Vincente Cardenas/ The Paisano
The San Antonio Rampage (6-6-0-1) needed overtime and a shootout period to capture their second straight win under new head coach Tom Rowe.
It was the left-handed center John Matsumoto who scored the only goal in the shootout past the Milwaukee Admirals (6-3-2-1) goalie Magnus Helberg for the 3-2 victory on Sunday, Nov. 10 in front of 7,117 fans at the AT&T Center.
The win finally puts the Rampage back at .500, and they now have a 2-0 record with Rowe at the helm.
“We’ve got a good team. We got off to a slow start (at the beginning of the season),” Rowe said, “but we have a lot of good hockey players.”
The Admirals, trailing 2-1 in the third period, were able to tie the game at the 6:01 mark when left wing Simon Moser slipped a shot past Rampage goalie Dov Grumet-Morris. Milwaukee struggled the entire game to create offense and scored their game-tying goal in the third despite taking only eight shots in the period.
In the overtime period, the Rampage had four shots on goal that were all stopped by Helberg, while Grumet-Morris stopped the Admiral’s only shot, resulting in the Rampage competing in their first shootout of the season. Last season, the Rampage lost seven shootouts, tying them for second most in the Western Conference.
Grumet-Morris collected his first win of the season and was a part of a big defensive effort from the Rampage.
“You always need to play good defense,” said Rowe, who was the head coach of the Yaroslavl Lokomotiv in the Kontinental Hockey League prior to his hiring by the Rampage. “You have to play both sides of the rink. I hear a lot of coaches like the up-tempo (kind of game). That’s good if you have the puck, and if you don’t have the puck, it is equally as important that you know what to do.”
The first period was highlighted by strong goalie play from both sides as each goalie stopped all 14 shots from each team.
The strong defensive play continued in the second period until Rampage right wing Steve Pinizotto scored on a twisting wrist shot assisted by defenseman John Lee. It took only a minute for the Rampage to strike again. This time it was right wing Jed Ortmeyer who quickly took a loose puck and scored, shooting the puck past Helberg to give the Rampage a two goal lead.
In the closing minutes of the second period, the Admirals turned Erick Selleck’s roughing penalty into a power-play goal when defenseman Bryan Rodney eased a shot between the legs of Grumet-Morris to cut the lead down to 2-1. It was the only power-play goal on the night, and the Rampage finished the game 0-for-3 on power-play opportunities.
The Rampage will head out to play three road games in five days.
Up next for the Rampage are the Oklahoma City Barons (5-6-0-2) on Tuesday, Nov. 12.