CLICK HERE to listen to audio highlights.
The San Antonio Rampage scored four goals through the first two periods and held off a late charge from the Chicago Wolves to prevail in a 4-3 victory on Saturday night at Allstate Arena.
Rampage right wing Bill Thomas continued his recent hot streak with a goal at the 4:05 mark of the opening period to give San Antonio a 1-0 lead. Thomas took a feed from center Bracken Kearns at the top of the Chicago crease and beat Wolves goalie Eddie Lack glove-side for his fourth goal of the season. Forward Mark Cullen tallied his 400th career AHL point with the secondary assist on the play.
Thomas’ second point of the game and fifth point in his last two contests came off a rush into the Wolves zone in which he stopped and fired a shot from the left circle. Cullen got his stick on the shot and the deflected puck rang off the crossbar and into the net to give the Rampage a 2-0 edge midway through the first. Defenseman Mike Kostka also notched an assist on San Antonio’s second goal of the contest.
Center Wacey Rabbit extended the Rampage lead to 3-0 with a shorthanded goal with 13 seconds remaining in the first frame. With San Antonio on a two-on-one, Rabbit took a pass from center Scott Timmins before deking to his right and lifting a shot over Lack’s left leg pad for his first goal of the season and the Rampage’s second shorthanded goal on the year.
The Wolves cut the San Antonio lead to 3-1 when right wing Darren Haydar potted his seventh goal of the season 38 seconds into the second stanza. Rampage netminder Brian Foster stopped defenseman Kevin Connauton’s initial shot but the rebound came right out to Haydar, who deposited the puck behind Foster and into the net for the goal. Defenseman Sebastian Erixon notched his second point of the year with a helper on Haydar’s goal.
Rampage forward Greg Rallo restored the Rampage lead to two goals with a goal off a rebound chance nearly two minutes later. Timmins started the play when he stole the puck inside the Chicago end and fired a shot at Lack. Lack stopped him but Rallo was there to fire the rebound by the Chicago goaltender for his fourth goal of the season and give San Antonio a 4-1 lead.
Forward Anton Rodin answered for Chicago with a breakaway goal 7:31 into the second to bring the Wolves back to within two goals at 4-2. He stepped in front of a Rampage pass at his own blue line, sped in alone on Foster, and beat the Rampage backstop over his left leg pad for his second score of the season.
Halfway through the third period the Wolves tallied their second power-play goal of the night to pull Chicago within one. Left wing Mike Duco found the loose puck in a goalmouth scramble and shot it into an open net for his fourth goal on the campaign. Haydar and Rodin both tallied their second point of the night with assists on the Duco score.
Foster made 31 saves on 34 Wolves shots for his fourth win of the season while Lack turned aside 22 of 26 Rampage shots in the Chicago loss.
The Rampage (7-9-0-0) finish off a set of three games in three nights with a matinee contest against the Milwaukee Admirals tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Bradley Center.