It was a tough loss for the Rampage Saturday night in front of 7,267 fans at the AT&T Center. The San Jose Barracuda snapped a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 win.
Brandon Gormley, Marc-Andre Cliche and Nick Drazenovic scored for the Rampage, with Roman Will making 31 stops on the night.
Gormley’s goal from the blueline just 21 seconds into the game put the Rampage up quickly, and when Cliche scored on a rebound at 6:52, it appeared the Rampage were on their way.
“Good all around start of a good shift,” said Cliche on the play leading up to his fifth goal of the season. “Good pressure up the ice, good neutral zone for us. Duncan (Siemens) looked for me there in the middle. Simple stuff. Took a shot on net, we got the rebound back, shot it back and I was fortunate enough to get the rebound.”
After Cliche’s goal, the Barracuda rallied for four unanswered goals, three coming on the power play, while the Rampage went 0-3 with the extra skater.
“Special teams, I think that’s what killed us tonight,” added Cliche.
“We lost too many battles,” said Rampage coach Dean Chynoweth of the Rampage going into hibernation after gaining the 2-0 lead. “The second period was horrible. You try and take advantage of TV time outs to get them to get it back. Our execution was poor”
The Rampage did put on a spurt after the fourth Cuda goal, scoring on a 2-on-1 with Drazenovic pulling the trigger for his first Rampage goal.
“It’s easy to play when you’re down,” said Chynoweth. “You can take chances.”
“We have a good group of guys here that don’t give up,” said Cliche. “We showed a little bit of character at the end but it was too late. We need to be better before that.”
As the team enters the All-Star break with no practices for the next four days and one home game before the annual 11-game road trip looming as the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo take over the building, Chynoweth issued a challenge to his team.
“I want them to take a long look at themselves, do some soul searching. We’ve shown signs of what we can be. Man for man, we can play better.”
The annual Pink in the Rink Night is Friday against in-state rival, the Texas Stars. Faceoff is 7:30. The past two or three seasons, this contest is the biggest crowd of the year, so fans should get tickets in advance if they want a better seat selection than a walkup purchase.