By Rob Miech
Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS – Reserve goalie Mike McKenna seems to have missed the Wranglers more than he’ll miss the extra per diem – of about $20, to a bit more than $50 – in the American Hockey League.
“I missed the guys here and missed being able to play,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation, to be around friends and people I’d been around all season.”
McKenna, a rookie from St. Louis, beat the Alaska Aces on Saturday at the Orleans Arena to improve to 4-0 since he returned from the Norfolk Admirals earlier this month. It also seems nobody has been happier to see McKenna than regular goalie Marc Magliarditi.
“He indicated that,” McKenna said with a smile. “He’d had plenty of work. For him playing 18 straight, he was happy to get a little bit of a break.”
On Jan. 20, McKenna won in San Diego. The Wranglers returned to Las Vegas at 4 a.m. on Jan. 21, and coach and general manager Glen Gulutzan rang McKenna at 8 a.m. to tell him of his call-up to Norfolk.
At 2 p.m., McKenna boarded a flight from Las Vegas to Philadelphia and signed a 25-game contract shortly after arriving at 11 p.m. He was told at 3 p.m. Jan. 22 that he’d be starting against the Phantoms that night.
He led Norfolk to a 4-3 shootout victory.
“And it was against Jamie Storr, who played in the NHL for eight or nine years,” McKenna said. “An incredible experience. It happened so quickly.”