SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The San Antonio Rampage (6-6-0-1) claimed their fourth-straight win at AT&T Center on Sunday night with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Milwaukee Admirals (6-2-2-1) at AT&T Center in front of 7,117 fans.
The victory was San Antonio’s second straight via the shootout and the club has now taken points in five of its last six games (4-1-0-1) to reach the .500 mark on the season. The win also marked two-straight for Tom Rowe, who is perfect behind the bench since being named head coach on Friday.
Rampage forward Jon Matsumoto scored the decisive goal in the shootout on the same day as the launch of his “Matsumoto’s Rescues” program. Rampage fans brought nearly 350 pet supplies to Sunday’s game to help stray animals in San Antonio. The items were donated to the Animal Defense League, a no-kill shelter in San Antonio.
Goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris earned First Star of the Game honors after stopping 31-of-33 shots and all five Admirals shooters in the shootout. The win was the first of the year for the veteran netminder.
San Antonio’s offense, which entered the game second in the league with an average of 34.33 shots per game, continued to pepper opposing goalies. The Rampage fired 46 shots on Admirals goaltender Magnus Hellberg and totaled 83 shots during the weekend homestand.
Rampage defenseman Mike Mottau had the first high quality chance in the game when he came out of the penalty box and received a perfect stretch pass. Mottau had a clean breakaway on Hellberg, but was unable to elevate the puck and the Admirals goaltender turned the shot aside.
Grumet-Morris followed suit with a great save shortly thereafter on Admirals forward Joshua Shalla. Shalla broke in alone on the right wing and tried to beat Grumet-Morris through the legs, but the Rampage netminder was able to sprawl out and make the save.
San Antonio closed the opening frame with a great power play that generated several opportunities. However, they came up empty handed and the two teams went into the first intermission scoreless.
Three goals were exchanged in the middle frame in a span of 3:01. Pinizzotto opened the scoring with his second goal in just his second game with the Rampage at 14:19. John Lee collected an assist on the goal and now has three points (one goal, two assists) in his last four games.
Rampage forward Jed Ortmeyer struck next for the Rampage only 1:21 later when he found a loose puck at the top of the crease and fired a sneaky shot past Hellberg to open up a two-goal lead.
However, the Admirals made it a 2-1 game at 17:20 while on the power play. Bryan Rodney lit the lamp off a nice cross-ice pass from Mark Van Guilder to mark Milwaukee’s fifth power play goal in the last three games.
Entering the game, Milwaukee had outscored opponents 16-7 in the third period and the trend continued with a goal from Simon Moser at 6:19 of the final frame to tie the game at 2-2.
Grumet-Morris came up with a great save with 1:30 left in regulation to force overtime. Admirals forward Austin Watson unleashed a snap shot and Grumet-Morris flashed the leather, getting just enough of the shot to keep it out of the net.
Rampage rookie Vincent Trocheck had the best opportunity of overtime when he rang a shot off the post with 1:33 remaining. But neither team was able to cash in during the extra session and San Antonio went to its third-straight shootout.
Matsumoto scored the first goal of the shootout and Grumet-Morris stopped all five attempts from the Admirals to secure the win.
The Rampage finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play, while Milwaukee was 1-for-3 with the man advantage.