CHARLOTTE, NC – Three goals in 11 minutes and Charlotte were on the ropes. San Antonio scored with the very first shot of the game when Jack Combs broke away after Mar-Andre Gragnani fell when trying to defend the Rampage player.
Combs added a second goal, this time he retrieved a deflection and back handed it past Checkers goalie Rob Madore. The young net minder made 26 saves on the night, he could do nothing about the first period onslaught.
John McFarland scored a third goal just over a minute after San Antonio’s second. Charlotte’s Rasmus Rissenen was in the penalty box while all this was going on serving a four minute penalty for high sticking. Gragnani had his clearance intercepted right in front of the net by McFarland and Charlotte paid the penalty.
Brett Sutter scored his 16th goal of the season and Jared Staal added a second for Charlotte. The team fought all the way to the line , literally, with Nicolas Blanchard taking on Rampage’s defenseman Nolan Yonkman who weighs at 251lbs and stands 6’ 5”.
Another scrap involving Brody Sutter against San Antonio’s John Lee kept the excitement going. These fights fired Charlotte up and the team certainly kept trying. Dov Grumet-Morris in the Rampage goal was kept very busy having to make 36 saves.
In the third Combs completed his hat trick. Joe Rheault scored an empty netter with a few seconds to go in the game, 5-2 Rampage.
Saturday night the two teams complete there eight game series at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Photos by Tom.Nelson@prohockeynews.com
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