Rampage Unable to Contain Rockford, Fall 9-4 on Friday Night
SAN ANTONIO - The Rampage went punch-for-punch with Rockford through two periods of action, but the IceHogs (41-31-2-1) pulled away in the third period en route to a 9-4 victory over the Rampage (29-37-2-7) on Friday night in front of 11,717 fans at AT&T Center.
The Rampage trailed the IceHogs, 5-4, after two periods of action, but Rockford's high-flying offense recorded four unanswered goals in the third period to finish the game with nine goals, tying the most goals San Antonio has surrendered in the club's history.
Jack Combs tallied two goals and an assist in the game and is averaging more than a point per game (12 goals, six assists) in his first 17 games for the Rampage since being acquired via trade from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on March 15.
Rookie forward Jared Gomes also extended his career-high goal scoring streak to four games with his second period tally. In addition, Rampage captain Nolan Yonkman collected an assist in his 600th career AHL game.
The first period featured three lead changes and four goals within the first 10 minutes of the frame. Rockford opened the scoring on their first shot on goal at 3:17 of the first period. Jeremy Morin found Anthony Hayes on the backdoor and the IceHogs' forward banged the puck into the net.
San Antonio responded only 29 seconds later to tie the game at 1-1. Jon Rheault skated down the right wing and took a low shot on Rockford netminder Henrik Karlsson. The rebound popped out to the slot and Combs fired it into the net before the Rockford goalie could recover.
Gomes extended his point scoring streak to five games (four goals, one assist) with a goal at 9:59. Combs collected his second point on the night with an assist on the goal. John Lee also collected a helper on the play, his second assist in as many games.
However, Rockford tied the game only 17 seconds later with a goal from Brad Mills and the IceHogs reclaimed the lead with a power-play goal from Ben Smith at 14:29. Hayes was awarded a penalty shot with 1:57 remaining in the frame, but was unable to get a shot off and the Rampage went into the first intermission trailing, 3-2.
The offenses picked up right where the left off in the second period, as the two teams combined for four goals in the frame. Smith tallied his second goal of the night for the IceHogs at 4:58 of the second period before Combs snuck behind the Rockford defense and deposited the puck between the legs of Karlsson to make it a 4-3 game.
Rockford responded only 34 seconds later with a goal from Brandon Svendsen at 11:16 to reopen the two-goal lead. Rampage defenseman Zach Miskovic recorded his second point of the night with a goal at 12:32 with assists to Evan Barlow and Francis Beauvillier.
Hayes tallied his second of the night at 4:46 of the third period and Morin followed suit after a 2-on-1 rush down low to give the IceHogs a 7-4 lead. The Rampage had a four minute power play near the midway point of the period after Rheault was the victim of a high stick.
The power play became a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:25 when Karlsson cleared the puck directly out of play, but the Rampage were unable to cash in.
San Antonio pulled Grumet-Morris with just over five minutes remaining in the third period while on the power play. However, Rockford forward Brandon Pirri collected a Rampage turnover and scored on the empty net. Maxime Sauve tallied the final goal of the game at 15:06 of the third period to issue the Rampage their worst loss at the AT&T Center in franchise history.
San Antonio won the shots battle, 32-28, but went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Rockford was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.
The Rampage will wrap up the 2012-13 season on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at AT&T Center against the Houston Aeros. The game will also mark the club's annual Fan Appreciation Night, in which more than $60,000 in prizes will be awarded to fans in attendance.
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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