CLICK HERE to listen to audio highlights.
The San Antonio Rampage recorded 44 shots on goal in a 5-2 loss to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Thursday night at the AT&T Center and now own a 25-15-1-0 record good for 51 points.
Rampage rookie defenseman Maxim Goncharov scored a goal to extend his point streak to four games. San Antonio right wing Jamie Bates made his first Rampage appearance tallying his first career AHL goal. Bates joined the Rampage earlier in the day from the Las Vegas Wranglers where he was enjoying a 10-game point streak (10 goals, 9 assists).
Grand Rapids jumped onto the scoreboard first when right wing Adam Keefe scored his first goal of the season for the Griffins 6:00 after the initial puck drop. Keefe’s shot from the high slot bounced off the leg padding of Rampage goaltender Matt Climie and into the lower right corner of the net.
The Griffins closed the opening frame with a 2-0 advantage after left wing Chris Minard tapped a cross-ice pass over Climie’s right shoulder for a power-play goal with two minutes remaining in the period.
Grand Rapids extended their lead to 3-0 when Griffins leading scorer Tomas Tatar scored on the power play at the 4:32 mark of the second period. Jamie Tardif skated from behind the net and had his wrap-around attempt from the left post deflected by Climie into the slot where Tatar was positioned to send the puck top shelf into the net.
The Rampage cut the Griffins lead to 3-1 at the 14:44 mark of the middle frame when Bates tallied his first goal after being added to the San Antonio roster earlier in the day. Andrew Ebbett sent a cross-ice pass from the left faceoff dot to Bates who snapped a shot to the high stick side of Griffins netminder Jordan Pearce. Brett MacLean added the second helper.
The Griffins pushed their lead to 4-1 after Keefe scored a shorthanded goal and his second of the evening 17:39 into the second period. Logan Pyett set Keefe up with a breakaway opportunity where he skated toward the slot and fired a backhanded shot from atop the crease that beat Climie high stick side.
San Antonio cut the deficit in half 4-2 on the power play as Bracken Kearns and David Brine assisted on Goncharov’s bullet from the high slot that went over the glove of Pearce.
Grand Rapids responded just 39 seconds later as right wing Francis Pare backhanded the puck above Climie’s skate from the right goal post to seal the Griffins victory at 5-2.
The Rampage outshot the Griffins 23-4 in the final frame and 44-25 overall. Climie finished the night with 20 saves on 25 Griffins shot attempts while Pearce posted a career-high 42 saves on 44 Rampage shots.
The Rampage return to the ice on Saturday to host the Oklahoma City Barons at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.