AHL Rampage off to a hot start with wins over Iowa and Oklahoma City

San Antonio wins two nail-biters at home to start the season off on the right foot.

While we wait for the Florida Panthers to post their first win of the season, things are currently working out down on the farm. The San Antonio Rampage won Friday's season opener against the Iowa Wild by a 3-2 count and followed that up with a 3-2 overtime win over the Oklahoma City Barons on Saturday.

Garrett Wilson notched the team's first goal of the season, from Vincent Trocheck and Bobby Butler, to stake the Silver and Black to a second period lead over Iowa. The Wild quickly struck back with power-play goals from Michael Keranen and Jonathon Blum to take a 2-1 advantage. The Rampage got a power-play goal of their own from Butler with 8 seconds left in the frame to tie the game. Mark Mancari and Rocco Grimaldi picked up the helpers. Mancari bagged the eventual game-winner at the 9:19 mark of the third period with assists going to John McFarland and Alex Petrovic. Dan Ellis stopped 23 of 25 shots to post the win, while Johan Gustafsson made 26 saves in a losing effort for Iowa. San Antonio finished the game 1 for 9 on the power play.

On Saturday night, Grimaldi scored 3:20 into overtime, from Drew Shore and Shane O'Brien, to give the Rampage an exciting 3-2 win over Oklahoma City. Brett Olson opened the scoring at 8:12 of the first period. Blake Parlett and Mancari picked up the helpers on the even-strength goal. The Barons tied the game later in the period on Ryan Hamilton's power-play marker. Trocheck gave San Antonio the lead back at the 8:56 mark of the second period with Butler and Parlett collecting the assists. Iiro Pakarinen scored a couple minutes later to forge a 2-2 tie that lasted until Grimaldi's extra session heroics. Michael Houser finished with 23 saves to get the win. Richard Bachman took the loss for the Barons.

Up this weekend for San Antonio are games against the Utica Comets, Friday at home, and a road tilt against the Barons on Saturday night. In other Rampage news, forward Andrew Yogan and defenseman Shayne Taker have been reassigned to the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.

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