CHICAGO, IL. — Rookie forward Vincent Trocheck scored his first two professional goals in a 5:22 span in the third period to help the San Antonio Rampage (2-2-0-0) claim a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Wolves (2-2-0-0) on Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.
The win secured a weekend split against the Wolves and also marked the first AHL victory for Rampage goaltender Michael Houser, who made his AHL debut on Sunday and turned aside 28-of-30 shots.
The Rampage, who entered the game leading the league with an average of 43 shots on goal through the club’s first three games, were outshot by Chicago, 30-28 on the afternoon, but still managed to collect their first road win of the year.
Two San Antonio defensemen tallied the first goals of the game for the Rampage. Alex Petrovic, who leads the league with 20 shots on goal, recorded his second goal of the season in the first period and Mike Mottau also tallied his first marker of the year with a buzzer beating shot with less than one second remaining in the second period.
Rampage forwards Jed Ortmeyer and Bobby Butler both recorded assists on the afternoon, their second points in as many nights. Former San Antonio goaltender Matt Climie stopped 24 shots, but took the loss for Chicago, his sixth loss in nine appearances against his former club.
Petrovic opened the scoring with his second goal of the year at 13:26 of the first period to give the Rampage a 1-0 lead. The Rampage defenseman released a quick wrist shot from the top of the right circle that sneaked through the pads of Climie. Ortmeyer and Joey Crabb collected assists on the goal.
Chicago had their best opportunity of the opening frame with under a minute remaining. Mark Mancari flew down the right wing and found Ty Rattie streaking to the net. Rattie was able to get his stick on the puck, but deflected it off the crossbar and out of play.
Chicago tied the game at 1-1 with a goal from David Shields at 10:27 of the second period. The goal was the first of Shields’ AHL career.
Michael Caruso made a great defensive play with four minutes remaining in the second period to keep the game tied. Rattie sprang loose on a breakaway, but Caruso was able to keep pace and the Rampage defenseman dove and executed a perfectly timed poke check to negate the scoring opportunity.
The Rampage took a 2-1 lead with a buzzer beating goal from Mottau with less than one second remaining in the middle frame. The puck bounced around the slot before finding the stick of Mottau, who fired the puck into the vacant net just in the nick of time. Butler and Petrovic were credited with assists on the goal.
Rampage captain Greg Rallo fed Trocheck a nice pass to gain entry in the zone and the rookie proceeded to fire a wicked wrist shot from the high slot that beat Climie to his glove side for his first professional goal only 18 seconds into the third period.
Chicago answered only 46 seconds later to make it a 3-2 game thanks to a sharp angle shot from Mancari that sneaked under the arm of Houser at 1:04 of the third period.
But Trocheck notched his second of the game to reopen a two-goal lead at 5:40 of the final frame off a nice backhand shot from the bottom of the left face-off circle. Defenseman Colby Robak picked up an assist on the goa
Chicago pulled Climie with just under two minutes remaining, but were unable to beat Houser and the Rampage held strong to claim the 4-2 victory in their final game of the season in the Windy City.
The Rampage finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play, while Chicago was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.
Trocheck and Houser were awarded the top two stars of the game, respectively. The pair of Rampage rookies are the last two winners of the Ontario Hockey League’s MVP award. Petrovic was awarded “Third Star of the Game” honors with his multi-point night (one goal, one assist) and plus-3 rating.