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Steelheads Kill Off 11 Vegas Power Plays, but Lose in Midnight Game

Tuesday, December 29th
Steelheads Kill Off 11 Vegas Power Plays, but Lose in Midnight Game

The Idaho Steelheads (22-7-2) gave up an early goal and never led as the Las Vegas Wranglers (12-14-3) earned a 3-1 win in the first meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Wranglers' annual midnight game, which started at 11:59 PM Pacific, featured a perfect 11-for-11 penalty kill rate for the Steelheads in the losing effort. Adam Huxley and Las Vegas' Kyle Hagel dropped the gloves at the opening draw; a precursor of things to come. However, at 11:16 of the first period, Mick Lawrence banged home a rebound to give the Wranglers a 1-0 lead, which would hold until the 6:50 mark of the second period. Brad Miller emerged from the penalty box, moved in alone, and caught the Wranglers' defense and goaltender Michael Ouzas off-guard, as Miller tied the game with his fourth of the season. Weston Tardy gathered the assist on Miller's goal. However, Kyle Hagle answered with the eventual game-winner at the 17:25 mark, as he moved in with a two-on-one, and elected to shoot, beating Idaho's Richard Bachman on the stick side. The Wranglers added the empty-netter at 19:50 of the third when Lawrence fired another one over the line to give Las Vegas a 3-1 lead. However, after the goal, the Wranglers' John Schwarz cross-checked Steelheads captain Marty Flichel at center ice, triggering a sequence of events that saw Schwarz receive a game misconduct for cross checking, the Steelheads' Kyle Radke given a misconduct for leaving the bench, and the Steelheads' Adam Huxley given his second fighting major of the night for a bout with Las Vegas' Ryan Weston. Richard Bachman falls to 9-3-2 as he returns from the American Hockey League's Texas Stars; he stopped 27 of 29 shots in the loss. Michael Ouzas stopped 18 of 19 shots in the win; he is 9-11-2. The Steelheads are back in action Thursday night at Qwest Arena when they welcome the Stockton Thunder to Boise. The puck drops at 7:10 PM.

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