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Slow start dooms Rampage in 3-2 loss to Texas Stars

The San Antonio Rampage made a third period rally, but fell a goal short in a 3-2, penalty-filled loss to the Texas Stars last night at the AT&T Center. The Silver and Black remained the two seed in the AHL’s Western Conference, trailing the Utica Comets by just one point.

Texas took an early lead, courtesy of Travis Morin‘s 22nd goal of the season 1:32 into the opening period. The even-strength mark was assisted by Brendan Ranford and Scott Valentine.

The Stars added two more goals in the second to take a 3-0 lead after forty minutes.

Ranford lit the lamp 1:40 into the middle stanza, from former Rampage skater Greg Rallo and Morin, for his 16th of the campaign.

Kevin Henderson beat Sam Brittain, who was starting his fifth straight game, at the 10:24 mark, with the lone assist going to Branden Troock.

Corban Knight finally got San Antonio on the board at 6:05 of the final frame. Knight’s 13th goal was assisted by John McFarland and Dany Heatley.

Garrett Wilson pulled the Silver and Black within one with 5:40 left in regulation, when he buried Heatley’s cross-ice pass for a power-play goal. Kyle Rau picked up the secondary helper for his first AHL assist on Wilson’s 23rd.

Unfortunately, Texas starter Jussi Rynnas, who finished with 32 saves, would shut the door the rest of the way as the Stars held on to solidify their hold on the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

Brittain turned aside 33 of the 36 shots he faced in yet another solid outing. Dan Ellis, just back from Sunrise, served as the backup with Michael Houser still out. Look for Ellis to get the start when the two teams tussle again on Friday night.

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.