Photo Courtesy: Idaho Steelheads
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Monday, April 16, 2012
(Las Vegas, NV) - Scott Campbell scored a pair of goals, including a crucial short-handed marker in the second period, as the Las Vegas Wranglers drew first blood in the ECHL Western Conference semifinals with a 3-1 win over the Idaho Steelheads.
The Wranglers lead the best of seven series, one game to none, with Game 2 set for Tuesday night at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Game time is just after 8 PM (Mtn) and can be seen at a free Viewing Party, hosted by the Idaho Steelheads and CenturyLink Arena, at the SportZone inside Idaho's home arena.
Idaho scored first on a mini-breakaway as Jacob Cepis got the puck ahead to Michael Neal. Neal came in from the top of the circles uncontested to beat Mitch O'Keefe over the shoulder at 5:38 of the first to put Idaho on top, 1-0. The goal was Neal's third of the postseason and extended his career-best point streak to five games.
Las Vegas seemed primed to even the game late in the first when Adam Miller got free in the slot near the hashmarks but his backhand attempt was denied by Idaho goaltender Jerry Kuhn to keep Idaho on top into the second period. The 1-0 advantage for the visitors held until the 11:09 mark of the second when Campbell broke free, short-handed, into the Idaho zone. He pulled the puck from his right to left before flipping a shot over the leg pad of Kuhn to even the game at a goal apiece. Ninety seconds later, Las Vegas took the lead when Mike Madill pounced on a puck near the goal line and snuck a puck short-side past Kuhn inside the post at 12:41 to make it 2-1 in favor of the Wranglers.
The Wranglers kept the pressure on in the third, but Kuhn kept Idaho in the game with several impressive saves, including denying Eric Lampe, the ECHL's leading goal-scorer during the regular season, on a breakaway with 8:23 left in the game. Idaho emptied its net for an extra attacker inside the final minute, but Campbell notched an empty-net goal with 38 seconds to go to seal the victory for Las Vegas.
Kuhn was strong in defeat for Idaho, stopping 43 of 45 Wrangler shots. O'Keefe stopped 17 of 18 to pick up the win for Las Vegas. Neither team converted on the power play, with Las Vegas going 0-1 and Idaho going 0-2.
Idaho will host home games in the Western Conference semifinals on Thursday, April 19th, Saturday, April 21st, and Sunday, April 22nd, at CenturyLink Arena in Boise. Tickets for Game 3 and 4 are on sale now at the CenturyLink Arena box office or online at www.idahosteelheads.com.
COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Micheal Neal
AQUA FINA "3 STARS" -
(1) Scott Campbell (LV)
(2) Mike Madill (LV)
(3) Jerry Kuhn (ID)
Group outings at a Steelheads game are a great way to gather friends, colleagues, or co-workers for a fun night out in downtown Boise. Ticket prices are discounted and you can get a Pepsi, Double-R Ranch Hot Dog, and bag of Tim’s Cascade Chips with each ticket. Contact the Steelheads front office at 208.383.0080 or log on to www.idahosteelheads.com for more information.