SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — The San Antonio Rampage (0-1-0-0) pressed hard in the closing minutes, but were unable to find the game-tying goal to complete the comeback, as the Rampage fell to the Chicago Wolves (1-0-0-0) on Friday night in front of 5,651 fans in the club’s Home Opener at AT&T Center.
The Rampage outshot Chicago, 42-23, on the night, and 15-2 in the third period, but were ultimately unable to erase a two-goal deficit. Rampage defenseman Colby Robak tallied the first goal of the season for the Rampage with a blast from the point midway through the third period, but Chicago net-minder Jake Allen stood strong in the waning moments of the game, turning aside 41-of-42 shots to earn First Star of the Game honors.
Rampage net-minder Dov Grumet-Morris made 21-of-23 saves in the game, including several early in the first period to keep the Rampage within striking distance.
San Antonio’s first game of the 2013-14 season got off to a quick start. The Rampage were rewarded early in the first, when Chicago’s Matt Mancari was whistled for a high stick. Despite the man advantage, the Rampage were unable to convert on the power play.
Upon the expiration of his penalty, Mancari was fed the puck directly out of the box, leading to a breakaway attempt that was saved point blank by Grumet-Morris. Less than two minutes later, Chicago made good on their earlier threat and a shot from Michael Davies went off Grumet-Morris’ pads, bouncing right to the stick of Corey Locke, who wasted no time snapping it past the San Antonio goaltender.
Locke’s goal was his 11th career goal against the Rampage in only 15 games and put the visiting Wolves up 1-0 just three minutes into the opening frame.
A shift later, Chicago again was furiously on the attack, sending a barrage of shots towards the Rampage net. However, Grumet-Morris was up to the challenge, keeping his team at a one-goal deficit.
The Rampage were given two more power play chances in the first, but despite a few quality chances, the home club was unable to light the lamp.
Just 45 seconds into the second period, Chicago extended their lead on an unassisted tally from Dmitrij Jaskin. Jaskin capitalized on a turnover and ripped a shot past Grumet-Morris to put his team up 2-0.
San Antonio found themselves a bit of offense with four minutes to go in the second period when Chicago’s Chris Porter went off for tripping. Bobby Butler started the rush with a shot from the top of the crease that was stonewalled by Allen. Seconds later, Jon Matsumoto again attempted one from the doorstep, but was against turned aside by Allen.
Held scoreless for the first half of the third, the Silver and Black finally took one back from the Wolves at the 10:04 mark. With Joel Edmundson in the box for hooking, the Rampage started cycling, and rookie Vincent Trocheck handled a pass from Greg Rallo, and fed the puck to Robak, who blasted it home from the point.
The power play tally was Robak’s first of the season, and cut the Chicago lead in half. The secondary assist from Rallo was the center’s first point as a captain.Though the shots were heavily in San Antonio’s favor, the Wolves held tight to their one-goal lead, closing out the final 20 minutes and taking the game 2-1.
San Antonio finished the game 1-for-6 on the power play, while Chicago was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.