HAMILTON, ON (Feb. 23, 2014) - The San Antonio Rampage (23-23-3-5) fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs (31-17-2-2) 3-1 Sunday afternoon at the FirstOntario Centre. The loss marks the first time since Jan. 3-4 that the Rampage have lost back-to-back games in regulation and brings their record to 6-2-0-1 on the Rodeo Road Trip.
Jacob Markstrom stopped 28-of-31 shots and Quinton Howden scored on the power play to get the Rampage on the board in the second period. It was Howden’s fifth goal and 12th point in his last 19 games. Ryan Martindale, who had the primary assist on Howden’s marker, now has nine points in 15 games since being acquired from Edmonton on Jan. 17.
The Bulldogs got on the board first as Martin St. Pierre picked up a rebound on a Greg Pateryn rip in transition and put it past Markstrom to make it 1-0 at 7:25. Markstrom held the Bulldogs at bay for the rest of the period, making 11 of his 28 saves on the day in the first frame.
Hamilton’s Mike Blunden took a slashing penalty and Gabriel Dumont was called for unsportsmanlike conduct at the end of the period, which gave the Silver and Black a five-on-three opportunity for the first 1:11 of the second. Ryan Whitney had the best opportunity on the advantage with a one-timer from the high slot that was blocked. As the penalty expired, Whitney fed a pinpoint cross-crease pass to Vincent Trocheck, who had a wide open look on net, but failed to convert.
A hooking penalty on Louis Leblanc gave the Rampage its fourth power play opportunity of the game at 7:10. Dustin Tokarski gave up a rebound on a Martindale shot and Howden was there to bury it and knot the game at one at 8:06, giving the Silver and Black its first power play goal in 14 attempts.
Hamilton answered shortly after as St. Pierre notched his second goal of the game. Nathan Beaulieu’s shot from the point rebounded to the left of Markstrom and St. Pierre was able to put it behind him for the tally and the Bulldogs would take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
In the third, Nick Tarnasky fired a one-timer that was stopped by Markstrom, but Blunden was waiting on the left side of the crease put it over Markstrom’s right blocker to give the Bulldogs a power play goal and a 3-1 lead at 6:29.
San Antonio's penalty kill, which has been strong on the Rodeo Road Trip, finished three-for-four and the Rampage were one-for-five on the power play. The Silver and Black owned the shots battle, edging the Bulldogs 33-31 in the game and 15-9 in the third period.
The Rampage will close out the Rodeo Road Trip inside the Memorial Auditorium in Central New York on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at 6 p.m. as they take on the Utica Comets for the first time this year. San Antonio returns home on Saturday, March 1 for Military Appreciation Night and their ninth matchup of the season against the Texas Stars at 7 p.m. 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.