It will be a short summer for a foursome of Calgary Flames prospects.
With the Flames' ECHL affiliate Las Vegas Wranglers currently battling the Cincinnati Cyclones for the Kelly Cup, it won't be long before goaltender Kevin Lalande and forwards Adam Cracknell, Aki Seitsonen and Ryan Donally make plans to head to Calgary for the late-July prospect camp with the big club.
The experience of playing in a championship series, though, will far outweigh any fatigue the quartet is feeling.
Lalande and Cracknell have been the on-ice leaders for the Wranglers.
The 21-year-old rookie netminder has won 12 of the league-high 16 games he's played this post-season after last night's Game 2 victory at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.
Cracknell was tied for second in playoff scoring along with veteran teammate Peter Ferraro. Each had eight goals and 21 points.
The Wranglers dropped Game 1 of the final 4-2 Saturday night, with some undisciplined play leading to three powerplay goals from the Cyclones.
Adam Miller scored the lone goal last night, while Lalande kicked out all 27 shots he faced in a series-evening 1-0 win.
The Desert Ropers now get a long break before Games 3 and 4 in Vegas Thursday and Friday.
Flames GM Darryl Sutter will head to Sin City later this week to see first-hand how his players handle the pressures of a long playoff run.
So far, the signs are promising.
Donally, who played 10 games with the AHL Quad City Flames this year, recently returned from a lower-body injury and had four points in four games, including a game-winner, prior to last night.
Seitsonen had six goals and nine points before yesterday's game.
Auditioning for spots higher in the Flames organization next season is likely always in the back of their minds, but at the forefront is the quest for a championship that will never be forgotten.