RAMPAGE COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AGAINST GRIFFINSJan 3, 2020
SAN ANTONIO, TX (Jan. 3, 2020) – Tyler Spezia scored two goals and former Rampage goaltender Calvin Pickard made 40 saves to lead the Grand Rapids Griffins (14-17-4) to a 5-3 win over the San Antonio Rampage (12-14-9) on Friday night in front of 6,292 fans at the AT&T Center.
Derrick Pouliot notched two assists for the Rampage, who saw their three-game points streak come to an end. Nathan Walker and Klim Kostin extended their respective goal-scoring streaks, and goaltender Ville Husso made 34 saves in a losing effort.
Trailing 2-0 entering the third period, the Rampage pulled within a goal when Walker buried a back-door feed from Mitch Reinke on a 5-on-3 power play, beating Pickard just 45 seconds into the period to make it 2-1. Walker’s 16th goal of the season extended his goal-scoring streak to four-games, a career-best and the longest by any Rampage player this season.
The Rampage have capitalized on four of eight 5-on-3 power plays this season.
The Griffins restored their two-goal lead just 2:19 after the Walker goal. Griffins forward Chris Terry broke in on goal and was stopped by Husso on a deke to the backhand. Terry regathered the loose puck behind the net and fed it back in front for Spezia, who buried his second of the game and third of the season to make it 3-1.
At 9:15 of the third period, Ryan Kuffner made it 4-1 Griffins with his sixth goal of the season, taking a feed from defenseman Blake Hillman in front of the net and steering a backhander around Husso.
Just 27 seconds after Kuffner’s tally, Mike Vecchione hammered an Austin Poganski feed between the circles to net his 16th goal of the season, making it 4-2.
The Rampage pulled Husso for an extra skater in the closing minutes. Kostin beat Pickard between the legs with a wrist shot from the left circle for his sixth goal of the season to make it 4-3. Kostin has goals in three straight games, the longest goal-scoring streak of his career.
Former Rampage forward Turner Elson closed out the game for the Griffins, pinning the puck deep in the Rampage zone and then moving to the front of the net for a one-timer past Husso with .5 seconds remaining, his fifth goal of the season closing the scoring at 5-3.
The Rampage outshot Grand Rapids 34-22 over the final two periods.
Chase Pearson led off the scoring at 3:23 of the first period, driving the net from the right-wing corner and stuffing a puck under Husso for his fourth of the season. Spezia made it 2-0 at 1:17 of the second, beating Husso from the slot after finding a loose puck off the blocked shot of Dylan McIlrath.
The Rampage are 0-2-0 against the Griffins this season. San Antonio has gone 0-2-2 over their last four home games.
The Rampage and Griffins meet again on Sunday afternoon at the AT&T Center. Puck-drop is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT, with the game available on Ticket 760 and streamed on AHLTV.
The 2019-20 season is presented by H-E-B.
Goals: Walker (16); Vecchione (16); Kostin (6)
Ville Husso: 34 saves on 39 shots
Power Play: 1-for-3
Penalty Kill: 4-for-4
1) Tyler Spezia – GR
2) Chris Terry – GR
3) Derrick Pouliot – SA