Photo Credit: Justin Stubbs/The Paisano
The San Antonio Rampage (15-21-2-4) fell again Saturday night to the Iowa Wild (19-16-3-3) 2-1 in a defensive stalemate at the AT&T Center on Saturday, Jan 25.
Iowa came into Saturday night game’s looking to repeat their performance from the previous night, but was met with a stout Rampage defense that held the Wild scoreless through the first period. San Antonio really set the tone in the first half of play, and kept Iowa on their toes early on. With minimal penalties, each team looked determined to show their skills, and focus on the game at hand.
Rampage goalie, Michael Houser, put on a stellar performance in the defeat fending off 31 of the 33 shots against him. Even with well set up shots, Iowa’s offense could not catch a break. Long and mid-range shots posed little threat to Houser through the first period, and it looked as if Houser was going for the shutout. With Houser holding down the frame, the night looked promising combined with Rampage left winger Derek Nesbitt’s goal midway through the first period. It was Nesbitt’s eleventh goal of the year, but his first goal with the Rampage since leaving after the 2008-2009 season.
Rampage defenseman Ryan Whitney almost had a score, but the shot was blocked by Iowa goalie, John Curry, who too was making consistent saves. After an initial blocked shot and a few moments of fighting for the puck, Nesbitt was able to find his way around Curry and give the Rampage the early lead. It was a tough goal, but really showed off the physical tenacity that the Rampage have been known to deal. Despite their record, the Rampage looked to be firing on all cylinders, and would take the early lead, but this lead would not last long. Iowa’s offense seemed to have awakened after suffering the Rampage’s early goal, because in almost the exact same, Iowa would have something to celebrate.
Midway through the second period was when things started to come undone for the Rampage. After another brilliant save from Houser, Wild forward Marc Hagel gathered the loose puck, and slipped it past Houser to tie up the score. It was Hagel’s fourth goal of the year, and with each defense not giving ground, the night was looking eerily similar. The second period would end with the game tied, and each team would look to get on the board quick to avoid another OT.
The third period began with Iowa attacking 5-on-3 off a power play, but could not take advantage of any situation. Each team went back and forth with possessions, making notable steals and saves, but as the final seconds of play came to an end, the score would remain tied. This was the second night in a row the Rampage took their opponents to overtime; however it would yield the same outcome.
Two minutes into overtime, Defensemen Kyle Medvec would score off the power play, and give Iowa the late win. This was Iowa’s first ever OT win, and was done so in dramatic fashion.
This extended San Antonio’s black and silver to three straight losses, and made a night of great defensive strides all for not. It was another loss that showed the depth of play that San Antonio is able to perform at despite their record. The Rampage will end their home stand, and look to break this three-game skid against the Midwest Division leading Grand Rapids Griffins (28-12-1-2), before traveling away to face their in state rival Texas Stars (27-12-2-3).