Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wranglers drop third straight game to Victoria

By Anthony Fenech

Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009 | 2:01 a.m.

The only thing the Las Vegas Wranglers have been consistent at lately has been inconsistency.

Las Vegas keeps winning a few, then losing a few, taking a lead and then giving it away.

It was the same old story Saturday in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Victoria Salmon Kings at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, British Columbia.

For the third time in three games north of the border, the Wranglers held an early advantage.

For the third time in three games, they gave up that lead shortly thereafter and finished with one more tally in the loss column.

Olivier Latendresse scored his seventh goal of the season just 1:12 into overtime, giving the Salmon Kings a three-game sweep of the Wranglers on home ice and returning the favor from a week ago.

The third period proved to be Las Vegas' demise. Victoria scored three straight goals, destroying the lead the Wranglers had held for nearly the entire first two periods.

After putting to rest their recent power-play woes with a Chris Neizner goal late in the first period, the Wranglers gave the goal back on their very next power play when Victoria's Olivier Filion scored short-handed.

Just a minute after Victoria's equalizer, Wranglers forward Ryan Weston responded with his fifth goal in the past five games, connecting on a shot from line mates Francis Lemieux and Adam Miller.

Defenseman Robbie Bina continued the Las Vegas offensive surge with a goal just more than a minute after Weston's tally, giving the Wranglers a two-goal lead.

The lead would stand until the middle of the third period, when the Salmon Kings struck for three consecutive goals. Andy Brandt, Wes Goldie (who scored his fourth goal of series), and Chad Painchaud each scored once, erasing the Wranglers lead and taking one of their own.

Las Vegas forward Ned Lukacevic tied the contest just 39 seconds later on a goal assisted by captain Josh Prudden and Shay Stephenson, but the Wranglers were unable to squeak a goal past Victoria goalie David Shantz the rest of the game.

Shantz took over for Glenn Fisher in the second period after the former Wranglers goalie allowed three goals on 11 shots.

Las Vegas goalie Joel Gistedt stopped 35 of 40 Salmon Kings shots in his third start in four games.

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