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After 55 minutes of scoreless hockey, the Texas Stars came up with a 3-0 shutout win over the San Antonio Rampage at the AT&T Center on Sunday afternoon.
Rampage netminder Matt Climie saw the most action turning away 38 of 40 shots he faced from his former team, the Texas Stars.
Special teams had their hands full in the opening period as San Antonio and Texas went on three and four power plays, respectively. Neither team was able to convert the man-advantage opportunity into a score.
After the second period, the puck had still not found its way to the back of the net; however, the penalty box had no problem filling up as a defensive showdown had set in between the two clubs. The Rampage were issued eight penalties totaling 16 minutes and the Stars were called for four whistles totaling eight minutes.
Top penalty killing was in effect as neither team relinquished a goal and the score remained 0-0. Climie rose to the occasion and played an outstanding period as he turned away another 14 shots, the same amount he faced in the first stanza while San Antonio managed only five shots on goal.
The message was clearly sent in the Rampage locker room that their shooting had to increase. They came out and rattled off five shots at goal in just the first three minutes of the third period.
With just over 12 minutes left in the game, Climie committed a turnover in front of the net that nearly cost him the first goal of the game. Climie left the crease to pass the puck out to his defenseman. Stars right winger Sean Backman anticipated the play and crept in front of the pass to intercept the puck. He was able to get a shot off before Climie had time to skate back to the net, however, the shot went wide just right of the net.
The Rampage were not as fortunate on their next turnover as Stars left winger Scott McCulloch was able to break the drought with 5:09 to go in the game making it 1-0 in favor of the Stars. The Rampage turned the puck over at center ice allowing Ondrej Roman to take advantage of the opportunity and delivered a quick pass out to the right side where McCulloch was able to fire it over Climie’s blocker at the left post.
Once the scoring commenced, it didn’t stop as the Stars were able to light the lamp again with1:34 left in game. The Rampage got caught in a two versus one play where Climie blocked the first shot by McCulloch but was unable to reach the rocket Travis Morin sent over the head of Climie and under the cross bar.
Rampage head coach opted to pull Climie in favor of a sixth attacker. Morin sealed the victory for the Stars with 11.4 seconds left as he broke away from the herd and scored on an empty net goal.
Former Rampage goalie Brent Krahn turned away all 27 Rampage shots for his first victory in the Texas Stars 2010-11 season opener. Rampage right winger Brett MacLean accounted for seven of those shots and was awarded the third star of the game.
The Rampage host the Peoria Rivermen this Friday at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.