LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Goaltender Joe Fallon stopped 32 of 33 shots to help lead the Las Vegas Wranglers to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Everblades in Game 1 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs Monday night.
The Wranglers lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.
Florida set the tone early with an early barrage, enjoying a 6-0 shot advantage. Fallon turned aside all of the shots to keep the game scoreless.
Despite a slow offensive start, the Wranglers struck first with a scramble in he crease. After an Eric Lampe shot which was stopped by Blades goaltender John Muse, the rebound slid into the net on the shortside post by Peter MacArthur giving the Wranglers a 1-0 lead.
Lampe, who assisted on the first goal, aded a goal of his own at 14:04 of the second frame. After a faceoff win, Lampe grabbed the puck in the corner area and flipped it off the back of Muse and banked it into the net for a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes.
In the third, the Wranglers continued to lean on their netminder. Fallon continued to turn aside quality scoring chances by the Blades. In the closing minutes of the third, Florida pulled Muse to allow for the extra attacker in Mike Ratchuk. Ratchuk skated to the slot, took a wide open pass and flexed the puck past Fallon for the goal to pull the Everblades within one with exactly two minutes remaining.
Despite the late rally, the Blades were unable to get a handle on the puck the rest of the way.
Muse takes the loss allowing two goals on 23 shots.
The teams meet again for Game 2 at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Orleans Arena.
The Everblades host Games 3 and 4 of the series on Friday and Tuesday May 22 at Germain Arena. If necessary, they will host Game 5 on May 23. !
Kelly Cup Finals Schedule
Game 1 Las Vegas 2, Florida 1
(Las Vegas leads Best-of-Seven series 1-0)
Game 2 Tuesday, May 15, Florida at Las Vegas, 10 p.m.
Game 3 Friday, May 18, Las Vegas at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 Tuesday, May 22, Las Vegas at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5 Wednesday, May 23, Las Vegas at Florida, 7:30 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 6 Friday, May 25. Florida at Las Vegas, 10:05 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 7 Saturday, May 26, Florida at Las Vegas, 10:05 p.m. (if necessary)