After a tightly played game where the Lake Erie Monsters were looking to get a rare win in the lone star state as the Monsters haven't had much luck since entering the American Hockey League back in 2007. And for a while it looked like it would have happened after a strong showing by Monsters Goalie John Grahame as the Monsters lead the Rampage 2-1 until Sean Maclean and Bracken Kearns scored just 26 seconds apart late in the 3rd to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead where an empty net goal with a minute and a half put the game away to give the Rampage a 4-2 win.
Lake Erie Monsters 2 San Antonio Rampage 4 (0-0, 1-1, 1-3)
Game report from the San Antonio Rampage Website
From San Antonio, Texas: The Rampage scored three goals late in the final period to overcome Monsters and record their 2nd straight win with a 4-2 victory at AT&T Center on Wednesday Night.
Each team brought high energy and a strong twenty minutes of hockey to the table as the Monsters and Rampage went scoreless in the first period for the 2nd straight meeting. Lake Erie out-shot San Antonio 12-8, giving Rampage goaltender Matt Climie the majority of their work. Both teams were awarded one power play and neither was able to convert the man advantage.
The second period continued in the same fashion, with many great opportunities missed, until Lake Erie center Mark Olver was able to break the middle frame. Greg Mauldin sent a cross ice pass from left to right to teammate Ray Macias for an open shot. His shot nailed the cross bar and spun outward, re-entering the ice to the left side of the goal, where Olver was waiting with half the net open as Climie was unable to recover to the opposite side in enough time.
The Rampage refused to go down without a fight as left winger Mikkel Boedker punched back with 10 seconds left in the period to make it a 1-1 game. Boedker received a pass from Brett Maclean as he skated down the right side of the glass. He then cut across toward center ice to better angle himself for a shot and complete a head-on attempt at the net as the puck flew over the left shoulder of Monsters netminder John Grahame.
Coutning back and fourth action, the Monsters scored a little over five minutes into the third period to reclaim the lead. Monsters center Mike Carmen sent a pass right behind him to right wing Matthew Ford in an attempt to clear from the Rampage's defensive pressure.
Ford saw an open shot and fired an unlikely shot as he pressed against the right wall above the faceoff circle. Climie not ready for the shot, allowed the puck to slip over his left shoulder and through the pipes increasing the score to 2-1.
The Rampage rallied back from the tip in from right winger Maclean with just over four minutes to go in the game. Boedker drove across the blue line to save the puck from being cleared down the Rampage zone during the power play. He quickly rose to his feet and fired a long pass aimed toward the goal, as Maclean was posted outside the crease. He tapped the puck behind Grahame giving the Rampage new life as they were once again tied at 2-2.
Bring the building back to their feet just 26 seconds later, Bracken Kearn lit the lamp for the Rampage's first lead of the evening. Left Winger Alex Picard sped down the left side of the ice and made a pass to Kearn who was skating adjacent down the center. He was able to redirect the pass low, beneath the goaltending padding to make it a 3-2 lead.
As a last resort with a minute and a half left in the contest, the Monsters waived off their goaltender and added a sixth skater in hopes of re-tying the game. However, the plan backfired as the puck escaped the possession of Lake Erie and was sent soaring towards the empty net. Rampage left winger Ryan Halloweg scrambled towards the puck and capitalizing on the easy opportunity by tapping the puck in to seal the 4-2 victory.
In his 100th professional game, Matt Climie stopped 31 of 33 Monsters shots to earn his third win of the season while Grahame stopped 30 of 33 Rampage shots.
the Rampage will commerce in a three-in-three series this weekend. Their first stop is the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City as they play the Barons for the first time in franchise history. The action starts at 7:05 PM.
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