In a best of five series, Game Two is typically a must win for the loser of Game One. San Antonio was slow out of the gate but able to rebound to take the series opener vs. Chicago in overtime. They drew first blood in the second game and continued pressing, knowing the Wolves would play desperate hockey after each goal. Not satisfied with Eddie Lack's performance two nights earlier, the Wolves turned to former Rampage goaltender Matt Climie, who didn't fare much better. Recap and highlights after the jump...
The Rampage scored back-to-back powerplay goals in the first period. Bill Thomas scored his first playoff goal four minutes into the game, with James Wright notching his second nine minutes later. The Wolves answered back with a goal from forward Kevin Doell, his first of the night.
San Antonio came into the second period on fire, scoring twice: Jon Matsumoto picked up his third goal on a 5-on-3 powerplay nine minutes into the middle frame, with Bracken Kearns scoring his first AHL postseason goal four minutes later. After allowing four goals on 32 shots (.875 Sv%), Climie was pulled for Eddie Lack.
The Chicago Wolves were down for the count in the third, but two powerplay goals scored within 41 seconds of each other, gave them life. Luckily for the Rampage, Jacob Markstrom was up to the task, stopping 13 of 15 shots in the period. With the Saturday victory, the Rampage are one win away from advancing to the second round of the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs for the first time in team history.
Matsumoto had a two point night, and rewarded with first star honors. He lead the Rampage with seven shots and spent four minutes in the penalty box with two cross-checking calls.
Markstrom played better in his second North American playoff game, stopping 36 of 39 shots (.923 Sv%, a quality start).
The Rampage's leader in assists helped out his team with two helpers. Both were in the second period.
Rampage went 3-for-5 with the extra man advantage. The Rampage finished 28th in the AHL on the powerplay at 14.4% (38 goals on 264 attempts).
The Penalty Kill
Rampage's PK went two-for-seven, allowing the Wolves to cut a 4-1 lead to 4-3 in just 41 seconds. The Rampage's PK didn't help out in game one either, also allowing two goals. So far in the Calder Cup playoffs, the PK unit is 60.0%.
Third Period Penalties
With a 4-1 lead in the third period, the last thing a team wants is to give their opponent hope. In the final 20 minutes, the Rampage committed three penalties, two within the same minute which were capitalized on by the other team.
April 21, 2011 vs. Chicago Wolves, Game Two (sarampage.com)
Next up: Game Three, Tuesday from Allstate Arena/Chicago 8 p.m. ET