The San Antonio Rampage had a busy weekend, hosting three games at the AT&T Center in a three-day span. The Silver and Black got past regulation time both times, but ended up dropping the first two against the Iowa Wild before finally getting rewarded with an overtime win over the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Friday's opener against Iowa saw the Wild edge the Rampage 5-4 in a shootout. It was Iowa's third shootout win over San Antonio this season. Marc Hagel scored on a power play 3:13 into the first period to give Minnesota's farm team a quick leg up. Wade Megan blasted home a shot after a turnover 1:31 later to even the game. It was Megan's fifth goal of the season. Carson McMillan quickly answered to restore the Wild's advantage. Colby Robak notched his fifth of the campaign and 100th career AHL point, assisted by Ryan Whitney and Vincent Trocheck, to tie the game late in the second frame, but Iowa regained the lead on a power-play marker from defenseman Jonathon Blum 51 seconds later. San Antonio newcomer Ryan Martindale equalized 37 seconds after that to forge a 3-3 tie heading to the third. Martindale's goal, his first with the Rampage, was set up by Jed Ortmeyer and Greg Rallo. John McFarland lit the lamp, from Logan Shaw and Quinton Howden, at 3:31 of the final frame to give San Antonio its first lead of the game. Iowa rallied to force overtime when Mickey Lang notched his first of the year six minutes later. San Antonio's Bobby Butler and Iowa's Zack Phillips traded goals in the shootout before Jake Dowell gave the Wild the bonus point by beating Jacob Markstrom in round five. Markstrom finished the game with 21 saves, while Johan Gustafsson turned away 35 shots to post the win.
The Rampage took the Wild to overtime in Saturday's rematch, but fell by a 2-1 count on defenseman Kyle Medvec's goal at 2:14 of the extra session. Veteran winger Derek Nesbitt staked San Antonio to an opening period lead with his first goal for the club since coming over from the Oklahoma City Barons via trade on January 17th. Ryan Whitney and Joey Crabb collected the helpers on Nesbitt's tap-in marker. Rampage goaltender Michael Houser kept the Wild off the board until Marc Hagel lit the lamp midway through the second period. Iowa outshot San Antonio 8-5 during a relatively quiet third period in which neither team could come up with the game-winner. Crabb took a high-sticking penalty 46 seconds into overtime, setting the stage for Medvec's heroics. The defender beat Houser, who finished with 31 saves, for his 4th of the season from Zack Phillips and Jon Landry. Wild goalkeeper John Curry stopped 25 shots to send the Rampage to a third straight defeat.
On Sunday, John McFarland scored the tying goal with 1:28 left in regulation and then potted the game-winner with 16 seconds remaining in overtime to led the Rampage past Grand Rapids 6-5. Jacob Markstrom struggled again, but managed to get the win, finishing with 35 saves. Jed Ortmeyer opened the scoring, from Quinton Howden and Jonathan Racine, at 7:08 of the first period. Landon Ferraro replied with a power-play marker for the Griffins 5 minutes later. Ortmeyer netted his second of the frame, and eighth of the season, to restore San Antonio's one-goal lead. Ryan Whitney and Logan Shaw picked up the helpers. Grand Rapids exploded for four goals in the second period to forge a 5-2 lead. Teemu Pulkkinen scored two of them, while Travis Novak and Ryan Sproul potted the others. Joey Crabb scored a power-play goal, from McFarland and Vincent Trocheck, to start the third period comeback. Bobby Butler notched his thirteenth from Doug Janik to pull the Rampage within one, setting the stage for McFarland's heroics. His game-tying goal was set up by Janik and Howden, while Janik combined with Colby Robak on the winner.
San Antonio (16-21-2-4) will visit the Texas Stars on Wednesday before returning home for a Friday night tilt with the Toronto Marlies.
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