Rampage Comeback Falls Short in Loss to Stars
SAN ANTONIO, TX - Austin Poganski and Bobby MacIntyre scored early in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit but Tony Calderone and Colton Hargrove would respond to drive the Texas Stars (29-25-7) to a 6-4 victory over the San Antonio Rampage (27-27-6) on Saturday night in front of 6,568 fans at the AT&T Center.
The loss snapped a franchise-record 17-game home unbeaten streak (15-0-2) for the Rampage, their first regulation defeat at the AT&T Center since Nov. 25. The Stars moved into sole possession of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division, five points ahead of the Rampage.
With the Stars ahead 4-2, Poganski drew the Rampage within a goal at 3:06 of the third period with a power play tally for his eighth goal of the season. Stars defenseman Dillon Heatherington fanned on a clearing attempt, turning the puck over at the side of his net to Klim Kostin. Kostin slid a pass to the bottom of the left circle, giving Poganski an open net to make it 4-3.
At 4:47 of the third, MacIntyre tied the score 4-4 with his seventh of the year. Off a 3-on-2 rush, Poganski fed MacIntyre alone in front of Texas goaltender Landon Bow, with MacIntyre out-waiting Bow before tucking the puck around his left pad.
The Stars regained the lead at 7:22 when Calderone buried the rebound of a Heatherington shot for his fourth of the year. Just 1:02 later, Hargrove scored his ninth of the season on a 2-on-2 rush to restore Texas' two-goal lead.
Nolan Stevens opened the scoring at 3:46 of the first period, redirecting a Jordan Schmaltz shot for his seventh of the season. Stevens returned from an eight-game absence due to injury. Denis Gurianov scored his first of two goals in the game at 13:58 of the first period, firing a slap shot from the left circle that squeezed through goaltender Ville Husso's pads to tie the game.
Niklas Hansson gave Texas its first lead at 5:14 of the second with a one-timer from the left circle, scoring his fifth of the year moments after a Rampage penalty had expired. The Rampage tied the score 2-2 at 8:07 when Joey LaLeggia deflected Tyler Wotherspoon's point shot past Bow for his ninth goal of the year.
Texas took a 3-2 lead at 13:12 when Adam Mascherin beat Husso in close during 4-on-4 hockey for his 17th of the year. Gurianov made it 4-2 at 17:20 with his second of the game and 17th of the year, a one-timer from the right circle.
Husso made 22 saves in a losing effort. Poganski posted a three-point night for the Rampage, while Gurianov and Hansson had three-point performances for Texas.
The Rampage have scored at least one power play goal in seven of their last eight games, going 13-for-39 over that span.
The Rampage and Stars meet again on Sunday night at the HEB Center at Cedar Park. Puck-drop is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT, with the game available on the Ticket 760AM and on AHLTV.
Goals: Stevens (7); LaLeggia (9); Poganski (8); MacIntyre (7)
Ville Husso: 22 saves on 28 shots
Power Play: 1-for-3
Penalty Kill: 3-for-3
Denis Gurianov - TEX
Niklas Hansson - TEX
Austin Poganski - SA
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San Antonio Rampage forward Klim Kostin
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