Las Vegas evens series with Stockton

Doyle Woody,

Alaska connections contributed to the Las Vegas Wranglers' 5-2 win over the visiting Stockton Thunder tonight, a result that forged a 2-2 deadlock in the best-of-7, first-round ECHL playoff series.

Former UAF forward Carlo Finucci scored for the second straight night -- Las Vegas won 3-0 on Monday in Sin City -- and former Alaska Aces forward Judd Blackwater furnished two assists. Also, former UAA winger Sean Wiles had an assist.

Joe Fallon stopped 31 shots one night after he stopped 27 shots for a shutout.

Game 5 is Wednesday night at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

Man, we'll assume the dates of the three games in Vegas were dictated by rink availability -- but you could hardly do worse than Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Ugh. Crowds for first-round games in the ECHL often are weak, and so it was in Vegas -- announced crowd of 2,668 tonight and 2,658 on Monday night.

Anyhow, all three remaining first-round series in the Western Conference are tight: Alaska and San Francisco are tied 1-1; Las Vegas and Stockton are tied 2-2; and Idaho leads Colorado 3-2. Ontario, of course, is getting plenty of rest -- the Reign bounced the Utah Grizzlies in four straight.

Doyle Woody,