We have an on-site correspondent with the Rampage now, but he’s having issues logging in. When he’s able to log-in, these home recaps will switch over to being published by Tony, not me.
— by Tony Uminski
(San Antonio) – The Rampage found yet another creative way to lose a hockey game, allowing three unanswered third period goals to wind up an 0-2 weekend set with the Texas Stars.
The Stars humiliated the Rampage, 8-1 on their home ice Saturday night, and trailed 2-1 entering the third period Sunday at the AT&T Center, when the lead and the game got out of hand for San Antonio (3-12-0-0)…final: 4-2. The current Rampage losing streak now has reached three games.
The impotent Rampage offense actually looked suspiciously efficient in the first 10 minutes, with Jordan Nolan getting his first for the Rampage, and Klim Kostin adding his third on the power play for a 2-1 lead.
Must be good enough for the Rampage – only 50 minutes left to protect the lead, as the San Antonio offensive thrust went into hibernation, being outshot 26-14 the rest of the contest and barely testing Stars goaltender, Landon Bow.
First the good news -- Nolan scored from an impossible angle, shooting from the right wing boards, just a foot above the goal line, and his shot caught Bow napping at 4:26 for a 1-0 Rampage lead.
Four minutes later, the Stars Colton Hargrove redirected a nifty pass from Denis Gurianov to knot the score, but the Rampage grabbed the lead back on a nice move by Kostin.
Kostin shifted gears coming down the right wing, curled along with the faceoff circle, jutted in front of the crease and tucked the puck past Bow when the 6-5 netminder ran out of skate on his right foot and the puck found the final five inches between the blade and the pipe.
In the second period, Kostin made a nice flip pass that sent Nolan Stevens to the goal, only to be chopped down for a Rampage power play chance, but the skill play was appreciated by the AT&T Center crowd, hungry for some kind of offensive thrust from their team.
All the while, goaltender Ville Husso Joseemed to regain his confidence after a disasterous start Saturday night, when he allowed four goals in the first period and was replaced by Jordan Binnington. He stopped the first threat in the first period, kicking out a Justin Dowling snap shot on a partial breakaway, and the young Finn looked like himself for the duration of the evening, only to get beaten by three markers in the third.
During a Stars second period power play, Husso once again picked on Dowling with a nice glove save, and moments later had newly-acquired Texas defenseman Taylor Fedun checking out the AT&T Center upper ceiling ductwork with a great cross-crease piece of robbery. With 3:40 left in the second, the Stars had outshot the Rampage 12-2 in the period and Husso looked like himself again.
But then long-time Rampage-slayer, Travis Morin picked a bad time to score his first goal of the season, tipping in a shot from the point at 7:54 of the third period and the walls came crashing down. Morin, who has played with the Stars from the beginning of the franchise 10 years ago and takes great joy in ruining Rampage evenings throughout the decade, scored his 500th career point against San Antonio last season.
After tying the game, the Rampage began making trips to the box, with Mackenzie MacEachern going for roughing and Brian Flynn for slashing just a minute apart giving the Stars all they needed. Husso stopped the first two shots of the two-man advantage, but the Stars took their first lead of the game on another cross pass in front when Rupe Hintz tipped in the puck at 10:19.
The Rampage could manage just two weak shots on Bow the rest of the way, and then were called for too many men on the ice when Husso started off, only to move back when the Stars gained control of the puck with 1:40 left in the game.
Gurianov made the Rampage pay with another power play tally with 29 seconds left for the final 4-2 tally.
Husso looked much more in control despite losing his ninth straight game after a shutout win on opening night…the Rampage are the only AHL team to not have 30 goals this season with 29 in 15 games after the Sunday loss…Samuel Blais’ offense is MIA – he has one goal in eight games…Austin Poganski was much more active on the ice Sunday, getting two good shots on Bow, but he’s still scoreless in seven games and was farmed out to Tulsa for a week, where he scored two goals and an assist in three games…Jordan Kyrou has only one goal in five games…the team leads the AHL in one category – most Jordan’s on a team – Kyrou, Nolan and Binnington.
The Rampage will try and get their act together on this five-game homestand, with an late morning game against the Manitoba Moose Tuesday at 10:30, meant to introduce hockey to San Antonio school kids…they’ll play division-leader Rockford Friday and Saturday and wind it up against the Stars on the day after Thanksgiving.