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The San Antonio Rampage had their four-game winning streak snapped as they fell 5-3 to the Houston Aeros on Friday night at the Toyota Center. The Rampage continue to lead Western Conference standings with 39 points and end their five-game road trip with a 4-1-0-0 record.
Aeros center Casey Wellman scored the first four Houston goals, tying an Aeros franchise record, including a hat trick within the first 16 minutes of regulation.
Right wing Brett MacLean registered two of the Rampage’s three goals on the night and posted his sixth multi-point game of the season. Alex Picard picked up two assists in his return, after missing the last nine Rampage contests due to injury, and extended his point streak to five games.
Wellman began the scoring spree 2:37 after the initial face off when he received the puck off a San Antonio turnover and beat Rampage goaltender Matt Climie from the slot for a 1-0 advantage. Wellman struck again just 10 minutes later, when he beat Climie high glove side to extend the Aeros lead 2-0. Wellman’s third goal came on an angled shot from the left boards that passed Climie stick side at the 15:42 mark to round out his natural hat trick that spanned 13:05. Houston center Chad Rau assisted on all three goals.
The Rampage opened the second period scoring at the 2:20 mark with a rebound goal by Petr Prucha extending his point-streak to four games.
The Aeros responded with another Wellman goal at the 11:59 mark in the middle stanza to increase their lead to 4-1. Nate Prosser and Maxim Noreau provided the assists.
Houston scored 10 seconds into their first and only power play opportunity of the game, making it a 5-1 contest, when Jean-Michel Daoust centered the puck from behind the net to center Cody Almond and beat Climie at the 14:19 mark of the second period. Former Rampage forward Jon DiSalvatore added the second helper.
After making 19 saves on 24 Houston shot attempts, Rampage head coach Ray Edwards pulled Climie replacing him with netminder Joe Fallon for the remainder of the contest.
San Antonio cut the Aeros lead to 5-2 as MacLean recorded his team-high 13th goal of the season 17:01 into the second period. MacLean tipped the puck over Aeros goaltender Anton Khudobin’s left shoulder and into the back of the net while Matt Watkins picked up his first assist of the season.
MacLean netted his second goal of the night after he received a cross-ice pass from Picard at the left boards and fired a shot past Khudobin for a 5-3 score at the 14:24 mark of the third period.
Edwards pulled Fallon in favor of a sixth attacker with 58 seconds remaining in the contest hoping to spark a rally, however, San Antonio was unable to capitalize on the man-advantage opportunity and the score remained 5-3 in favor of Houston.
The Aeros outshot San Antonio 14-5 in the opening 20 minutes; however, the Rampage retaliated in the third posting 16 shots to Houston’s three. The Rampage ended the night with a 33-28 shot advantage over the Aeros.
The Rampage (19-7-1-0) return home tomorrow night to host Salute the Badges Night against the Manitoba Moose at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.