The San Antonio Rampage started the last week of the regular season with the second of a two game series with the Milwaukee Admirals on Tuesday Night. The Rampage scored 2 goals late in the first period to give the Rampage a 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission. Bill Thomas passed to Bracken Kearns who then wristed a shot past the Admirals goaltender to give the Rampage their first goal of the evening. Less than a minute later, Rampage defender Colby Robak put another puck past the Admirals goalie for his 9th goal of the season. Midway through the second, Drew Shore took a penalty for tripping and Milwaukee took advantage of the power play to cut their deficit in half. Soon after Milwaukee made the score 2-1, Bill Thomas found the back of the net for the 26th time this season to restore the Rampage’s 2 goal lead heading into the 3rd. Joe Matsumoto scored early in the third to increase the Rampage’s lead to 3 goals. Michal Repik and Colby Robak assisted on the Rampage’s 4th goal. The Rampage held their three goal lead and won the game 4-1. Colby Robak was the first star of the night picking up 3 points with a goal and two assists.
Friday Night the Rampage faced off against the Texas Stars for the final time this season. Drew Shore knocked in a rebound for his professional goal of his career to put the Rampage on the board first. With 5 seconds remaining in the first, Travis Morin scored for the Stars to tie the game at 1 going into the first intermission. In the Second, James Wright’s shot bounced off the pads of the Stars goaltender and right to Bill Thomas, who had no problem putting the puck behind Jack Campbell, the Stars goalie. Later in the period, Mike Caruso fired a shot from the blue line which went wide, but Eric Selleck found a way to slide it past the goal line to extend the Rampage’s lead to 3-1. Texas evened the score before the end of the period when they capitalized on a power play opportunity with Michal Repik in the box for San Antonio. The Stars also scored the lone goal of the 3rd to tie the game and send it to overtime. 1 minute and 12 seconds into overtime, Michal Repik sped down the ice with the puck and passed to Jon Matsumoto who one timed it past the Stars goal tender to give the Rampage a 4-3 overtime victory.
The Rampage played their final road game of the regular season in Houston on Saturday. After a scoreless opening period, the Houston Aeros wasted no time getting on the board in the Second. Just 22 seconds after the puck droped for the start of the second, the Aeros scored their first goal of the game. The Aeros struck again about two minutes later, and then one more time about 30 seconds after the 2nd goal was scored. Rampage goalie, Jacob Markström , was pulled after allowing those 3 goals in less than three minutes. The Aeros got one more goal past back-up goalie Dov Grumet-Morris before the Rampage were able to finally score. Bill Thomas set up Bracken Kearns up for the Rampage’s first goal of the night with 30 seconds remaining in the 2nd to make the score 4-1 heading into the 2nd intermission. In the third, Greg Rallo scored two goals, 4 minutes apart, for the Rampage to get them within 1 goal of tying the game. The Rampage’s comeback fell short in the end, however, when The Aeros scored a powerplay empty net goal in the final minute of play to allow Houston to win 5-3.
Sunday afternoon the Rampage were back at the AT&T Center for the final time this regular season against the Oklahoma City Barons to try to write their ticket to the post season. One point was all the Rampage needed to clinch a playoff spot without requiring help from any other team. Jacob Markström started in net for the Rampage for the 9th consecutive game. The lone goal of the game would come at 7:03 of the first period with Mark Cullen scoring and Bill Thomas and Bracken Kearns picking up assists on the goal. Markström would go on to stop all 19 shots he faced for his first shut out of the season, and second of his career. The final score after 60 minutes of play was 1-0 Rampage, but the Rampage managed to clinch a playoff spot before the third period even started after the Milwaukee Admirals beat the Charlotte Checkers in regulation, securing the Rampage a playoff berth.
The San Antonio Rampage finished off the regular season with a record of 41-30-3-2 placing them in the 6th spot in the Western Conference. They will face off against the 3rd place Chicago Wolves in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs. The First Round schedule is as follows:
Game 1: Thursday April 19th Chicago @ San Antonio 7pm CST
Game 2: Saturday April 21st Chicago @ San Antonio 7 pm CST
Game 3: Tuesday April 24th San Antonio @ Chicago 7pm CST
Game 4 (if necessary): Wednesday April 25th San Antonio @ Chicago 7pm CST
Game 5 (if necessary): Friday April 27th San Antonio @ Chicago 7:30 pm CST
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