SAN ANTONIO (November 16, 2012) -- The San Antonio Rampage (4-8-0-1) struck early against the leaders of the South Division, but the Charlotte Checkers (10-3-0-1) rallied and held on to defeat the Rampage, 4-3, in front of 5,488 fans at the AT&T Center on Friday night.
Jason DeSantis had two assists and Drew Shore had a power-play goal, earning him Third Star of the Game honors. But two goals from Charlotte's Zac Dalpe pushed the Checkers over the top. Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves off 29 shots in the loss.
Of the seven goals in the game, four came as a result of special-teams play, as San Antonio recorded two power play goals and Charlotte had one power-play tally and a shorthanded goal.
San Antonio came out strong against Charlotte in the first, leading in shots for the early portion of the period. Shore opened the scoring at 10:00 of the first period on the power play when he took a pass from Jon Rheault and headed toward the goal line. From down low he fired a shot that beat Checkers goaltender Justin Peters to put the Rampage up 1-0.
Though the Checkers held the shot advantage, 11-7, at the opening buzzer, the Rampage held a 1-0 lead heading into the second period.
At 1:45 of the middle frame another Rampage rookie got on the board when Quinton Howden potted a goal into an open net to make it 2-0. Peters had been pulled out of position by a shot from Tyson Strachan and was not able to recover in time to stop Howden's rebound shot. The goal was Howden's second on the year and second in three games.
At 14:58 of the middle frame, Charlotte began their rally when Nicolas Blanchard scored shorthanded to cut the Rampage deficit in half. Blanchard had a clear shot when he caught up with a pass from Justin Faulk and beat Markstrom high from the right wing for the shorthanded goal.
The Checkers carried their momentum into the final frame. Less than a minute into the third period, Dalpe recorded his first goal of the night from the slot while on the power play to tie the game at 2-2.
Dalpe struck again when a Rampage turnover created a two-on-zero odd-man rush. Chris Terry carried the puck down the left wing and fed it to Dalpe who beat Markstrom low to make it 3-2. Jerome Samson added another tally for the Checkers at 4:51 of the third to make it a 4-2 game.
The Rampage cut the deficit back to one on the power play at 5:57 in the third when Andre Deveaux tipped a Greg Rallo shot. The puck was in Peters' pads, but it trickled past the goal line to make it 4-3.
After calling a timeout and pulling Markstrom for an extra man, the Rampage poured on the pressure in the final seconds, but could not find an answer for Peters as time ran out.
San Antonio ended the night going 2-for-6 on the power play while Charlotte was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
The Rampage will get another shot at Charlotte when they return for an afternoon tilt on a Express-News Sunday Funday with a 4:30 p.m. puck drop. 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.