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The San Antonio Rampage earned their second consecutive win as they beat the Abbotsford Heat 3-2 on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center. The Rampage improve to 35-23-2-0 good for 72 points.
Rampage left wing Ned Lukacevic notched two assists as he supplied the helpers on both of Matt Watkins’ goals.
After a scoreless first period, the Rampage lit the lamp 5:44 into the second period with Watkins’ first goal of the night and 10th of the season. Lukacevic sent the puck bouncing off the right boards where it landed in front of an outstretched Watkins in the slot who redirected it into the lower right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead. Garrett Stafford provided the additional helper.
Abbotsford evened the score to 1-1 after a Rampage turnover in their defensive zone set up right wing Ales Kotalik with a one-on-one in front of the net where he backhanded a shot over Rampage goaltender Matt Climie’s right leg padding 12:53 into the middle stanza.
San Antonio claimed a 2-1 advantage as Lukacevic found Watkins for the second time of the contest at the 1:21 mark of the third period. Lukacevic gained control of the puck along the right wing boards and passed to Watkins who skated toward the slot and fired a shot that was deflected by Heat netminder Leland Irving. However, Watkins picked up the rebound and moved it around Irving into the lower left corner of the net.
The Rampage extended their lead to 3-1 after Irving deflected David Brine’s shot from below the left faceoff dot into the slot where right wing Matt Pope was positioned to flip it over Irving’s left shoulder and into the back of the net 7:40 into the final frame.
The Heat scored with 3:03 remaining in the contest to cut the Rampage lead to 3-2 when TJ Brodie beat Climie high glove side with his shot from the slot.
With 1:09 remaining in regulation, Abbotsford head coach Jim Playfair pulled Irving in favor of a sixth attacker but the Heat were unable to capitalize on the opportunity sealing the Rampage victory at 3-2.
The Rampage return to the ice on Friday night when they travel to Austin to face their in-state rival, the Texas Stars, at Cedar Park Center at 7:30 p.m.