Rampage defeat Monsters 5-4 in shootout

Box Score

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The San Antonio Rampage pulled out a 5-4 shootout win over the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena. They have now earned a point in each of their last seven games (6-0-1-0) and lead the Western Conference standings with 64 points as their record improves to 31-18-2-0.

Right wing Brett MacLean tallied an assist giving him his 79th career Rampage assist and sole possession of the franchise lead for most assists. This season MacLean has also broken the record for most games played, goals, points and power-play goals in a Rampage uniform.

Rampage skaters Ned Lukacevic and Garrett Stafford each collected one goal and one assist on the day.

The Rampage were the first to score as Stafford tallied a power-play goal 4:26 after the initial puck drop. Lukacevic and Bracken Kearns assisted on Stafford’s shot from the right faceoff circle that sent the puck bouncing over the right leg padding of Monsters goaltender Jason Bacashihua for a 1-0 lead.

San Antonio extended their lead to 2-0 as Alex Picard picked up the puck in the slot and flicked it over the stick of Bacashihua 7:22 into the first period. Viktor Tikhonov and MacLean supplied the assists.

The Monsters cut the deficit in half to 2-1 as they converted on a 5-on-3 power play opportunity when Joel Chouinard fired a bullet from the high slot that went through traffic and over the glove of Rampage goaltender Matt Climie at the 4:14 mark of the second period.

The Rampage pushed their lead to 3-1 with Lukacevic’s power-play goal 16:57 into the middle stanza. Lukacevic received the puck from Stafford along the right boards where he then skated toward the slot for a better angle and snapped a shot top shelf over Bacashihua. Matt Watkins provided the additional helper.

San Antonio netminder Al Montoya started the third period in the crease after Climie did not return from the locker room after the second intermission.

Lake Erie pulled to within one after a face off win in their offensive zone allowed left wing Patrick Bordeleau to tip in Travis Gawryletz’s shot from the right faceoff circle past Montoya for a 3-2 score 4:19 into the third period.

Just 33 seconds after their last tally, the Monsters evened the score at 3-3 when rookie Mark Olver buried a shot from the slot that beat Montoya high glove side.

The Rampage responded at the 6:36 mark of the final frame when J.D. Watt, who was positioned behind the net, set up Matt Pope at the left goal post where he shot the puck past the blocker of Bacashihua on the far side for a 4-3 lead. Brine chipped in with the second assist.

The Monsters netted the equalizer tying the game at 4-4 as defenseman Matt Generous scored his first goal of the season 7:17 into the third period.  Generous’ shot from the slot went through the five-hole of Montoya and into the back of the net.

Neither team was able to light the lamp before the end of regulation sending the game into overtime and eventually a shootout.

Garrett Stafford was the lone Rampage player to score on Bacashihua during the shootout as Montoya stopped all five Monsters shot attempts to give the Rampage a 5-4 victory.

Climie and Montoya combined for 30 saves on 34 Lake Erie shot attempts while Bacashihua finished the night by stopping 27 of the 31 Rampage shots he faced.

The Rampage return to the ice on Wednesday morning as they continue their Rodeo road trip against the Oklahoma City Barons with the puck dropping at 10:35 a .m. at Cox Convention Center.

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