Surging Rampage clinch the AHL's West Division
The Silver and Black took five out of six possible points this week.
The San Antonio Rampage went 2-0-1 this past week to clinch the AHL's West Division, assuring the club of a top three seed in the upcoming Calder Cup playoffs. The Silver and Black are currently one point behind the Utica Comets for the top spot in the Western Conference, with three games remaining for both teams.
Rampage 4, Barons 1
The Silver and Black got right back to its winning ways with a 4-1, penalty-filled victory over the Barons in Oklahoma City. The win gave the Rampage the second seed in the Western Conference. Kyle Rau scored for the second straight game to give San Antonio the lead at 16:46 mark of the opening period. The goal was assisted by Brett Olson and Miike Matheson. The point was Matheson's first-ever in the AHL. Rocco Grimaldi scored two goals in a 46-span during the second period to put the Silver and Black up by three. Grimaldi's first goal was set up by Connor Brickley and Jonathan Racine. The second came on a San Antonio power play, with the assists going to Brickley and captain Mark Mancari. The outburst gave Grimaldi fourteen goals on the season. The Rampage added one more before the end of the frame when Wade Megan tallied his sixth, from Garrett Wilson and Logan Shaw. Oklahoma City's Tommy Hunt scored 57-seconds into the third period to break Sam Brittain's shutout bid. Brittain finished the game with 24 saves. Laurent Brossoit turned aside 34 of the 38 shots he faced for the Barons.
Rampage 2, Griffins 0
Sam Brittain stopped 22 shots to lead the Rampage to a 2-0 shutout win over visiting Grand Rapids. The shutout was the first of Brittain's AHL career and lowered his GAA to a stingy 1.44. After a scoreless first period, Quinton Howden potted his third goal of the campaign midway through the second to break the tie. Connor Brickely and Mike Matheson drew the assists on the even-strength marker. Garrett Wilson scored the insurance goal at 9:55 of the final frame, from Greg Zanon and Mark Mancari. The goal was Wilson's twenty-second of the season. Tom McCollum took the loss for the Griffins, finishing with 33 saves.
Griffins 2, Rampage 1 (OT)
San Antonio fell just short of extending its winning streak to three, losing 2-1 to Grand Rapids in overtime. Goaltenders Sam Brittain and Jared Coreau keep the tilt scoreless until the third period. Corban Knight scored the Rampage's only goal at the 6:41 mark. The power-play tally was assisted by Dany Heatley and Garrett Wilson. Briitain was just 49-seconds away from his second straight shutout, but Griffins' captain Jeff Hoggan lit the lamp to send the game to overtime. Andy Miele got the winner 3:44 into the extra frame. The goal was his twenty-fifth of the season, with Coreau, who finished with 39 stops, picking up the only assist. Brittain turned aside 40 of 42 shots for the Rampage.
The Silver and Black (45-21-6-1) finish off the regular season slate with three games against cross-state rival, the Texas Stars. The clubs will meet on Tuesday and Friday in San Antonio before finishing off the campaign Saturday night in Cedar Park.
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