The San Antonio Rampage (13-20-0-3) trampled their division rivals, the Abbotsford Heat (23-12-1-1) 5-1 at the AT&T Center on Tuesday, Jan. 7 to snap a three-game losing streak.
San Antonio, ranked 14th in the western conference, managed to find their focus and tenacity as they defeated the second placed Abbotsford Heat.
The upset victory comes just at the right time for the Rampage, who are undergoing a season that has thus far been filled with frustration.
“Everybody was focused and did their jobs; its definitely a confidence booster,” defenseman Colby Robak noted after the game.
The Rampage looked a complete team throughout, limiting their penalties while forcing the Heat to make errors and mistakes.
“It was as complete as a game since I’ve been here. That’s what they’re capable of,” said Rampage Head Coach Tom Rowe after the game.
San Antonio went 4-for-5 on power play opportunities, while forcing the second best power play team in the league to go 0-for-5 on power play chances.
“When they play the right way and compete the way they did, and pay attention to the defensive side first, they’re going have a lot of good games,” an upbeat Rowe said after the game.
It looked as though the Heat were going to win in a jiffy as the first goal of the game was scored after only 1:35 passed in the game. Defensemen Mark Cundari for the Heat scored his third goal of the season assisted by center Max Reinhart and left wing Sven Baertschi.
After 13:47 passed by in the first period, Rampage right wing, John McFarland racked up his second goal of season being assisted by defenseman Doug Janik and center Jon Matsumoto. The end of the first period resulted in a close 1-1 affair.
The second period was filled with physical defense from both sides of the rink with minimal penalties. San Antonio tallied a second goal for the home team with 15:20 left by right wing Joey Crabb as he tipped it in for the go ahead goal assisted by Defencemen Denny Urban and Colby Robak. Both teams ended with 18 shots apiece at the end of the period.
The final period was hard fought as the Heat’s defense diminished and the Rampage scored three of their five goals in the duration. The first of which was by right wing Bobby Butler who had his 11th goal of the season and was unassisted. Butler’s goal mark now ties Vincent Trocheck for the team lead in goals.
The final two goals came from power plays as the Rampage capitalized on Heat penalties, as defenseman Colby Roback scored from assists from Bobby Butler and Denny Urban and left defenseman Matt Gilroy scored from an assist by Center Vincent Trocheck to put the game away.
“It (the win) gave our guys a lot of confidence, but its just one game and we’re going to go back at it again,” said Rowe after the victory.
The Rampage will take on the Abbotsford Heat in what is sure to be a desired rematch on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 7:00 pm. The next six games for the Rampage will be at home, the first of which will be played on Monday, Jan. 13 against Utica.