DES MOINES, IA. — After struggling with the extra man on the road all season, the San Antonio Rampage (7-7-0-1) recorded two power-play goals to beat the Iowa Wild (6-7-0-0), 5-2, tonight at the Wells Fargo Arena in the first-ever meeting between the two clubs.
The win over the Wild, formerly the Houston Aeros, pushes the Rampage back to .500 and snaps a four-game winless streak on the road. The Rampage’s road power play, which started the season 0-for-27, cashed in twice on the night (2-for-6) and the club has now recorded a power-play goal in back-to-back road contests (3-for-13).
In the win, only four Rampage players were held off the score sheet, and with the exception of Joey Crabb, every Rampage skater recorded at least one shot on net. The three-goal victory margin was largest of the year for the Rampage and breaks the five-game streak of one-goal games.
Captain Greg Rallo led the way with two goals, one of which came on the power play and the other held as the game-winner, giving him 15 goals in 42 games against the former Aeros franchise. Steve Pinizzotto opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period, marking his third goal in his first four games with the Rampage. John Lee and Jon Matsumoto also lit the lamp for San Antonio.
Drew Shore recorded an assist in the win and now has a helper in three-straight games. Defenseman Zach Miskovic was also credited with an assist in his first game back with the club after an injury.
Netminder Jacob Markstrom was stellar for the Silver and Black between the pipes in only his second start with the club this season, stopping 34-of-36 shots to claim his first victory of the year for the Rampage.
During the first of seven Iowa penalties on the night, Colby Robak connected with Miskovic, who lifted the puck from the right circle into traffic at the top of the crease. Pinizzotto was there to tip it in past Wild netminder Darcy Kuemper, giving the Rampage the lead at 8:45 of the first period.
Iowa came back six minutes later, finding the Rampage out of position in their own end. Zack Phillips put it past Markstrom to even the score at one.
With 13 seconds remaining on the clock in the first, Lee picked up the puck from Vincent Trocheck and rocketed it from the high slot to beat Kuemper. The go-ahead goal gave the Rampage a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Rampage also struck first in the second period. Jed Ortmeyer gathered the puck in the Rampage zone, flipping it to Shore, who fed it to Rallo. The Rampage captain bolted up the half wall, letting the puck fly at the top of the left circle. His wrister beat Kuemper glove side to widen the lead to two.
The former division rivals traded back-to-back penalties, with Iowa capitalizing on a 4-on-3 chance at 13:08 of the second. Defenseman Jonathan Blum received a pass from Connelly, and one-timed it from the left circle, cutting San Antonio’s lead to one.
The Wild had a final chance late in the second as Kris Foucault found himself alone in front of the Rampage net, but Markstrom was ready with the blocker and the Rampage held the 3-2 lead through two periods.
The remainder of the third mirrored the second period, with 36 penalty minutes registered between the two teams.
In the final minutes of regulation, Rallo lit the lamp for the second time, scoring just nine seconds into a power play to break the game open in favor of the Rampage. His fourth of the season gave the Rampage a 5-2 lead, a hole that Iowa ultimately could not climb out of.
The Rampage went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Iowa was 1-for-10 with the man advantage. San Antonio was outshot for the first time in four games, 36-31.