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In their first road game of the season, the Rampage tallied three power-play goals but were unable to hang on in overtime as the Texas Stars defeated San Antonio 5-4 in the Star’s home opener at Cedar Park Center Saturday night.
The Rampage raced out to a quick 1-0 lead with a power-play goal by Rampage left wing Alex Picard at the3:13 mark of the opening frame. Center Tim Stapleton tallied his first point in a Rampage uniform when he passed the puck up ice to Picard who fired a shot from the left faceoff circle and landed in the upper right hand corner of the net past Stars goalie Brent Krahn. Rampage netminder Matt Climie was credited with the second assist.
The Stars responded with a goal off the stick of left wing Scott McCulloch at the 8:51 mark of the first period. McCulloch and Travis Morin skated down the ice with a back and forth pass across the slot from left to right back to the left circle where McCulloch fired a shot that went high glove side on former Stars goalie Matt Climie to tie the score 1-1.
About two minutes later McCulloch collided with Rampage forward Matt Pope at the blue line which sent Pope to the ground and sparked Rampage right wing Eric Neilson to go after McCulloch. Neilson and McCulloch both landed in the penalty box with five minute fighting penalties and McCulloch was assessed an additional two minute elbowing penalty that put the Rampage on the power play.
The Rampage were able to take advantage of the five-on-four advantage at the 14:27 mark when Rampage defenseman Maxim Goncharov sent a pass from the right corner that was redirected by right wing Viktor Tikhonov at the top right corner of the crease and traveled low inside the right post to give the Rampage a 2-1 edge. Bracken Kearns was credited with the second assist on Tikhonov’s first goal of the season.
The Rampage opened the second period strong with a goal by former Stars right wing Mathieu Beaudoin at the 1:05 mark. With the Rampage crashing the net, the puck bounced back and forth between Mikkel Boedker, Brett MacLean and Beaudoin and ended up sitting in the crease before it was punched in by a Texas defenseman on an attempt to clear the puck. Beaudoin was the last Rampage player to touch the puck and was awarded his fourth goal of the season.
The Stars closed the deficit to 3-2 with a power-play goal by Francis Wauthier at the 4:22 mark of the third stanza. Stars center Aaron Gagnon passed the puck to Wauthier in the right corner who then attempted to wrap the puck around the right post but was deflected off of Climie’s pads straight up above the goalie and was batted in by Wautheir behind Climie.
The Stars quickly tied the score at 3-3 with another power-play goal by Aaron Gagnon at the 7:34 mark. Texas defenseman Brad Lukowich took a shot from the left circle that was deflected off the left leg pad of Climie and out to the right circle where Gagnon was able to shoot the puck high glove side past Climie.
The Rampage responded with a power-play goal of their own on Picard’s second man-advantage goal of the evening at the 12:19 mark of the third frame. Michael Stone tallied his first professional point with an assist when he sent a cross-ice pass to Tim Stapleton at the left faceoff dot. Stapleton took a shot that was deflected off Krahn out in front and was picked up by Picard who sent the puck over a sprawled out Krahn to put the Rampage up 4-3.
A minute later the Stars evened the score once again, 4-4. As the Rampage were attempting to clear the puck out of their own zone, Stars left wing Ondrej Roman interrupted play and was able to get a shot off from the left circle that went high into the net. The score held at 4-4 through the end of regulation sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime of the season for both the Stars and the Rampage, San Antonio was called for a holding penalty 33 seconds into the extra frame. The Stars were able to take advantage of the four-on-three with a shot by Morin from the right faceoff circle that was deflected in front. McCulloch was able to pry the puck loose and dump it in over Climie’s left leg for the game winner.
Climie stopped 27 of 32 Stars’ shots while Krahn stopped 26 of 30 Rampage shots. Six of the total nine goals scored came on the power-play.
The Rampage host the Lake Erie Monsters tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center which features a free pregame skate beginning at 2:30 p.m.