UTICA, N.Y. (Feb. 26, 2014) – Buoyed by a natural hat trick from Joey Crabb, the San Antonio Rampage (24-23-3-5) ended the Rodeo Road Trip on a high note, defeating the Utica Comets (22-25-3-4) 3-0 inside the Memorial Auditorium Wednesday night. With the win, the Rampage secured the best Rodeo Road Trip record in franchise history with a .750 win percentage, earning 15 of a possible 20 points to go 7-2-0-1.
Joey Crabb netted all three goals for the Rampage, rightfully earning the First Star, while Vince Trocheck recorded his first three-assist game of his young pro career to earn the Third Star. Colby Robak jumped in the offense as well, adding two assists for his fourth multi-point game of the season.
Jacob Markstrom recorded his second shutout of both the trip and the season, stopping all 22 shots he faced to earn the Second Star.
With his goals coming 6:23 apart, Crabb took the Rampage into the first intermission holding a 2-0 lead over the Comets in their first visit in franchise history to the Memorial Auditorium. The first came off a rebound of a Colby Robak one-timer on the power play, while his second was tipped just over the left shoulder of Utica netminder Joacim Eriksson.
Though the second was marked by power plays for both teams, including 1:35 of a 5-on-3 for the Comets, neither could convert on the chance. The Rampage killed off the 5-on-3, allowing just two shots on the disadvantage, aided by some clutch saves from Markstrom to keep the Comets off the board.
The third period saw a combined 24 penalty minutes, but it was Crabb again who made it count, netting his third of the night to complete the natural hat trick. His third of the game and 12th on the season was his second power-play goal of the game as well.
The goals mark Crabb’s second multi-goal effort of the year, as well as the first Rampage hat trick of the 2013-14 season, and first since Jack Combs recorded one on March 29, 2013 against Charlotte.
The winger’s tally at 4:41 of the third would ice it for the Rampage, and despite a late power play opportunity, the Comets were unable to crack the scoresheet.
The Rampage went 2-for-4 on the power play, while shutting out Utica as the Comets went 0-for-6. The Rampage are now 29-for-33 in the month of February on the kill. San Antonio owned the shot battle 30-22.
The Rampage hit the AT&T Center ice for the first time since Jan. 31 on Saturday night (March 1) as they host the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. for Military Appreciation Night. Individual and season tickets can be purchased at the AT&T Center Southeast Box Office, by calling a Rampage representative at 210-444-5554, or online at sarampage.com