SAN ANTONIO (December 16, 2012) – The San Antonio Rampage (10-15-0-3) surrendered a third period five-on-three goal which held as the game winner, as the Silver and Black fell, 2-1, to the South-division leading Charlotte Checkers (17-9-0-2) Sunday afternoon in front of 4,788 fans at the AT&T Center.
Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom accepted his award as last week’s CCM/AHL Player of Week and made 32 saves off of 34 shots, but the power-play goal in the final frame ultimately sunk San Antonio.
The Rampage are now winless in their last four games (0-4-0-0), while Charlotte has won four straight to climb into a tie for first place in the Western Conference with Abbotsford.
Charlotte struck first on Sunday afternoon while shorthanded. Drayson Bowman fired a shot past Markstrom from the left wing at 3:10 of the opening frame. It was the second shorthanded goal the Checkers have scored against the Rampage this year.
Eric Selleck answered for San Antonio at 9:25 of the first period after receiving a pass from Scott Timmins. Selleck held the puck through the slot and threw a shot on net that snuck through the pads of Checker’s goaltender Justin Peters to tie the game at 1-1.
Rampage forward Quinton Howden had the best scoring chance of the second period when he carried the puck down the right wing and accelerated past a Checker’s defenseman. Howden was able to get a low shot on goal, but Peters held strong and made a pad save.
San Antonio came out inspired in the third period with the score still knotted at 1-1. The Rampage didn’t allow a shot on goal through the first 10 minutes of the frame, while upping their offensive pressure.
However, it was Charlotte who ultimately broke the tie at the 12:36 mark of the third period with the lengthy two-man advantage. Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani received a pass in the high slot and fired a one-timer that beat Markstrom. The goal marked Gragnani’s first of the season.
Charlotte owns the best road power play in the league (17-for-60, 28.3%), and the Rampage held the visitors to 1-for-6 on the power play. San Antonio finished 0-for-3 with the man advantage. The Checkers won the shot battle, 34-23.
The Herd will head to Cedar Park to face the Stars on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The game will air live on Fox Sports Southwest. The Rampage will then head to Ontario for a Friday tilt against Toronto at 6 p.m. and Hamilton on Saturday at 6 p.m. before the holiday break.
The Silver and Black return to the AT&T Center on Saturday, Dec. 29th to face the Houston Aeros at 7 p.m.
Individual, and season, tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office, by calling a Rampage representative at 210-444-5554 or online at sarampage.com