The Las Vegas Wranglers claimed their second Bruce Taylor Trophy as Western Conference champions in team history on Wednesday, defeating Alaska 3-1 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Las Vegas won four straight games in the series after dropping the opener.
After falling behind 1-0 five minutes into the first period last night, the Wranglers tied the game on an Eric Lampe power-play goal at 14:28 of the opening period, and got the eventual game-winning goal from Judd Blackwater with just over a minute remaining in the period. Josh Lunden added an empty-net tally in the closing seconds of the game to set the final. Joe Fallon, who allowed just seven goals in the series, stopped 18 shots to improve to 6-1 in the postseason.
Las Vegas advances to the Kelly Cup Finals where the Wranglers will meet the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals. Florida leads Kalamazoo 2 games to 1 win Game 3 tonight in Florida.
The Wranglers are seeking their first Kelly Cup title. Las Vegas fell to Cincinnati in six games in the 2008 Kelly Cup Finals.