SAN ANTONIO — Extra minutes were required for the third time in four meetings between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the San Antonio Rampage on Thursday at the AT&T Center, in which the Rampage accomplished the 2-1 shootout victory.
It was the final regular season meeting between the two teams, and San Antonio (25-26-3-6) completed a season sweep of the Griffins with wins in regulation, overtime and two shootouts.
The game kicked off a season-high seven-game road trip for the Griffins (37-18-2-4). They will travel to Oklahoma City for a two-game series against the Barons on Friday and Saturday for 8 p.m. EDT puck drops.
The Griffins had an early five-on-three opportunity when Jed Ortmeyer was called for hooking and Greg Rallo was sent off for playing with a broken stick during the delayed call. However, Grand Rapids couldn’t solve Michael Houser, and the power play and period closed out at 0-0.
Despite the Rampage outshooting the Griffins 11-7 in the second period, strong defense and solid goaltending on both ends kept the game scoreless.
Martin Frk provided the Griffins with their best chance of the frame with a rocket from the top of the right circle in the final six minutes.
The Griffins continued to generate opportunities over the next few minutes, but the Rampage responded at 1:51 with the best opportunity of the period. Drew Shore sent a pass from Tom McCollum’s left to Garrett Wilson at the other side of the net, but Adam Almquist was there to break up the play.
San Antonio started the third period strong, outshooting the Griffins 8-0 in the first 4:30 and scoring 57 seconds into the frame. Wilson set up an open Bobby Butler just inside the right circle for a quick wrister.
With 5:07 to play, Jonathan Racine was called for interference. After the Griffins won the puck behind Houser’s net, the puck made its way around the perimeter before eventually getting to Almquist at the left point. He wound up and let a slap shot rip, beating Houser just inside the right post at 16:27.
San Antonio outshot the Griffins 5-3 in overtime, but neither team found the back of the net.
The Griffins were scoreless in the shootout, with close chances hitting off the post for Frk in the first round and Jordin Tootoo in the second round. Almquist was turned away in the third round. San Antonio’s Shore, Butler, and John McFarland each notched a tally, with McCollum’s only save of the shootout coming against Mark Mancari in the third round.
McCollum finished the game with 31 saves. On the other end, Houser turned away 26 of 27.
Three Stars: 1. SA Houser (W, 26 saves); 2. SA Shore (assist); 3. SA Butler (goal)