Las Vegas Wranglers Take The Boom Out Of Thunder


Yes, it’s blistering hot in Las Vegas, at least for me. Thirty celsius is blistering, isn’t it? So what does a good Habs fan do now that the team is finished and it’s so damn hot? Go to a hockey game, that’s what. A good, old fashioned ECHL game 2 Pacific Division final between the Las Vegas Wranglers and Stockton Thunder at the friendly confines of the Orleans Arena, just off the Vegas Strip behind the Orleans Casino.

Las Vegas Wranglers are an affiliate of the Calgary Flames, while Stockton belongs to Edmonton, and both have strong ideas about reaching the ultimate goal, the Kelly Cup. The winner of this series plays the winner of Alaska-Victoria for the right to advance to the big showdown. Montreal’s team in the ECHL, the Cincinnati Cyclones, are still alive and going at it in the east.

Las Vegas has had some problems lately, blowing four, two-goal, first period leads in their playoff run this year, including game one of this series. So blowing leads needed to be corrected, and this little problem, along with seeing what hockey atmosphere is like here, made it interesting and curious for me as I readied to go to the game. How would the Wranglers play, I wondered.

How would they? They played great. They took it to a smallish yet fast Stockton team before 2800 noisy and playful Vegas fans, and came away with a 4-2 win to even this series at one apiece. There were a couple of fights, three Vegas power play goals, and this night was fun, fun, fun. The only unsettling thing was the orange and black colours of the Thunder, for all the obvious reasons. And no, I don’t mean Pittsburgh.

Random notes:

The smallest played on the ice was Wrangler forward Tyler Mosienko, who is non-other than the grandson of Chicago Hall of Famer Bill Mosienko . Bill Mosienko was not only a great player, but also pulled off some magic one night in particular when he scored an incredible three goals in 21 seconds.

Playing for Stockton is a fellow named Cleve Kinley. Amazingly, I met this guy when he was about eleven years old. He’s from Powell River where I live, and about ten years ago when I had a small restaurant there, his parents, who I know slightly, used to bring little Cleve in to eat because the restaurant served all ages. Cleve got bigger and played for the BCHL Powell River Kings, then I never heard from him again. Until tonight.

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3 thoughts on “Las Vegas Wranglers Take The Boom Out Of Thunder”

  1. Hi Dennis

    Just came across a couple of your articles where you mention Cleve Kinley. They were fun to read.

    Dave & I now live in Blind Bay BC just outside of Salmon Arm. We have been gone from Powell River for several years now.

    So how did Cleve look when you watched the Vegas/Stockton game. Pretty good hockey eh? He has a couple of options but thinks he might go play again for Malcom Cameron who coaches the Florida team in the ECHL.

    Jan Kinley

  2. Hi Jan. I didn’t know you and Dave had moved as I was hoping to run into you and tell you. Becuae of the connection to PR, I watched Cleve closely for both games we were at, and I have to tell you, I thought he was Stocton’s best defenceman. He was smart, a good passer, nice size, and I was really impressed with everything he did. You can’t imagine how surprised I was when I saw his name in the program. You and Dave should be very proud. Cleve is a fine hockey player. I hope he continires on, because as you know, many players from the ECHL go on to play in the show. And one other thing, Cleve looked like a real team guy, always encouraging teammates and making unselfish plays.
    Great to hear from you. Hope everything’s great for you and Dave,

  3. Hey Dennis – so cool to create this dialogue. Thank you for your kind words re Cleve – and yes he had put up some very good numbers for his teams over the years.

    Bring us up to speed on your family? …. and your life in Powell River?’


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