The pressure was on the San Antonio Rampage Saturday, Nov. 5, as they had lost four of their last five games. They rose to the challenge with an impressive 6-1 victory over the North Division leading Toronto Marlies in front of a raucous crowd of 7,545 at the AT&T Center.
The win was important for the Rampage as it came against one of the better teams in the American Hockey League (AHL).
The Rampage not only had a change in form offensively but also got a stellar defensive performance from goalie Scott Clemmensen, who was starting in goal for the Rampage on an injury rehab start from the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Florida Panthers. The Rampage did their part in making sure the number of shots faced by Clemmensen was kept to a minimum.
“The team played great in front of me and that allowed me to get comfortable in the game,” Clemmensen said after the game.
This was Clemmensen’s first game this season following an injury one week into training camp. Clemmensen showed no signs of rust as he rose to the task of defending his goal by stopping an impressive 32 of 33 shots in the Rampage victory.
Left winger Evgeny Dadonov set the bar scoring the first goal four minutes into the game, giving the lead to the San Antonio Rampage. The Rampage would hold onto that lead at the end of the first period before the fun began.
The pace picked up in the second period with a goal scored by center Bracken Kearns nine minutes and 51 seconds into the period. The Rampage made the lead 3-0 with only 41.9 seconds left in the second period when right winger Michael Repik struck.
The drama reached a climax in the third period, when the Rampage tacked on three goals in the first five minutes thanks to newcomer David Marshall, called up from Cincinnati earlier in the week and making his first AHL start, left winger Joe Devin and another strike from Dadonov lighting the lamp and providing a 6-0 cushion for the Rampage.
The Marlies would avoid the shutout when center Joe Colborne scored their lone goal of the game in the last minute to put the final score at six goals for the Rampage, one for the Marlies.
Head Coach Chuck Weber was pleased with the performance on both sides of the puck in a game the Rampage desperately needed.
“I thought we got off to a great start, I thought our go-to players they stepped up and they scored,” Weber said. “We had a losing streak; now we got to put together a winning streak.”
The Rampage faced a West Division rival when the Texas Stars came calling on Sunday Nov. 6 at the AT&T Center. The Stars came in and conquered the Rampage with a 4-0 shutout victory that dropped the Rampage to 4-6 overall.
The Rampage find themselves in last place in the AHL Western Conference’s West division. However, the Rampage are still just four games back of the Houston Aeros and Oklahoma City Barons who sit tied atop the standings at 8-2.
Following a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, to face the Lake Erie Monsters, the Rampage will be back home on Nov. 13 to face the Texas Stars.