San Antonio Rampage forward Eric Selleck tallied the game winner as the Rampage topped the Houston Aeros, 2-1, on Saturday in front of 11,382 fans at the AT&T Center. The attendance mark is the third-best in franchise history as the Rampage honored military service members at their 9th annual Military Appreciation Night.
Bill Thomas started the scoring at the 6:52 mark of the second period. From the bottom of the right circle, he took a feed from center Mark Cullen and blasted a slap shot past Aeros goaltender Darcy Kuemper to give San Antonio a 1-0 edge. Defenseman Keith Seabrook was credited with the secondary assist on the play. The goal was Thomas’ 18th of the season and marked his 19th point (nine goals, 10 assists) in his last 18 games.
San Antonio extended their advantage to 2-0 nearly three minutes into the third frame when Selleck pounced on the rebound of his own shot and slid the puck underneath Kuemper’s leg pads to double the Rampage lead. Defenseman Roman Derlyuk and forward David Marshall registered the assists on Selleck’s fourth marker of the season.
Houston right wing Jon DiSalvatore answered back for the Aeros with a goal 37 seconds later to cut the San Antonio lead to 2-1. He beat Rampage backstop Jacob Markstrom with a wrist shot from just inside the blue line to notch his 20th tally of the year. The assists on the DiSalvatore score went to forwards Jeff Taffe and Cody Almond.
Markstrom made 18 saves on 19 Aeros shots for his ninth win of the season. Kuemper turned aside 29 of the 31 Rampage attempts he faced in the Houston loss.
The Rampage raised more than $47,000 in a postgame jersey auction to benefit Operation Comfort and the Rampage Sled Hockey Team. The sled hockey team was the first team to form that consists of all wounded military service members.
The Rampage (32-23-2-1) return to action next weekend when they travel to Austin for a back-to back set with the Texas Stars at the Cedar Park Center. The first game between the two clubs takes place at 7:30 p.m. (CST) on Friday.