GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The San Antonio Rampage (20-21-3-5) opened up their first winning streak of the season as they topped the Grand Rapids Griffins (30-15-2-3) in the shootout by a score of 2-1 tonight at Van Andel Arena. The win gives the Rampage points in 13 of their last 14 games, and puts them on a league-best nine-game point streak, tying the franchise record.
Drew Shore stayed hot for the Rampage, scoring his third goal in four games early in the second as he tipped in a Bobby Butler shot from the circle. The two would come up big again for their team in the skills competition, with Butler’s goal coming as the game-winner to earn him First Star honors. Shore’s performance netted him the Third Star.
Butler now has assists in each of his last two games.
Michael Houser was instrumental in the win, stopping 37-of-38 regulation shots and all four Griffins shooters to earn the Second Star.
Coming off a strong road showing last weekend in Lake Erie, the Rampage continued their solid play through the first 20. Coming into the game with their home power play converting at 23.7%, the Griffins had one chance to show off their special teams prowess, but the Rampage stifled any and all chances, effectively shutting the Grand Rapids’ power play down. Despite a few close calls from either team, the period timed out with a 0-0 draw.
The second period continued to be the Griffins’ masterpiece, as Teemu Pulkkinen scored his third goal in two games against the Rampage this year at the 4:30 mark of the second. But despite the Griffins outscoring their opponents 70-31 coming into tonight, the Rampage would not be put out.
Just 54 seconds later, Butler fired in a shot high on Grand Rapids net-minder Tom McCollum, and Shore was in the perfect screen position to tip it past McCollum and knot it at one.
The teams would trade chances, but ultimately headed into the third period locked at one.
Despite a plethora of chances for either side, and two Rampage power plays, neither team could make their offense count. An overtime session wasn’t enough either, and the game would be decided in the shootout for the 13th time this season for the Rampage, a new franchise record.
Houser stopped all four Grand Rapids shooters, and Butler and Shore teamed up again, each tallying in the extra round to win it 2-1 for the Rampage.
The Rampage went 0-for-3 on the power play, and shut down the Griffins, as they went 0-for-1. The Griffins outshot the Rampage 38-35.