By Steve Silver
Las Vegas Sun
LAS VEGAS – As the Alaska Aces triumphantly claimed the Bruce Taylor Trophy at the Orleans Arena Thursday night, the Las Vegas Wranglers silently cleaned out their lockers and shaved their playoff beards.
The magic that had lifted a 34-31-8 Wranglers squad to the National Conference finals with two Game 7 triumphs was nowhere to be found. In 60 minutes, the Wranglers’ season folded against the smoking Aces, 5-1.
But while the sting of suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of an arch-rival such as Alaska will certainly linger throughout the off season, it is hard not to view this season through rosy lenses.
“To assess the season, it’s a success,” said Las Vegas coach and general manager Glen Gulutzan. “To have 76 points, win our division and play 18 playoff games is what some people would consider a success. Although for this organization our sights are always set higher. For this team and maybe the job I did, yeah it is a success. Is the bar higher for us? Yeah, it is. So in that regard it’s a success.”