Las Vegas – The Wranglers won 3-1 over the Idaho Steelheads Monday, taking game one in the best-of-seven Western Conference Semifinals. Idaho took an early lead in the game when forward Michael Neal scored in the first six minutes of play. The Steelheads held that 1-0 score until midway through the second period, when Wranglers center Scott Campbell netted a shorthanded goal on Steelheads goalie Jerry Kuhn and tied the game 1-1. Less than two minutes later, Wranglers defenseman and team captain Mike Madill tallied a goal to give Las Vegas their first lead of the night, making it a 2-1 game.
A 2-1 Wranglers victory loomed until Idaho pulled Kuhn in the last minute of the game for a man advantage. Campbell broke away and secured an empty-net goal with 38 seconds left in regulation, and moments later, the Wranglers took game one from the Steelheads with a final score of 3-1. Wranglers goaltender Mitch O’Keefe improved to a perfect 4-0-0 playoff record after facing 18 shots from the Steelheads, and the team as a whole outshot Idaho 46-18.
The Wranglers face the Steelheads Tuesday night in game two of the Western Conference Semifinals at 7:05 p.m. The Wranglers then hit the road to Boise for three games before returning home for games six and seven, if necessary, on April 24 and 25.