SAN ANTONIO (November 24, 2012) – More than 1,000 bears flew onto the ice when Rampage forward James Wright tallied a goal in the second period during the eighth annual Teddy Bear Toss night, benefiting Toys for Tots and the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. But, in the end, San Antonio (4-9-0-3) fell to Abbotsford, 3-2, after an 11-round shootout on Saturday night at AT&T Center in front of 5,682 fans.
Wright recorded a goal and an assist on the night and Casey Wellman followed suit with a two point effort on a pair of helpers. Rampage netminder Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves in the defeat, including nine saves in the shootout.
Abbotsford (12-2-1-2) struck first at 5:14 of the first period while on the power play. Paul Byron found the puck at the bottom of the right circle after it had pinballed through the slot. Byron corralled the puck and fired a shot past Markstrom before the Rampage netminder could slide to his left.
The Rampage struggled to get going offensively in the opening frame, as they were outshot 9-3. By not allowing a goal in the first period, Abbotsford goaltender Barry Brust broke the AHL all-time shutout streak record, which stood at 249:51 and was set by Johnny Bower during the 1957 season.
Wright ended Brust’s shutout streak at 268:17 when he tallied a power-play goal at 16:36 of the second period. Jason DeSantis and Wellman collected assists on the power-play tally. Wright now has two goals in his last three games.
San Antonio claimed the lead just 1:35 later when rookie forward Quinton Howden charged down the left wing and made a nifty move past Brust at 18:11 of the second period. Wright and Wellman collected assists on the go-ahead goal to give the Rampage a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.
The Rampage clung to their one-goal lead for the majority of the final frame, much to the thanks of Markstrom, who came up big down the stretch for San Antonio. However, after Markstrom made a flurry of saves down low, Abbotsford forward Brett Olson tied the game with 14 seconds remaining in regulation.
San Antonio outshot Abbotsford 4-1 in overtime and tilted the ice during the extra session, but was unable to find the game winner.
Jon Rheault and Wright tallied goals for San Antonio during the shootout, but Abbotsford came out victorious in the 11-round shootout duel, 3-2.
On the night, San Antonio went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Abbotsford went 1-for-2 with the man advantage. Abbotsford also had the edge in shots, 33-28. The Rampage are winless in their last seven games (0-5-0-2), with their last four losses coming by one goal.
The Rampage will close out the three-in-three weekend series on Sunday against the Texas Stars at 3:30 p.m. The game will also mark an Express-News Sunday Funday at the AT&T Center. Individual, and season, tickets start at $10 and can be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office, by calling a Rampage representative at 210-444-5554 or online at sarampage.com.