Rampage Toppled at Houston, 4-1
HOUSTON - Rookie Jared Gomes tallied a shorthanded goal in the second period, but the San Antonio Rampage (29-35-2-6) fell to the Houston Aeros (38-25-5-5), 4-1, on Saturday night at Toyota Center in the team's final road game of the year.
The Rampage and Aeros were tied 1-1 midway through the second period, but Houston tallied three goals within a span of 1:21 to break the game open. San Antonio is now 4-6-1-0 against the Aeros this season with one more game to be played between the I-10 rivals on April 20 at AT&T Center.
Rampage netminder Brian Foster stopped 24-of-27 shots in only his fourth start for the Rampage this season before Dov Grumet-Morris entered the game in his relief in the second period. Grumet-Morris turned aside 14-of-15 shots to finish the game.
Houston struck first while on the power play at 15:20 of the first period. Justin Fontaine received a sneaky pass from Erik Haula at the bottom of the left circle and beat Foster high. The goal marked the fifth-straight game where the Rampage have surrendered the first goal of the game.
It didn't take long in the second period for the Rampage to tie the game at 1-1. Gomes tallied the club's ninth shorthanded goal of the season just 12 seconds into the middle frame. The goal was Gomes' 12th of the season and the rookie has now tallied 29 points on the year - good for second on the Rampage active roster.
However, the Aeros rattled off three-straight goals within a span of 1:21 in the middle frame to take control of the game. Chad Rau got things started at 9:36 when he fired a shot from the left boards that Foster was unable to control. The rebound went right to Dan DaSilva, who fired a quick shot past Foster before the Rampage netminder was able to recover.
Rau cashed in for the Aeros only 36 seconds later after finding a rebound in the slot and firing it into the net. The goal marked Houston's second power-play tally of the night and also resulted in a Rampage goalie change, as Grumet-Morris entered the contest in relief of Foster.
Fontaine scored his second goal of the game at 10:57 to open up a 4-1 lead for the Aeros. Houston outshot San Antonio, 24-10, in the second period, marking the most shots the Rampage have surrendered in a single period this season.
San Antonio outshot Houston, 7-5, in the third period, but neither team was able to light the lamp and the Aeros claimed the 4-1 victory.
Houston went 2-for-6 on the power play to improve to 14-for-64 in the 11 games against the Rampage this season, while San Antonio was 0-for-3 with the man advantage and now is 6-for-45 in the season series.
The Rampage finished the season with a 13-21-2-2 record away from AT&T Center and were 1-4-1-0 in six games at Toyota Center this season.
The Silver and Black will return home tomorrow (Sunday) at 3:30 p.m. against the Texas Stars to kick off a four-game homestand to wrap up the 2012-13 season. The game will also mark the final Express-News Sunday Funday of the season. Tickets for all remaining Rampage home games start at $10 and can be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office, by calling a Rampage representative at 210-444-5554 or online at sarampage.com.
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