Rampage fall to Stars, 4-2

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Rampage forwards Greg Rallo and Bill Thomas extend their pointstreaks to four and five games, respectively, in a 4-2 loss to the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center on Saturday night. 

The Stars jumped on the board first with a five-on-three power-play goal with 36 seconds remaining in the opening period. Maxim Fortunus passed the puck to Travis Morin at the bottom right circle who then gave it back to Fortunus at the point. Fortunus sent a shot down the middle and into the top left corner of the net past Rampage netminder Jacob Markstrom. Matt Fraser picked up the second assist on Fortunus’ sixth goal of the season that put Texas on top, 1-0.

Greg Rallo got things rolling for the Rampage early in the second session with an even-strength goal at the 47 second mark.  Evan Barlow skated the puck around the right circle up to the high slot and passed off to Rallo at the left circle. Rallo beat Texas goalie Andrew Raycroft five-hole for his second goal in as many nights against the Stars. Scott Timmins picked up the secondary assist on Rallo’s second goal and fifth point in four straight games.

The Rampage claimed a 2-1 lead at the 6:15 mark of the third period as Bill Thomas registered his 17th goal of the season. Rampage defenseman Colby Robak fired a shot that went wide left of the net and bounced off the boards out to Thomas at the right post. Thomas punched it home into an open net as Raycroft was out of position. Matsumoto claimed the second assist on the Rampage’s 28th power-play goal of the season. Thomas extends his pointstreak to five games with five goals and two assists in the stretch.

Just 2:13 later, Colton Sceviour tied the game at 2-2 with an off-balance shot from the top of the right circle that beat Markstrom stick side. Jace Coyle and Brad Lukowich were credited with the assists on the play.

The Stars reclaimed the lead with a goal at the 12:52 mark of the third. Angelo Esposito skated the puck into the zone and passed off to Matt Fraser at the right circle. Fraser then fired a shot that grazed the blocker of Markstrom and into the net. Jordie Benn picked up the additional assist on Fraser’s team-leading 26th goal of the season.

Texas left wing Mike Hedden solidified the Stars victory for the second consecutive night with an empty net goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation.

Markstrom turned aside 34 of 37 Stars shots, including 17 of 18 in the first period. Raycroft stopped 24 of 26 Rampage shots for his eighth win of the season.

The Rampage (27-22-2-1) will round out a three-in-three series tomorrow with a 4 p.m. face off against the Barons at Cox Convention Center.

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