los Angeles. He also has played 31 games for Peoria of the AHL this season.

“We had a couple good days of practice and we really took care of our own end tonight,” Beckford-Tseu said. “Every time we play (Las Vegas), we know it’s going to be a tough night. We have to raise our level and match their intensity.”

Josh Soares scored his second goal in as many games against Las Vegas midway through the first period, and it turned out to be all the Aces would need. They controlled the action throughout.

Bo Cheesman scored on a power play 33 seconds into the second period, and F.P. Guenette scored on a two-man advantage with 47 seconds left.

The Wranglers outshot the Aces 29-22, but that’s about the only area in which they came out ahead.

“Our sustained pressure wasn’t good enough,” captain Peter Ferraro said. “Anytime a goalie of that caliber has the ability to see perimeter shots, he’s going to stop pucks all night.

“One thing I stressed between periods was to get to the front of the net, try to hack and whack and find a way to get dirty goals, but unfortunately that didn’t happen and it cost us.”

Las Vegas gets another crack at Alaska at 7:05 p.m. today in the rubber match.

“The good thing is we have (a short time) to think about it and be upset about it, but we have the ability to come back and redeem ourselves,” Ferraro said. “We think it’s inexcusable to lose 3-0 in our own building. We have the caliber team that shouldn’t be shut out in our own building.”

• NOTE — The Wranglers signed rookie defenseman Jim Jorgensen, who made his debut against the Aces after playing four years at Ferris State.

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