The San Antonio Rampage broke a four-game losing streak on Friday with a 3-2 shootout win on home ice, but got drubbed 5-2 by the Texas Stars in Saturday's return match in Cedar Park. The Rampage only won twice in twelve games during the month of December.
In Friday's game, Jacob Markstrom made a triumphant return from the Florida Panthers by stopping 45 of 47 shots through the first 65 minutes of action, and then turned aside all four Texas attempts in the shootout to lead the Rampage to the 3-2 win. Brett Ritchie opened the scoring for the Stars with a first period power-play goal. Greg Rallo tallied for San Antonio early in the second frame to even the game. Vincent Trocheck and Ryan Whitney combined to set up the goal. Wade Megan gave San Antonio the lead at 5:50 of the third period with his first of the season. John McFarland and Quinton Howden provided the assists. The Rampage held onto the lead until the 18:20 mark when Ryan Button beat Markstrom to send the game to overtime. In the shootout, Denny Urban (3rd round) and Bobby Butler (4th round) solved Cristopher Nilstorp to give San Antonio the victory in front of 8.904 fans at the AT&T Center.
Texas would take over hosting duties for Saturday night's tilt and they would beat the Rampage by a 5-2 count. The Stars went 3 for 9 on the power play to cruise to the easy win at Cedar Park Center. Travis Morin scored his sixteenth of the campaign to give Texas the lead at 6:26 of the opening period. Steve Pinizzotto scored from Joey Crabb and Jed Ortmeyer to even the game. Bobby Butler converted on a penalty shot with 1:19 remaining in the frame to give San Antonio a 2-1 lead after one. The goal was Butler's tenth of the season. Brett Ritchie scored an even-strength goal and Brendan Ranford connected on a power play to put Texas back ahead 3-2. Colton Sceviour scored twice in a 55-second span late in the second period to put the Rampage away. The goals pushed Sceviour's total to a league-leading twenty. Cristopher Nilstorp, who finished with 22 saves, blunted all seven Rampage attempts in the third to post the win, while Jacob Markstrom, who stopped 23 of 27 shots, took the loss. Michael Houser made a brief relief appearance and saved 2 of the 3 shots he faced. Sceviour and Morin each finished the game with three points.
San Antonio (12-18-0-3) is off for the rest of 2013 and will next face the Oklahoma City Barons in a weekend home-and-home affair starting on January 3rd.
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