In their first trip to Cedar Park Center since October 3, the San Antonio Rampage were shut out, 2-0, by goaltender Todd Ford and the Texas Stars on Tuesday night.
Ford, who was signed by Texas on December 29 after beginning the season with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL, had never faced the Rampage prior to Tuesday’s contest and was making only his second AHL start of the season. Nevertheless, the Stars goalie was able to stymie a San Antonio club that had not been shut out in nearly two months.
The Rampage came out fighting in the first, posting three shots on goal in the first 30 seconds of regulation, only to watch Ford turn each attempt aside and provide a foreshadowing of what San Antonio was to expect for the remainder of the game.
San Antonio entered tonight’s contest ranked third in the league on the power play (20.3%) and had three man-advantage opportunities in the first frame but were unable to net a goal.
Entering tonight’s game the Rampage had only allowed three power-play goals in their last 13 games, however Stars defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy put Texas on the board first with a man-advantage goal at the 10:39 mark of the opening period. Vishnevskiy’s sixth goal of the season came on a shot from the point through traffic in the slot and beat Rampage netminder Justin Pogge in the upper right corner of the net to give the Stars a 1-0 advantage heading into the second period. Texas defenseman Garrett Stafford and right wing Raymond Sawada were credited with the assists on the Stars 28th power-play goal of the season.
Three of Vishnevskiy’s six goals in 2009-10 have been scored against San Antonio.
During the second stanza the Stars peppered Pogge with eight shots and were swarming in the Rampage zone, but the San Antonio goaltender was able to make a few great pad saves and prevent Texas from extending their lead. The Rampage managed six shots on goal against Ford in the second, but were unable to net the equalizer.
The Stars extended their lead to 2-0 at the 6:32 mark of the final frame when Texas right wing Sergei Korostin skated through the right faceoff circle and fired a shot into the crease that deflected off of a Rampage defenseman’s stick and through Pogge’s five-hole. Stars center Aaron Gagnon and Stafford were credited with the helpers on Korostin’s 10th goal of the season.
With 5:50 remaining in regulation, Rampage right wing Chad Kolarik’s shot from the top of the right crease found the back of the net. However, the goal was subsequently disallowed by referee Kyle Rehman due to a Rampage player stationed in the crease.
San Antonio outshot Texas by a 36-24 margin and received six power-play opportunities on the night, but were unable to find the scoresheet.
Ford turned away all 36 Rampage shots he faced for his first victory of the season, while Pogge stopped 22 of 24 Texas shots in the loss.
The Rampage will return home to the Alamo City host the Chicago Wolves for a back-to-back series this Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center. Friday night is a KISS Rocks $1 drink night in which fans can get $1 draft beer and $1 fountain sodas all game long. Tickets start at just $10.
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