The Calder Cup Playoffs started Thursday night for the San Antonio Rampage as they hosted the Chicago Wolves for game one. During the regular season the Rampage were 4-0 against the Wolves and were hoping they could maintain their perfect record against the Wolves in the post season. Chicago scored the first goal of the series midway through the first period to give the wolves 1-0 lead. Two minutes later James Wright countered for the Rampage to even the score. Before the end of the first, Chicago was able to get 2 more goals past Rampage goalie, Jacob Markström to take a 3-1 lead heading into the first intermission. When play resumed, Drew Shore wasted no time cutting the Wolves lead as he netted his first professional post season goal a little over 5 minutes into the second. The Wolves scored their second power play goal of the night just minutes later to restore their 2 goal lead. Jon Matsumoto scored a power play goal for the Rampage midway through the second and picked up another goal early in the third to tie the game at 4 and send it to overtime. At 13:09 of the overtime period, Kevin Connauton took a delay of game penalty for the Wolves, giving the Rampage the man advantage. Defender Colby Robak capitalized on the power play for the Rampage to give them a 5-4 overtime victory against the Wolves.
The Rampage were looking to head to Chicago with a 2-0 series lead, so Saturday night’s tilt was crucial for them. San Antonio wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as Bill Thomas scored a power play goal just 4:18 into the game. James Wright added another power play goal for the Rampage approximately 10 minutes later to give the Rampage a 2-0 lead with 6 minutes to play in the first. The Wolves were able to finally get a shot past Jacob Markström towards the end of the period to cut the Rampage’s lead in half and head to intermission trailing San Antonio 2-1. Midway through the second period, Jon Matsumoto found the back of the net for the third time this series, and another power play goal for the Rampage to give the Rampage a 3-1 lead. Minutes later, Bracken Kearns got the puck past Wolves goalie, Matt Climie, to increase San Antonio’s lead to 3 goals and prompting a Chicago goalie change. In final 20 minutes of play, Chicago’s power play unit struck two times to come within one of the Rampage, but Jacob Markström and the rest of the Rampage stood their ground and held on for the 4-3 win.
The Rampage hold a 2-0 series lead and only need one more win to move on to the second round. Tuesday night in Chicago will be their first chance to clinch a second round appearance. If the Rampage are unsuccessful in securing a second round spot on Tuesday, they can try again on Wednesday and Friday in Chicago to move on to round 2.
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