Rampage Report: Fading San Antonio drops three of four this week
Hamstrung by call-ups to the parent Florida Panthers and a leaky penalty kill, the Silver and Black could only manage two points this week, and fell further out of the playoff chase.
Tuesday's game in the OKC, saw the host Barons cruise by the Rampage 5-2. The teams combined for five goals during an eventful first period. Tyler Pitlick opened the scoring for Oklahoma City just one minute into the game. Colby Robak scored midway through the frame from Greg Rallo and Quinton Howden. The Barons took a 3-1 lead on power-play goals from Brad Hunt and Anton Lander. Mark Arcobello picked up assists on both goals. Veteran defender Ryan Whitney scored a power-play for San Antonio with eight seconds remaining in the period to cut the deficit to one. Matt Gilroy and Mark Mancari got the helpers on Whitney's sixth goal. Will Acton scored the only goal of the second period and Matthew Ford completed the scoring with a another power-play goal in the third period. Richard Bachman made 37 saves to get the win over Scott Clemmensen, who finished with 28 stops.
The Rampage returned home for Thursday's tilt against Grand Rapids and came up with a big 2-1 shootout win over the Griffins. After goaltenders Michael Houser and Tom McCollum kept the game scoreless for two periods, Bobby Butler notched his nineteenth of the season from Garrett Wilson and Drew Shore 57 seconds into the third. Houser was on his way to a shutout until defenseman Adam Almquist converted with Grand Rapids on a power play at 16:27. San Antonio dominated the shootout getting goals from Shore, Mark Mancari and John McFarland, while Houser stopped the three shooters he faced to post the victory. Houser finished with 26 saves as the Rampage ended their five-game losing streak.
On Saturday, San Antonio fell 4-2 to the Admirals in Milwaukee, dealing a huge blow to their dwindling playoff hopes. Calle Jarnkrok scored a power-play midway through the first to open the scoring. John McFarland replied a few minutes later, from Trevor Lewis and Mike Mottau, to tie the game. Austin Watson scored in the second period to put the Admirals up 2-1. In the third period, Ryan Martindale scored on a penalty shot to pull the Silver and Black even. Mark Van Guilder scored later in the frame to put Milwaukee back ahead before Miikka Salomaki iced the game with an empty-netter with 14 seconds to go. Scott Darling made 25 stops to best Scott Clemmensen, who finished with 26 saves.
The Rampage wrapped up the week with a 2-1 loss to the Iowa Wild on Sunday in Des Moines. Rookie Raphael Bussieres beat Scott Clemmensen to stake the home side to a 1-0 first period lead. Anthony Luciani deflected home a long Jed Ortmeyer shot to tie the game at 6:24 of the second. The goal was Luciani's first of the season. Wild captain Jake Dowell set up defenseman Steven Kampfer for the game-winner at the 14:51 of the third period. Iowa native Clemmensen made 27 saves and took his third loss of the week, while Johan Gustafsson made 28 stops and added an assist to get the win.
San Antonio (25-28-3-6) is off until Friday when they visit Charlotte for the first of two weekend games against the Checkers. The Rampage are ten points behind the Rockford Icehogs for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference and running out of games.