Rampage Claim First Win Against Stars

Sports-hockey1(vicente cardenas)

The Rampage continued their impressive play on home ice,defeating the Western Conference-leading Texas Stars 2-1 Friday night (Jan. 25)at the AT&T Center. In front of 9,389 fans, the Rampage claimed their firstwin in six contests against the Stars this season.

Driven by the confidence of winning seven of the last ninehome games, the Rampage started the game aggressively and were first to find theback of the net. Only one minute into the first period, rookie Jonathan Hazenbroke free during a Stars line change, received a pass from Jared Gomes, andbeat the Stars goalkeeper to claim an early 1-0 lead. Hazen’s second goal ofthe season gave the Rampage the lead heading into the first intermission,despite being outshot 8-12.

The secon period remained scoreless until the 17:38 mark whenStars defenseman Tyler Sloan beat Jacob Markstrom with a high blast to even thescore 1-1. The score remained tied at 1 at the second intermission.

A penalty early in the third period put the home team on thepower play, and the Rampage almost took advantage near the 16:15 mark, but theshot bounced off the left goal post.

After a penalty-littered third period ending 1-1, theRampage entered a five minutesudden death overtime period. The game looked to be headed to a shootout when aStars penalty with 1:53 remaining gave the Rampage a 4-3 man advantage and theopportunity to finish the period on the power play. With 40 seconds left toplay, Jon Rheault connected with a loose puck in the slot to claim the victoryfor the Rampage 2-1. It was team scoring leader Rheault’s 15th goal of theseason.

Even though the Rampage have won only one in six gamesagainst the Stars, Rheault says that the pressure to win is the same regardlessof whether the team is winning or losing.

“There’s always pressure; this is a pressure-packed sport. Whenyou’re playing professionally, it’s results-oriented…We knew that we had to,at some point, beat this team. They’re a division rival and they’re doing well,and we’ve had, not bad luck, we just haven’t played our best against thempreviously, so it was good to figure out a way to win.”

“Everyone just needs to step up…When things like thishappen and you lose guys, this is when you need your depth guys to step up intobigger roles, and I thought our guys did that tonight.”