Wranglers snap skid with win in overtime

During their seven-game losing streak, the Wranglers seemed to find different ways to lose. But on Tuesday night at the Orleans Arena, they found a way to win in a 4-3 comeback victory over the Victoria Salmon Kings.

Defenseman Craig Switzer scored with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game 3-3 for Las Vegas, and center Francis Lemieux netted the winning goal, on the power play, with 1:20 left in overtime as the Wranglers won for the first time in three weeks.

"That’s just finding a way and being determined," Las Vegas coach Ryan Mougenel said. "I like the character we showed coming back and the resiliency, but we can’t spot teams two and three goals and expect to come back."

Lemieux scored two goals, Kyle Hagel had one, and Adam Miller assisted on the tying and winning scores for the Wranglers (7-12-1), who overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-1.

Wes Goldie scored with 4:10 left in the first period to give the Salmon Kings (6-11-2) a 1-0 lead, and Randall Gelech made it 2-0 1:03 into the second period.

Lemieux buried a rebound in front of the net 6:15 into the second to make it 2-1, but Dirk Southern scored on a slap shot from the right circle to give Victoria a 3-1 lead with 2:05 left in the second.

Hagel scored to make it 3-2 with 4:23 left in the third, and Switzer tied it on a blast from the right point.

"We practiced that play yesterday. What we try to do is clog up the middle and try to get a shot through," Switzer said. "Luckily for me, the goalie didn’t see it."

Salmon Kings defenseman Gary Gladue incurred a double-minor penalty for high sticking 15 seconds into overtime to give the Wranglers a four-minute man advantage, and they didn’t squander the chance.

Miller launched a shot from the top of the right circle, and Lemieux tipped it between Victoria netminder David Shantz’s legs for the winner.

"I was in front and found a way to put my stick on that puck and tip it five-hole," Lemieux said. "We were struggling to score goals the last few games, so it feels good for everybody to get back on track."

Billy Sauer stopped 26 of 29 shots in his first start for Las Vegas, and Shantz made 29 saves.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0354.

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