San Antonio won a wild series opener where both teams combined for a total of ten goals off 59 shots (30-29 OKC). The Rampage were able to fight back from a 4-2 Barons lead to take the first game of what could be a long physical series, if Thursday is any indication. Recap and post-game videos after the jump...
The game's first scoring chance came from Rampage forward Quinton Howden, in his first professional game. Howden streaked past the Barons' defense on a breakaway only to be quickly foiled by Oklahoma City goaltender Yann Danis with a kick save. The opening goal came at 10:13 as Hunter Tremblay scored off Rampage forward Mark Cullen's stick; assists went to Mark Arcobello and Tyler Pitlick. Arcobello would the second goal of the game at 12:21 on a powerplay, with the puck slipping past Jacob Markstrom's glove. The Rampage answered back at 16:58 with a powerplay marker of their own: Alexander Petrovic scored his second goal of the playoffs, both on the man advantage, with help from a James Wright screen in front of Danis. The goal was assisted by Colby Robak and Evan Barlow. The Barons led 2-1 after the first period with an 11-9 shot advantage.
At 1:24 of the second, the Barons scored their third goal off a wraparound that passed through Markstrom's legs. The Rampage answered back at 2:46 with Mark Cullen scoring his second postseason goal off a Bracken Kearns face-off shot rebound to cut the lead to one. The goal trading didn't end there as Teemu Hartikainen scored at 3:48 on a goal that came right off of Jacob Markstrom's glove. The Barons, before game one, were 24-0 in the regular season and playoffs when scoring four goals. Rampage head coach Chuck Weber decided to keep Markstrom in net and the vow of confidence worked, as he didn't allow another goal for the remainder of the night.
At 8:13, Bill Thomas scored off his own rebound, cutting the OKC lead to one. While the goal was called good when scored, the officials came together at the scoring table to discuss whether it came off Thomas's skate. The AHL has no video replay, so the officials stuck with the call on the ice. Jon Matsumoto added to his AHL playoff scoring lead with the lone assist. The Rampage tied the game at 16:55 on the powerplay with Tyson Strachan's first AHL postseason goal, assisted by Kearns and Cullen. The Rampage finished the second with a 12-11 shot advantage.
After a wild 40 minutes both teams cracked down hard on defense as Markstrom and Danis, who allowed a combined four goals in his first four AHL postseason games, began to play as they were expected for the first two periods. The final two goals came in the last five minutes as Michael Caruso scored his first career playoff goal at 15:21; captain Nolan Yonkman and David Marshall were credited with the assists. The final goal came at 18:09 as Matsumoto scored on the breakaway off a turnover. Game Five hero Roman Derlyuk was credited with the lone assist. Markstrom stopped all eight Barons shots in the period and the Rampage took Game One against the number one seeded Oklahoma City Barons. San Antonio leads the Calder Cup playoffs with nine powerplay goals.
Next up: Game Two is Saturday, May 5 at 8 pm EST.
May 3, 2012 vs. Barons, Scott Timmins Interview (via sanantoniorampage)
May 3, 2012 vs. Barons, Chuck Weber Interview (via sanantoniorampage)
May 3, 2012- vs. Barons, Round 2 - Game 1 Highlights (via sanantoniorampage)
Other Prospect News
- The Niagara IceDogs won game one of the OHL Finals with a 3-2 win in double overtime of the London Knights. David Pacan was scoreless with a plus-one in the win.
- In the USHL Eastern Conference Finals the Indiana Ice lost Game One 6-2 to the Green Bay Gamblers. R.J. Boyd was scoreless with a minus-two and two shots on goal.