The depleted San Antonio Rampage continue to struggle as the AHL season draws to a close. The club dropped four of five games since the last time we checked in. Let's take a look at the recent carnage.
Last Tuesday, the Rampage took to the road and were edged 2-1 by the Oklahoma City Barons. Matthew Ford and Will Acton scored power-play goals to stake the Barons to a 2-0 lead after forty minutes. Anthony Luciani scored the only San Antonio goal early in the third period. John McFarland and Greg Zanon set up the power-play marker, which was Luciani's second of the AHL season. Richard Bachman made 33 stops to best Michael Houser, who finished with 23 saves.
On Thursday, San Antonio completed a postponed home date from March 1st with the Texas Stars. The Sliver and Black skated to an exciting 5-4 shootout win. Texas surged to a 3-0 lead on goals from Scott Glennie, Curtis McKenzie, and Derek Hulak. Wade Megan lit the lamp, from Mike Mottau and Garrett Wilson, to get San Antonio on the board before the end of the opening period. John McFarland scored unassisted in the second frame to pull the Rampage within a goal. Jed Ortmeyer dented the twine, from John Lee, in the third to forge a 3-3 tie. Derek Meech countered to give Texas the lead back, before Megan sent the game to overtime with his second of the game. Megan's tying goal was set up by Wilson and Bobby Butler. Matej Stransky opened the shootout with a first round conversion. Anthony Luciani answered for the Rampage in the third. Jared Gomes found the back of the net in round five, and Scott Clemmensen stopped Travis Morin to give San Antonio the win. Clemmensen turned aside 23 of the 25 shots he faced, finishing up a game originally started by traded goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom . Losing netminder Jack Campbell made 20 saves.
The Rampage got right back at it on Friday and were beaten 6-3 by the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs. Wade Megan fired home his 11th goal, from Josh McFadden and Bobby Butler, to give San Antonio an early lead. Hamilton struck back with first period tallies from Maxime Macenauer and Sven Andrighetto. In the second period, Matt Gilroy tied the game with a short-handed goal, assisted by Logan Shaw, before Macenauer scored again to give the Bulldogs the lead back. Jared Gomes scored early in third period to forge another tie, but Hamilton responded with goals from Greg Pateryn and Christian Thomas to make it 5-3. Jordan Owens scored into an empty net to complete the scoring. Michael Houser stopped 44 of 49 shots in taking the loss, while NHL veteran Devan Dubnyk made 20 saves to get the win.
The same two teams got after it again on Sunday, and this time the Bulldogs prevailed by a 4-3 count. The Rampage opened the scoring late in the first when Joey Crabb notched his 13th goal of the season. Assists on the goal went to John McFarland and John Lee. Louis Leblanc tied the game in the second period before Matt Gilroy fired home a power-play goal, from Mike Mottau and Wade Megan, to give the Silver and Black the lead back. In the third period, Hamilton moved ahead on goals by Mike Blunden and Nick Tarnasky. Lee scored a short-handed goal, from Drew Shore and Bobby Butler, to lift the Rampage to a 3-3 tie. Unfortunately, Greg Pateryn beat Michael Houser for the game-winner with 51 seconds remaining in regulation time. Robert Mayer made 29 saves to post the victory, while Houser finished up with 22 stops.
Tuesday saw the Lake Erie Monsters come to San Antonio and hand the Rampage a 5-3 defeat. Michael Schumacher and Michael Sgarbossa tallied to put the Monsters ahead 2-0. Joey Crabb, assists to Drew Shore and John McFarland, and Matt Gilroy, assists to Ryan Whitney and Ryan Martindale, scored to even the game at two midway through the second frame. Gilroy's goal came with San Antonio on the power play. Lake Erie got power-play markers from Stefan Elliot and Karl Stollery for a 4-2 lead after forty minutes. Joey Hishon extended the lead in the third period before Jared Gomes completed the scoring. Mike Mottau and Connor Brickley, who was making his AHL debut, combined to set up the Gomes goal. Sami Aittokallio made 28 saves to get the better of Michael Houser, who finished with 29 stops.
San Antonio (27-33-3-6) is currently in 14th place in the Western Conference and teetering on the brink of playoff elimination.
The Rampage close out the week with home games against the Charlotte Checkers and Lake Erie on Friday and Saturday.