SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Rampage (27-33-3-6) clawed back from an early 2-0 deficit, but ultimately fell to the Lake Erie Monsters (29-29-0-9) 5-3 on Tuesday night at the AT&T Center.
Matt Gilroy tallied a power play goal to bring his goal streak to three games and Connor Brickley, playing in his first professional game after signing an ATO contract with the Rampage on Tuesday morning, notched his first pro assist with the secondary tally on a Jared Gomes goal late in the game. Additionally, Tony Turgeon recorded his first American Hockey League point with the primary assist on the Gomes goal.
Michael Houser made 29-of-34 saves in the loss.
The Monsters struck first on a 2-on-2 rush as David van der Gulik sent a backhand pass across the ice to Michael Schumacher on the right point with a clear look on net. Schumacher put it over Houser’s right shoulder to make it 1-0 at 3:42.
Lake Erie wasted little time getting things started in the second period, scoring less than three minutes into the frame. On the power play, Mike Sgarbossa picked up a rebound on a Schumacher shot and buried it, giving the Monsters a 2-0 lead.
The Rampage answered as Drew Shore and Joey Crabb combined for a goal at 13:36 of the period with a nice give-and-go play on the break. Crabb dished the puck to Shore in right circle, and Shore skated behind the net, sending the puck up to Crabb in the slot to cut the deficit to one. The goal was Crabb’s 14th on the season and second in as many games.
Gilroy scored on the power play, his third goal in as many games, at 10:24 to knot the game at two. Gilroy’s rocket from the point was his 10th of the season and second power play goal in two games.
Penalties would define the rest of the period as the Monsters scored two quick power play goals to take a 4-2 lead into the second intermission. With three seconds left on a 5-on-3 power play, Stefan Elliott hammered home a rebound off of an Andrew Agozzino shot to give Lake Erie its second lead of the game. Just 18 seconds later and with 15 seconds left on the power play, Karl Stollery fired a cannon from the high slot that beat Houser to give the Monsters a 4-2 lead at 17:36.
Lake Erie all but sealed the win as Markus Lauridsen hit Joey Hishon in the slot and Hishon tallied his tenth of the year to give Lake Erie a 5-2 lead at 12:18.
Gomes scored on a nice backhand shot in the waning minutes of the game to bring the Rampage within two, and the Silver and Black went on the power play at 18:09 but were unable to convert, falling 5-3.
Four of the game’s eight goals were scored on the power play, as Lake Erie finished 3-for-5 with the man advantage, and the Rampage scored one goal on six power play opportunities. The Monsters outshot San Antonio 34-31, including a 17-6 margin in the first period.