Box Score | Game Notes
HOUSTON (April 11, 2013) – Jack Combs scored two goals late in the third period, but the Rampage were unable to complete the comeback, as San Antonio (23-34-2-6) fell to the Houston Aeros (37-25-5-5), 4-3, on Thursday night at Toyota Center.
Combs scored at 16:44 and again 18:53 of the third period to bring San Antonio within striking distance, but the Aeros were able to hold on in the waning moments, despite a flurry of chances from the Rampage. Combs now has eight goals in his first 13 games for San Antonio.
Netminder Dov Grumet-Morris turned aside 38-of-42 shots and Andre Deveaux tallied his seventh goal of the season and his first in more than two months in the defeat.
Houston tallied the first three goals of the game, creating a deficit that proved to be too large for the Rampage to bounce back from. With the defeat, the San Antonio is now 4-5-1-0 in 10 games against the Aeros this season. The divisional rivals will meet two more times in the next nine days to wrap up the season series.
Houston opened the scoring at 9:20 of the first period while on the power play. Grumet-Morris made a great save by pulling the puck off the goal line moments before the Aeros lit the lamp. Chad Rau collected a rebound at the bottom of the right circle and flicked a backhand past Grumet-Morris.
The Aeros opened up a 2-0 lead with a goal from Justin Fontaine at 14:56 of the first period. Fontaine one-timed a rebound off the pad of Grumet-Morris to give Houston a 2-0 lead. Both teams recorded 15 shots on goal in the opening frame, but the Aeros held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes of action.
Houston forward Zack Phillips made it a 3-0 game at 3:13 of the second period when he charged the net and deflected in a pass from Rau at the top of the crease. The goal was Houston’s sixth straight against the Rampage dating back to San Antonio’s 3-2 overtime loss in Houston on April 4.
Deveaux blocked a shot from the point in the defensive zone and created a breakaway on Aeros netminder Mike Condon at 12:32 of the second period. Deveaux made a smooth forehand-to-backhand move before depositing the puck into the net to make it a 3-1 game. The goal came on San Antonio’s third shot of the period and marked Deveaux’s first goal since Feb. 9 at Charlotte.
Grumet-Morris stopped 19-of-20 shots in the second period to keep the Rampage within striking distance, as San Antonio trailed 3-1 after 40 minutes of action.
The Aeros reopened a three-goal lead when David McIntyre lit the lamp at 11:54 of the third period off an odd-man rush. Aeros forward Jason Zucker collected his second assist of the night on the play and now has tallied 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in nine games against the Rampage this season.
Combs lit the lamp on the power play at 16:44 to make it a 4-2 game thanks to a great play by defenseman Alex Petrovic to keep the puck in the offensive zone on the power play. Combs then found the puck at the top of the crease and banged it past Condon.
The Rampage forward stuck again just 2:09 later to make it a 4-3 game. Jared Gomes and Colby Robak collected assists on the goal.
San Antonio pressed hard in the final moments of the game with Grumet-Morris out of the net in favor of an extra attacker, but were unable to beat Condon to tie the game.
Houston went 1-for-4 on the power play to improve to 12-for-58 in the 10 games against the Rampage this season, while San Antonio was also 1-for-4 with the man advantage and now is 6-for-42 in the season series.
The Rampage and Aeros will square off again on Saturday at Toyota Center with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop. The Silver and Black will return to the Alamo City on Sunday for a tilt against the Texas Stars at 3:30 p.m. for the last Express-News Sunday Funday of the season. Tickets for all remaining Rampage home games 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.