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Rampage clinch playoff spot, set franchise records

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The Silver and Black win ninth in a row and 43rd game of the season in opener versus the Flames.

Knight Moves: Corban Knight scored twice in his first game against former team, Adirondack.
Knight Moves: Corban Knight scored twice in his first game against former team, Adirondack.
San Antonio Rampage

The San Antonio Rampage split a two-game home set with the Adirondack Flames to remain in first place in the AHL's West Division, clinching a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs in the process.

Rampage 5, Flames 4

The Silver and Black clinched a playoff spot, and set a new franchise record for wins with 43, by holding off the Flames (who will become the Stockton Heat next season) for a 5-4 win. Mark Mancari opened the scoring at 2:21 of the first period, with the assists going to Brett Olson and John McFarland. Adirondack would even the tilt a few minutes later on David Wolf's power-play goal. Wade Megan scored, from Quinton Howden and Blake Parlett, 3:08 later to put the Rampage back on top. San Antonio took a two-goal lead early in the second period when Jesse Blacker and Dylan Olsen set up Corban Knight for his thirteenth of the season. Wolf scored again, with 1:44 left in the stanza, to pull the Flames within one. Knight notched his second of the night at 4:11 of the final frame, with the lone assist going to Bobby Butler. Howden put the Rampage up by two for the second time midway through the period. Logan Shaw and Blacker drew the helpers on Howden's second of the year. Adirondack cut the deficit to one on Mathieu Tousignant's shorthanded tally at 14:04 and Ken Agostino's even-strength marker with 1:21 left in the game, but could not come up with the equalizer. Michael Houser made 20 stops to post the win while Doug Carr took the loss for the Flames, finishing with 32 saves. In addition to Rau, defenseman Michael Matheson also made his Rampage debut.

Flames 7, Rampage 3

The Flames won the second game of the set by a 7-3 count to snap San Antonio's nine-game winning streak. Adirondack's Garnet Hathaway opened the scoring with a goal at 1:16 of the first period. Emile Poirier added to the lead with a power-play tally six minutes later. Kyle Rau, making his Rampage debut, bagged his first AHL goal early in the second period, with the assists going to Dany Heatley and Blake Parlett. Hathaway notched his second goal, with the Flames on a power play, to put his team back up by two. Defenseman Dustin Stevenson scored a 1:53 later to make it 4-1 in favor of the visitors, sending San Antonio starter Sam Brittain to the bench. The Rampage got one back before the end of stanza when Parlett fired home his ninth from Connor Brickley and Brett Olson. The Silver and Black pulled within one on Bobby Butler's team-leading twenty-seventh goal at 8:44 of the final frame. The even-strength marker was set up by Corban Knight and Greg Zanon. Ken Agostino beat Michael Houser to break San Antonio's back and Max Reinhart and Taylor Vause notched empty-netters to complete the scoring. Doug Carr finished with 23 saves to post the win. Brittain took his first AHL loss, stopping 19 of the 23 shots he saw. Houser turned aside 9 of the 10 shots he faced in relief.

The Silver and Black (43-21-5-1) will visit Oklahoma City for their final-ever regular season meeting with the Barons (who will become the Bakersfield Condors next year) before returning home for Friday and Saturday tilts against the Grand Rapids Griffins.

For more on the Florida Panthers' fine AHL alliliate, click here to visit the official site. Rampage player stats can be found by clicking here. You should also check out Running With The Herd and follow play-by-play man Dan Weiss on twitter to complete the circle of Silver and Black coverage.