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Center Mark Cullen scored 7:12 into the third period to lift the San Antonio Rampage to a 2-1 triumph over the Abbotsford Heat on Martin Luther King Day at the AT&T Center.
The Rampage scored the game’s first goal 14:49 into the opening period. With San Antonio on a power play, center James Wright deflected an Evan Barlow shot from the top of the right circle and the puck found its way past Abbotsford goaltender Danny Taylor to give the Rampage a 1-0 advantage. Forward Scott Timmins picked up the secondary assist on Wright’s fourth goal of the season.
Right wing Akim Aliu answered back for the Heat with just over a minute remaining in the frame. A shot from defenseman Jordan Henry hit Rampage backstop Dov Grumet-Morris, caromed off the skate of Aliu, and glided into the net. Forward Quintin Laing also assisted on the Aliu marker, which tied the game at 1-1.
After a scoreless second period, San Antonio regained the lead on Cullen’s fifth goal of the 2011-12 campaign. He redirected a point shot from defenseman Mike Vernace past Taylor to hand the Rampage a 2-1 edge. Center Bracken Kearns tallied his 15th assist of the year with the secondary helper on the play.
Grumet-Morris made 25 saves on 26 Heat attempts for his eighth win of the season while Taylor turned aside 29 of 31 Rampage shots in the Abbotsford loss.
The Rampage (19-18-2-0) travel to Houston on Friday for a 7:35 p.m. (CST) contest with their in-state rivals, the Houston Aeros, at the Toyota Center.