Comeback Falls Short in Home Finale
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Three third-period goals for the San Antonio Rampage (30-38-7) erased a three-goal deficit, but Diego Cuglietta's first pro goal was the game-winner to guide the Texas Stars (37-30-8) to a 4-3 win on Friday night in front of 9,185 fans at the AT&T Center for the final Rampage home game of the season.
Bobby MacIntyre, Jordan Nolan, and Ryan Olsen all scored for the Rampage, and rookie goaltender Joel Hofer made 31 saves in his professional debut.
With the Rampage on the power play and trailing 3-2, Nolan found Mitch Reinke in the left circle with a feed from behind the net. Reinke delayed before sending the puck in front for Olsen to tap in his 16th of the season at 12:25 to tie the game.
The Stars regained the lead seven seconds after the Olsen tally. Off the face-off at center ice, Colin Markison fired a right-wing shot that rattled off Hofer. Cuglietta finished the rebound to give the Stars a 4-3 lead they would not surrender.
Gavin Bayreuther opened the scoring for Texas at 1:17 of the first period with a wrist shot from the middle of the ice just inside the blue line that beat Hofer over the glove. At 2:20 of the second, Ty Dellandrea extended the Stars lead with a partial break to the net and a deke around Hofer to make it 2-0.
At 11:33 of the second, the Stars struck again when Michael Mersch finished his own rebound for his 23rd of the year.
MacIntyre started the Rampage comeback at 6:51 of the third, collecting a puck between the circles off a Rampage face-off win and firing it past Texas goaltender Jake Oettinger for his eight goal of the season.
Nolan brought the Rampage within a goal at 8:49 of the third, beating John Nyberg off the rush and sliding a backhander through Oettinger's pads and just over the goal line for his 17th goal of the season.
Joey LaLeggia's points streak ended at eight games.
The Rampage finished the season with 23 home wins, tying a franchise record for home victories in a season. The Rampage won 23 home games in three prior seasons- 2007-08, 2010-11, and 2014-15.
The Rampage play their final game of the season on Saturday night against the Texas Stars at the HEB Center at Cedar Park, their 14th meeting of the season. The game begins at 7 p.m. CT and is available on the Ticket 760AM and on AHLTV.
Goals: MacIntyre (8), Nolan (17), Olsen (16)
Joel Hofer: 31 saves on 35 shots
Power Play: 1-for-2
Penalty Kill: 3-for-3
Diego Cuglietta - TEX
Michael Mersch - TEX
Jordan Nolan - SA
Images from this story
Chris Butler of the San Antonio Rampage leaves the ice
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