SAN ANTONIO (DECEMBER 29, 2012) – Goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris made 29 saves and Greg Rallo recorded the game-winning goal 50 seconds into overtime, as the San Antonio Rampage (12-17-0-4) defeated the Houston Aeros (16-10-2-3), 2-1, on Saturday night at AT&T Center in front of 6,887 fans.
The game winner was Rallo’s team-leading 12th goal of the year. Grumet-Morris has now won his last two starts, stopping a combined 60-of-63 shots. Rampage forward Drew Shore also tallied assists on both goals and has a goal and three assists in his last three games.
The victory snapped a three-game winless streak against the Aeros dating back to San Antonio’s second game of the season on Oct. 14.
Saturday’s game was a penalty filled affair, with both teams cashing in on their lone goals in regulation while on the power play. San Antonio finished the night 1-for-5 with the man advantage, while Houston was 1-for-7 on the power play.
Houston kicked off the game with two early power plays within the first five minutes of action. The Aeros had been deadly against the Rampage on the power play this season, converting on seven of their first 24 chances. San Antonio, however, was able to keep the Aeros off the board on their early power-play chances.
In fact, it was actually the Rampage who cashed in with a power-play tally of their own off a bang-bang passing play in the opening frame. Shore set up the play on the left faceoff dot and dished the puck down low to Jon Rheault at the goal line. Rheault proceeded to fire a quick pass to Sim in the slot, who one-timed the puck into the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season.
The power play marker came at 18:43 of the first period and gave the Rampage a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Grumet-Morris stopped all 12 shots he faced in the second period to help the Rampage defend the lead. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound goalie made five saves in a sequence midway through the period, and went on to make several other outstanding stops late in the frame to preserve the lead heading into the final 20 minutes of action.
The Rampage netminder continued his stellar play early in the third period. Two minutes into the frame, Grumet-Morris found himself out of position after making a save, but quickly recovered and made a sprawling glove save to rob Aeros forward Jason Zucker.
San Antonio had a golden opportunity to extend their lead midway through the third period when they had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:04. However, the Rampage were unable to capitalize with the two-man advantage.
Houston had a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity of their own shortly thereafter and cashed in to make it a 1-1 game at 13:36. Mikael Granlund tried to make a cross-crease pass, but the puck deflected off a Rampage defenseman and into the back of the net.
The Rampage headed to overtime for the second straight night, as they fell to Oklahoma City, 3-2, in a shootout on Friday night.
Less than a minute into the extra session, Shore fired a shot wide of the net. The rebound bounced off the boards and found Rallo at the bottom of the left circle. Before Aeros goaltender Matt Hackett could get back in position, Rallo fired a quick shot into the vacant net to secure the victory for San Antonio.
The Rampage will wrap up the 2012 calendar year tomorrow (Sunday) at 4:30 p.m. against the division-leading Charlotte Checkers at AT&T Center on an Express-News Sunday Funday. Fans can get a ticket, hot dog, chips and a drink for $13 and can skate on the ice at AT&T Center two hours before the game.
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.