Times Colonist

Vegas slowly fading away

- CLEVE DHEENSAW

The battle for Lord Stanley’s mug went deep into a Michigan spring night. Check.

Frank Calder’s cup is being fought over in the AHL by the Chicago Wolves and some weird amalgam called the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Roger, got it.

Patrick J. Kelly’s goblet is being eyed by the Las Vegas Wranglers and Cincinnati Cyclones. Check, again.

There are six teams still playing pro hockey in North America in 2007-08. But the days grow short for Adam Cracknell and Sean Owens of Victoria and former Victoria Salsa BCHL junior standout Curtis Fraser. They have no more losses left to give. Their Wranglers fell 4-0 to the Cyclones yesterday before 6,957 deflated fans at the Orleans Casino and Resort in Vegas and are behind 3-2 in the best-of-seven ECHL Kelly Cup final.

Former NHLer Chris Ferraro has played the fourth and fifth games in the Kelly Cup final for Vegas, his first games back since being punched by Robin Gomez of the Victoria Salmon Kings in a game March 1 at Save-onFoods Memorial Centre.

The Kelly Cup now shifts back to U.S. Bank Arena on the banks of the Ohio River for Game 6 Thursday, where a crowd of up to 12,000 could be on hand to potentiall­y witness Cincinnati’s first pro hockey title since 1973 when the Swords defeated the Nova Scotia Voyageurs to win the AHL Calder Cup.

The Wranglers, who were top seed in the National Conference regular season ahead of the No. 2-seed Salmon Kings, are the farm team of the Calgary Flames. The highflying Cyclones, who won the American Conference with the best regular-season record in the ECHL, are the farm team of the Montreal Canadiens.

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